Russia citizens of the Siberian coal-mining town of Kiselyovsk have appealed to the Canadian authorities for environmental asylum due to the horrific pollution in their immediate geographical area.
Residents of the Siberian coal-mining town of Kiselyovsk posted a video appeal for asylum on Saturday addressed to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. In the appeal, they cited the deteriorating ecological situation in their hometown caused by “barbaric” coal mining practices near residential areas and “a state of environmental disaster,” reported The Moscow Times.
“The ecology of our city and region is getting worse every day, while we, the citizens of this country, are being noticed less and less and people are dying more and more from diseases,” they said.
“We are tired of waiting for changes, and it’s dangerous to wait any longer,” they added.
“We don’t want to betray our country, we just want to survive and have guarantees that we, as humans, mean more than minerals in the bowels of the earth,” the residents said in their appeal on Saturday.
In response, Canada’s immigration service said the asylum-seekers can only be considered if they have left Russia and are considered refugees under international law.
Kiselyovsk is located in the Kemerovo region, where dozens of children were burned to death as they watched a movie in a local shopping mall last year and would have a similar climate as Canada.
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