Environmental activists and Bashkir Soda Company (BSK) workers clashed at a protected site at Kushtau Hill (Bashkortostan) on Saturday, August 15. Police reportedly detained some 50 people and transported them off the site to nearby Sterlitamak. Reports indicate that some activists were also injured during the unrest, and that tear gas had been deployed by security personnel. Clashes erupted after workers at the site called a flash mob near an encampment set by activists near the protected hill. Reportedly, some activists remain at the encampment, along with some security personnel.
Further clashes are possible at the site in the coming days, along with a heightened security presence.
In 2019, the company was granted a license to develop the hill for 20 years, despite public outcry. BSK has reportedly said its work in the area will not harm the environment.
Individuals in Bashkortostan are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid all protests as a precaution, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities.
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