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Russian Soldiers in Ukraine Threaten to Abandon Posts Over Landfill in Hometown

The landfill in the village of Poltavskaya, Krasnodar region. Easydust1k (CC BY-SA 4.0)

A group of Russian soldiers fighting in Ukraine have threatened to abandon their posts unless a hazardous landfill in their home region in southern Russia is closed down, media reported Monday.

In a video addressed to Russian President Vladimir Putin, Russia's General Prosecutor's Office and the Investigative Committee, seven men in military uniforms called on authorities to stop sending waste to a landfill in the town of Poltavskaya, located in the Krasnodar region.

"All of the toxins seep from the landfill into the waterways and the river, which flow into our town. We ask you to save our hometown from death, to stop shipping garbage there from other regions," one of the soldiers in the video said.

“In almost every family someone has gotten cancer,” he continued, adding: “If you fail to tackle this problem, we will have no choice but to return [home] and join the ranks of those who aim to close this landfill, those who dream of a healthy future for their children.”

The soldier noted that the landfill is located "at the heart" of a rice farm.

The soldiers' warning is just the latest plea to authorities in a decade-long fight by residents of Poltavskaya to shutter the waste dump, which was built in 1992. 

In response to the video address, the local prosecutor’s office promised Monday to investigate reports of a surge in cancer cases in the areas surrounding the landfill.

Just days before, Russia's Investigative Committee, which probes major crimes, ordered law enforcement authorities in Krasnodar to launch a criminal investigation into the landfill.

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