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Political Science


A number of developments over the past decade or so illustrate the increasing salience of environmental problems for Soviet policy makers. In the mid-1960s, controversy over the potential pollution of Lake Baikal appears to have stimulated and legitimized environmental protection as an issue for discussion in the Soviet press. The output of scholarly books and articles by philosophers, economists, biologists, physicists, and sociologists reflects the broad range of organizations concerned with these questions. Support is also evident in high places-Brezhnev's report to the 25th Party Congress in 1976 emphasized the importance of environmental protection and announced that 11 billion rubles would be allocated for the purpose during the tenth five-year plan.3 N.K. Baibakov, Chairman of the State Planning Committee recently outlined planned capital investments of 1.8 billion rubles for the implementation of environmental protection measures in 1981.4 Greater organizational commitment is evident in the elevation of the former Hydrometeorology Service attached to the Council of Ministers to a State Committee on Hydrometeorology and Oversight of the Environment. The committee's director, Dr. Iu. Izrael, claimed his organization had approximately 10,000 personnel working on environmental problems as of early 1979.

Original Publication Information

This paper was originally published as part of the Carl Beck Papers in Russian and East European Studies journal, no. 102, in 1981.