Page last updated at 16:09 GMT, Friday, 29 January 2010

Russian police raid Lake Baikal ecology group

Lake Baikal
The lake is cherished as one of Russia's environmental jewels

Russian police have raided the offices of an environmental group after it criticised a plan to reopen a paper mill next to Lake Baikal in Siberia.

Several computers were confiscated by police, who said they were checking the alleged use of unlicensed software.

A member of the Baikal Environmental Wave group said the raid was linked to its efforts to keep the mill closed.

Last week Russian PM Vladimir Putin decreed that the mill could reopen. It was shut in 2008 amid pollution fears.

The lake, nicknamed "the Pearl of Siberia", is the world's largest body of fresh water and home to many unique species.

The Baikalsk Paper and Pulp Mill is the biggest employer in Baikalsk, a town of 17,000. The mill is owned by Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska.

Environmentalists have fought for years to keep the mill shut, arguing that it threatens the lake's fragile ecosystem.

Mill managers insist they can operate the plant without polluting the lake.

Print Sponsor

'Pearl of Siberia' draws investors
07 Sep 07 |  Europe

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Reuters UK Fear, uncertainty cast pall over Russian business - 2 hrs ago Green gauge | Lucy Siegle - 13 hrs ago
The Independent Kremlin takes its revenge on the oligarchs - 15 hrs ago
France24 Russian police raid outspoken environmental group - 46 hrs ago
Mail Online UK What to buy the man who has everything? Branson gets underwater plane as new toy - 46 hrs ago

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific