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Talking Trash In Sochi

A few residents of the Lazarevsky region on the outskirts of Sochi are campaigning against what they say is illegal dumping at a landfill there. Although the garbage dump was officially closed in June 2012, it has continued to grow -- sometimes during the night -- as Sochi undergoes massive renovations ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympics. Garbage smolders on the heap and a nearby river takes on a dark brown color as it passes through the area. (Photos by Abbas Atilay, RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service)

The Bytkh river flows through the fringes of the rubbish dump near the village of Uch-Dere. The landfill has been here since the Soviet era.
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The Bytkh river flows through the fringes of the rubbish dump near the village of Uch-Dere. The landfill has been here since the Soviet era.

Three villages -- Loo, Atarbekovo and Uch-Dere -- are situated nearby.
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Three villages -- Loo, Atarbekovo and Uch-Dere -- are situated nearby.

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Pools of stagnant water collect on the dump.
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Pools of stagnant water collect on the dump.

Rita Kravchenko, a resident of Uch-Dere, has campaigned against dumping here, which she says is illegal. She says the garbage dump has contaminated the Bytkha river, and that she no longer swims in the sea because of the resulting pollution.
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Rita Kravchenko, a resident of Uch-Dere, has campaigned against dumping here, which she says is illegal. She says the garbage dump has contaminated the Bytkha river, and that she no longer swims in the sea because of the resulting pollution.

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Waste smolders on the dump. Locals worry that the fumes are toxic.
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Waste smolders on the dump. Locals worry that the fumes are toxic.

Rita Kravchenko walks through the woods near the village of Uch-Dere.
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Rita Kravchenko walks through the woods near the village of Uch-Dere.

Kravchenko shows a sample of clean water from a stream uphill from the garbage dump.
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Kravchenko shows a sample of clean water from a stream uphill from the garbage dump.

A lake near the otherwise picturesque village of Uch-Dere, once the site of many fruit orchards.
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A lake near the otherwise picturesque village of Uch-Dere, once the site of many fruit orchards.

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