Prosecutor’s Office Confirms SCOOP Investigation’s Findings

In March 2015, the journalist Roman Romanovskiy with support from SCOOP RUSSIA revealed the almost non-existing wastewater treatment in a number of facilities in Kaliningrad. The investigation was published in an article in the newspaper Dvornik and on the website rugrad.ru.

In April, Romanovskiy’s investigation was severely criticised by Maksim Fedoseyev, the Kaliningrad politician responsible for waste water treatment in the region. He even accused the Moscow newspaper Novaya Gazeta for defamation as the newspaper, among many other media, had made a news piece based on the investigation made by Roman Romanovskiy in Kaliningrad.

But soon the picture changed. In two of the four wastewater treatment facilities where the SCOOP Russia investigator found that the treatment didn’t work, the prosecutor offices made their own investigations.

Roman Romanovskiy wasn’t allowed to collect samples from indoor checkpoints. The prosecutor was. The results confirmed the overall picture from the newspaper investigation. Both in Polessk and Gusev the result was much worse than Russian law stipulates. In Gusev the municipal body responsible for the insufficient treatment, was fined 1,2 million rubles (approximately 17 000 €). In Bagrationovsk the wastewater treatment facility was closed until proving able to work properly.

Of the five facilities Roman Romanovskiy investigated, only one was functioning. The rest had so high levels of contamination that Roman Romanovsiky doubt that proper installations are made at all.

– I hope the prosecutor’s office will investigate what kind of installations there are in the buildings, Roman Romanovskiy says.

Gusev, one of the plants showing the worst pollutions, has received financial support with 3,5 million euros from the EU.

See Romanovskiy’s investigation here.

By Börge Nilsson, SCOOP coordinator, FGJ Sweden

About SCOOP

SCOOP is a network and support structure for investigative journalists. SCOOP supports investigative journalism and provides national and international networks for media professionals who are conducting investigations. Since 2003 SCOOP has supported several hundred investigations and facilitated national and international contacts between journalists to investigate across borders and share experiences.
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