“Опять двадцать пять!” Bill Bowring asks Evgeny Vitishko 25 questions

Professor Bill Bowring’s guest this week on “25 Questions” is Evgeny Vitishko. Evgeny Vitishko is an environmental rights defender who worked for many years with Environmental Watch on North Caucasus (EWNC), a Russian-based non-profit organisation that working to protect the environment of the Caucasus region since 1997. He was actively involved in monitoring the environmental impact of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games preparations. Along with colleagues from the EWNC, Evgeny Vitishko had protested against the environmental impact of rampant construction and deforestation ahead of the Sochi games. He was given a three-year jail sentence on trumped-up charges in the run-up to the Sochi Winter Olympic Games in February 2014. He served his sentence in Russia’s remote Tambov region – more than 600 miles from the environmentalist’s home – for allegedly damaging a fence that was concealing illegal construction in a protected forested area. He was also jailed for 15 days on trumped-up charges of “hooliganism” after he was accused of “swearing at a bus stop”. He was released from the prison colony in November 2015 after spending more than a year-and-a-half there after. For more information about his case, see Front Line Defenders. The video can be viewed below and on our YouTube Channel.

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