Support The Moscow Times!

Russia's Baikal, Biggest Lake in the World, 'Becoming a Swamp'

Lake Baikal contains roughly 20% of the world`s unfrozen fresh water. Sergey Gabdurakhmanov

Pollution is reducing the world's largest and deepest lake to a swamp, according to recent findings cited by Siberian media outlets Monday.

Invasive species of algae, including the Canadian waterweed, are multiplying on Lake Baikal's shores, environmental group Baikal Ecological Wave said in comments carried by Sia.ru.

Algae thrives on liquid waste, including fuel and excrement, hundreds of tons of which are accrued by local tourist sites and then dumped into the lake each year, environmentalists said.

Waste management companies — whether due to negligence or bad-faith — improperly dispose of the crud, which then flows into the lake, the report said.

Local ships also generate up to 25,000 tons of liquid waste every year, almost all of which is disposed directly into the lake, the environmentalists said.

The Baikal in eastern Siberia is the world's biggest freshwater lake by volume. The lake, which has an unmatched maximum depth of 1,642 meters, is also the world's clearest and oldest at 25 million years, and hosts a unique ecosystem.

Lake, a UNESCO World Heritage site, has been sustaining environmental harm ever since a paper mill was opened on its shores on 1966.

The Kremlin was long reluctant to shut down the mill, the main employer in the nearby city of Baikalsk, but eventually closed the flagging enterprise last December.

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

Once
Monthly
Annual
Continue
paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more