Open letter from South Siberia, where hard coal is mined for RWE.

We received the open letter below. In Siberia, hard coal is being mined under catastrophic conditions and villages of the remaining indigenous people are being destroyed. RWE procures hard coal from the region and also invests there, which make it directly responsible.

##AlleDörferBleiben : here and everywhere!

On February 8, 2019, a meeting took place in the Kemerovo region (southern Siberia, Russia). The meeting was organized by Kyivov, the new governor of the Kemerovo region. He invited all the directors of the Russian coal companies. Representatives of shorian NGOs wrote an open letter to all participants of the meeting, which was also supported by residents of nine (9) villages in the Kemerovo region.

Open letter to the coal companies meeting in the Kemerovo region, Russia

Dear participants of the Russia-wide coal companies meeting.
The Kemerovo region continues to be known as the “dirtiest” region in Russia, according to measurements of air, water and soil and public health surveys.
The environmental protection activity is low and ineffective, and this does not help preserve the environment intact, does not lead to the prevention of illness and mortality in the Kuznetsk Basin.

Increase in production of coal, metallurgy and chemicals in the region and the increase in motor vehicle traffic will continue to worsen ecological and social problems in the future.

The Facts

  • The company “Sib-ugle-met” destroyed in 2013 the village of Kazas, one of the few remaining villages of the Shorian people.
  • The company “Sibirskij Antrazit” and its subsidiary “Razrez Kijsasskij” caused unbearable living conditions in the Shorian villages of Borodino and Tetenza.
  • The companies “Kuzbass-razrez-ugol” (KRU) and “Stroj-servis” destroyed the traditional living space of the Teleut people. This led to the loss of traditional forms of teleutic life in business, culture and language.
  • None of the coal companies active in the Kemerovo region abide by the principles adopted in the Russian Federation concerning indigenous peoples.
  • The residents describe the activities of the companies “Stroj-servis”, “Stroj-pozh-servis”, “Sib-energo-ugol” and “Bungurskij Severnyj” in the villages of Mentscherep, Berjozowo and Apanas as a war against the inhabitants.
  • As late as 2006, scientists warned against increasing the environmental burden in the region – coal production should not exceed the annual level of 200 million tons. In 2012, this limit was exceeded, in 2018 over 240 million tons of coal were mined!

Despite protests and mounting tension, the Kemerovo region’s authorities plan to mine up to 375 million tons of coal annually over the next 10-15 years.

The health situation in the Kemerovo region:

  • Average life expectancy in the Kemerovo region is 63 years, which is 3-4 years lower than in National average.
  • Tuberculosis is 1.7 times more common than the national average.
  • Mental illnesses of children are 1.8 times more common than the national average.
  • The number of children born with weak intelligence is 2.4 times higher than the national average.
  • The Kemerovo region is Russia’s leader in cerebral palsy.
  • In the Kemerovo region, people suffer from oncological diseases 15 times more often than the national average.
  • The Kemerovo region is number one in acute heart attacks.
  • Malformations of the heart cavities and the female reproductive system.

Dear leading representatives of the Coal Companies from the Kemerovo Region, no one of you can say today: “I have not personally contributed to these facts“


In 2012, you mined 207 million tons of coal, opening a new era in the history of coal mining. Since then you are destroying our Mother Earth. The environment and social issues are so intertwined that the depth of these connections makes it difficult to draw a dividing line. Therefore, we ask you to consider the information listed above in your plans, decisions and realisation in the future.

Was signed by representatives of:

  • the social organization of the city of Myski “revival of the shorian village of Kazas”
  • the social organization of the village Chuvashka “Tugan-Cher” (Mother Earth) of the Kemerovo regional social organization for the protection of natural resources “Our Earth”
  • supported by inhabitants of the villages: Kazas, Chuasas, Toz, Chuvashka, Krasnyj Jar, Borodino, Bekowo, Razraz
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