"Antinuclear" Internet in Russia

"Antinuclear" Internet in Russia

By Andrei Lubensky,
16 November 2005

Translation by Viktor Ouskin "Citizens` Center on Nuclear Non-Proliferation", Krasnoyarsk.

Citizens` Center on Nuclear Non-Proliferation states that NGOs` information projects are reliable sources of alternative information for the public.

"Internet resources are an important of NGOs` instrument in their work with mass media and the public" - this is the name of the seminar to be held in Krasnoyarsk 19-20 November. He seminar is held by the Russian Citizens`Center on Nuclear Non-Proliferation under the auspices of Krasnoyarsk "Memorial" society, Maxsoft company and supported by the grant awarded by the Commission for Democracy of the USA Embassy in the Russian Federation. The seminar is aimed to increase professional knowledge of representatives from non-government organizations (NGO) in the field of internet technologies to create high-quality attractive and competitive information resources.

Vladimir Mikheev, head of the Citizens` Center on Nuclear Non-Proliferation: "Today, when the government in Russia increases its pressure on the activities of independent mass media, the NGOs` Internet resources should be the main instrument to work the public. Recently the state sector has been intensively increasing its presence in the Internet. For instance, the Federal Atomic Energy Agency of the Russian Federation pursues a new strategy of information policy. This can conventionally be called a program to rehabilitate atomic power engineering and Rosatom`s commercial programs in public consciousness".

Official Internet portal www.minatom.ru which is the main mass medium of the atomic industry and main instrument to mold the Russian public opinion is assigned the prominent role to give coverage of Rosatom`s activities. The internet resources of Rosatom`s enterprises and organizations also implement the proper information policy. In addition, in December 2004 the Federal Atomic Energy Agency set up an "Information Activity Center" which in its essence is a nuclear propaganda center:

Meanwhile lack of professional knowledge and experience with information technologies and lack of funding constrain many NGOs in Russia from development of attractive and competitive information resources. "Therefore, the Internet, the pages of electronic mass media post unilateral, biased and sometimes untrustworthy information this violates human rights to be informed about nuclear safety and nonproliferation of nuclear materials", - says Vladimir Mikheev. The Citizens` Center think that there is not latitudinous expression of different standpoints on these important subjects, while the intentions of Rosatom "continue to remain closed for the public at large and the authorities are very unwilling to dialogue with the public".

Instead of collaboration there is a war between atomic engineers and NGOs. "In October 2002 the Citizens` Center on Nuclear Non-Proliferation organized and held in Krasnoyarsk a seminar "To enhance Internet Efficiency and Promote NGO`s Internet Resources", - says Vlaimir Mikheev. - In January 2004 we held the second training seminar "Promotion of NGO`s Internet Resources to Increase NGOs` Professional Knowledge". As a counter to this seminar the Central Scientific Research Institute for Management, Economics and Information of Rosatom held in 2003 and 2004 seminars for representatives of press-services and Internet sites of the enterprises and organizations of the Federal Atomic Energy Agency".

The Citizens` Center on Nuclear Non-Proliferation stresses that the NGPs` information projects are reliable sources of alternative information for the public. E.g. one of nuclear scientists collaborating with the Internet resource of the Center NuclearNo.com is afraid of possible repressions for a series of publications on nuclear technologies transferred by Russia to Iran has to disguise under the name "Mayak".

The Internet resource of the Center successfully competes with Minatom`s official portal. However by no means all NGOS in Russia possess such efficient information instruments. That`s why a well known expert, member of the Russian Internet Academy Alexey Babiy and Maxsoft training center specialists were invited to hold the seminar. The organizers are convinced that after the seminar its participants will be able to the make network resources of their non-government organizations highly efficient and competitive.