The national unrest in Yakutia and Kazakhstan in 1986 (Chapter 9) turned out to be just a taste of what was to come. In the first years of glasnost, activists in a number of the republics on the borderlands of the Soviet Union started to campaign over local environmental threats such as those posed by nuclear power, construction of a hydroelectric dam and pollution by a phosphate plant in the Baltic republics of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, erosion of agricultural land in Central Asia, and nuclear waste, pollution from a rubber factory, and the long-term pollution to Lake Sevan in Armenia. The focal points of the environmental movements in the non-Russian republics resulted from a geographical coincidence (although one which was brought about partly by design) which saw many of the most polluting and environmentally damaging industries located on the peripheries of the Soviet Union. But the movements were also reflections of the greater readiness to protest of some non-Russians, who had been less willing to see themselves as a part of the Soviet system or the Communist world. In addition, local leaders were already feeling both the benefits and the threats posed by the loosening of central control, and were unwilling to intervene against such movements. National protest was not altogether confined to the Republics, as from the summer of 1987 Crimean Tatars, who had been deported wholesale from their homeland by Stalin in 1944, and Jews took their protests onto the streets of Moscow.
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