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Stalin's Legacy
£20.00
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ISBN:
9781780270906
Categories
Politics & Current Affairs
Imprint
Birlinn
Publication Date
06 September 2012
Format
Hardback (also available as an eBook)
Status
Available for Sale
Publisher
Birlinn Limited

Stalin's Legacy

The Soviet War on Nature
by Struan Stevenson - Find out more about the author

   

Also available to download in the iBookstore

'Celebrating life in areas condemned by industrialism, this book is as much a conscientious call to arms as it is an act of love' – Publishers Weekly (US)

As undisputed leader of the Soviet Union, Joseph Stalin was directly responsible for the deaths of up to 60 million of his fellow citizens, a truly horrific figure which confirms him as one of the most notorious mass murderers in history. But Stalin not only waged war against his own people he and his successors regarded nature as an enemy that could be overcome by the might of Soviet technology and the brute force of slave labour. The building of vast networks of canals and the diversion of major rivers has created untold environmental damage, whilst Soviet nuclear and biological weapons programmes contaminated vast areas and caused unimaginable agony for human and animal life. In this book Struan Stevenson travels to the former Soviet republics of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgystan and Tajikistan. From the Semipalatinsk region of east Kazakhstan, where over 600 nuclear tests were carried out between 1949 and 1990, to the Aral Sea, the desiccation of which has reduced what was the world’s fourth largest inland body of water to half the size it was just 50 years ago, he presents a grim catalogue of environmental catastrophe. As well as talking with those whose lives continue to be cruelly affected by this terrible legacy, he also meets those who are trying to deal with its wider consequences as it threatens to impact far beyond the steppes of Central Asia. Despite almost insurmountable challenges, however, there ultimately is a strong message of hope as both local and international organizations face up to the effects of disastrous and inhuman Soviet policies.

Struan Stevenson is Chairman of the European Parliament’s Delegation for Relations with Iraq and President of the Climate Change, Biodiversity and Sustainable Development Intergroup. He was appointed during 2010 by the Organisation for Security and Cooperation Europe (OSCE) as a Personal Representative (Roving Ambassador) of the Chairman in Office (Kazakhstan) responsible for Ecology and Environment with a particular focus on Central Asia. His publication about the plight of victims of Stalin’s nuclear tests in East Kazakhstan, Crying Forever, has to date raised more than £100,000, a sum which has been donated to the victims of the nuclear tests in Kazakhstan through the worldwide charity Mercy Corps.






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