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Khabarovsk residents stocking up on water ahead of the toxic spill (file photo) (AFP)
27 December 2005 -- Two environmental groups today criticized Russian officials over their response to a toxic spill in China that entered Russia's Amur River.
Greenpeace and the WWF (formerly the World Wildlife Fund) released a statement saying Russian authorities responded to the spill in a "pathetic" manner and also disregarded long-standing warnings about such a possible disaster.
The two groups say Russia does not have an effective system for dealing with ecological disasters.
The spill, caused by an explosion at a Chinese chemical factory last month, reached the Russian city of Khabarovsk on 22 December. China continues to send supplies to Russia to help with clean-up efforts.
A slick of toxic benzene and other chemicals is moving from China's Songhua River toward the Amur River in Russia's Far East. Russian authorities fear the consequences when the 80-kilometer-long toxic slick reaches the city of Khabarovsk, which relies on the Amur for its water supply.
Officials say supplies of clean water and filtering charcoal are being stockpiled in Khabarovsk. Russian authorities have warned that more than 1 million people living along the Amur could be affected by the contaminants. The spill is the result of an explosion on November 13, 2005, at a Chinese chemical plant in the city of Jilin....(more)
After Chinese Toxic Spill, Russian Environmentalists Raise Concerns About Ecological Policy