Coal Land - Faces of Donetsk

 

In this publication we have tried to collect data, thoughts and impressions from several years of cooperation between the Environment and Security initiative and the people and authorities of Donetsk. Through this cooperation we wanted to bring solutions, which have worked in other parts of Europe, ranging from the Mining for Closure approach to providing citizens and decision-makers with understandable and timely information.

Available online: PDF (4 mb) | Interactive E-book

Foreword

As a doctoral student in Moscow, I did not see much of my university advisor. One of Russia’s first environmental ministers and the deputy prime-minister of the Soviet Union after the 1991 coup d’état, he suddenly had to deal with a mountain of problems with the decaying union.

Among the first were angry miners from Donbas banging their helmets in the centre of Moscow. As in many other places, miners were seen as the vanguard of political aspirations – and the reflection of growing desperation in the  industrial badlands.

Readers interested in history may remember Alexey Stakhanov and Nikita Kruschev, who both started their careers in Donetsk. Football fans witnessed the spectacular appearance of Shakhtar Donetsk in the 2009 UEFA Cup Final. Today the coal-producing and industrial region of Donetsk is Ukraine’s major centre of gravity, supplying the country with industrial output, tax revenue, pollution, and its business and political elite. In the region itself the environment remains both a bottleneck and a solution for improving people’s lives: not an unimportant concern given Donetsk’s special place on Ukraine’s agenda.

In this publication we have tried to collect data, thoughts and impressions from several years of cooperation between the Environment and Security initiative and the people and authorities of Donetsk. Through this cooperation we wanted to bring solutions, which have worked in other parts of Europe, ranging from the Mining for Closure approach to providing citizens and decision-makers with understandable and timely information. We are also determined to make this information clear and visible through maps, photographs, art and journalism.

Not least, we want to reveal Donetsk in all its diversity, with different faces,seen from the inside and the outside, beyond just coal and football. 

 


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