Accessibility links

Breaking News

'Siberian Maldives' Investigated For Environmental Violations

Poseurs From The Blue Lagoon: Russians Seek Toxic Pit Pics
please wait

No media source currently available

0:00 0:02:02 0:00

Russian prosecutors say they are investigating whether environmental-protection regulations are being properly implemented at an industrial dump site, nicknamed the Siberian Maldives for its turquoise water.

The office of the Novosibirsk regional prosecutor said it "will verify the implementation of laws, including the environmental legislation," RIA Novosti reported on July 16.

The probe began after media reports suggested a breach of environmental-protection laws at the site, Russian news agencies said.

"If there are grounds, exhaustive prosecutorial response measures will be taken," the prosecutor's office was quoted by RIA Novosti as saying.

The toxic lake that resembles a tropical paradise has become a magnet for Instagrammers, who visit the site to pose for photos with the bright blue water in the background.

However, the Siberian Generating Company, which owns the site, warns the lake's bright colors are due to a chemical reaction between toxic waste elements from a local power station.

The company says it has deployed guards and placed roadblocks to keep trespassers at bay.

Environmentalists warn people against coming into contact with the water, saying it can cause allergic reactions or even chemical burns if ingested or touched.

Based on reporting by RIA Novosti, Meduza, and

RFE/RL has been declared an "undesirable organization" by the Russian government.

If you are in Russia or the Russia-controlled parts of Ukraine and hold a Russian passport or are a stateless person residing permanently in Russia or the Russia-controlled parts of Ukraine, please note that you could face fines or imprisonment for sharing, liking, commenting on, or saving our content, or for contacting us.

To find out more, click here.