Moscow’s ‘lone climate protester’ confronts war on Ukraine

Al Jazeera speaks to Arshak Makichyan, a prominent climate activist who calls for an end to Russia’s war in Ukraine.

Arshak Makichyan, 27, is a prominent activist who has been protesting in the Russian capital for years, warning people against the dangers of climate change.


He earned the title of Moscow’s “lone climate protester” as a law in Russia bans unsanctioned protests of more than one person.


To be an activist in Russia, under an “authoritarian regime”, he said, was already difficult and dangerous as arrests and prosecution are common.


But now, with Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, big protests are needed to change the situation, Makichyan said.


To be an activist in Russia, under an “authoritarian regime”, he said, was already difficult and dangerous as arrests and prosecution are common.

But now, with Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, big protests are needed to change the situation, Makichyan said.


But with the climate crisis, you cannot just change your habits to be more environmentally friendly, you should do something more because we need change on multiple fronts. And I then started to do weekly strikes – like [Swedish climate activist] Greta Thunberg.

Before, I was thinking to continue my education in Europe, but I decided to stay in Russia because we need activism here as well, because Russia is in fourth place for CO2 emissions. The climate crisis is a global crisis.


My strategy has been changing during the last two years. After the start of the coronavirus pandemic, I was becoming more political because there was a huge crisis and they started to prosecute a lot of my political friends. So I became more politically engaged, because you cannot fight for our future or climate without basic human rights. Now, you cannot fight for climate while your country’s involved in a terrible war.

Al Jazeera: A lot of people, certainly in the West, believe Russia is an exceptionally difficult and dangerous place to take part in protests and activism. Do you think this is true? And what problems do you face?


Please Read entire story jere at Aljazeera: https://www.aljazeera.com/features/2022/3/4/qa-with-moscows-protester-from-climate-change-to-ukraine-war



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