“Huge wedge cut through the heart of the forest” (Russia)

Apr 12, 2013




Editor’s note:  This man (below) died to save a forest from developers.  No, they were not wind developers; they happened to be destroying a forest for a highway.  Same effects, different purpose.  Click here to watch the video.

Mikhail Beketov was a Russian newspaper editor who opposed the destruction of the Khimki forest (and its resident wildlife) for a highway between Moscow and St. Petersburg.  He was warned by anonymous phone callers that he would be “maimed” for his continuing opposition.


They made good on their threat; one frigid night, two men beat him with an iron bar, smashing his hands, legs, and skull.  Though left alive—in a pool of blood and a coma in subzero weather for days—he lost his speech, and several of his fingers and a leg were amputated.

Within 5 years, he died of his injuries.  His attackers have never been found.

Will Wind Warriors be subjected to this brutality when they, like Beketov, stand up to wind developers destroying ridgelines and wilderness and farmland?  So far, it has not happened, despite threats of harm.

Mikhail Beketov’s murder reminds me that, yes, this is possible.  Same effects on wilderness or farmland and wildlife, same corruption, same greed.  What is to prevent another murder?


  1. Comment by Lisa Linowes on 04/12/2013 at 4:24 pm

    This is very sad—and your comments are more than speculation. Indigenous groups in Mexico have protested projects which have turned violent. Click here.


    Editor’s note: The writer, Lisa Linowes, is the very capable Executive Director of the Industrial Wind Action Group.

  2. Comment by mark duchamp on 04/13/2013 at 6:32 am

    One good thing to say about Russia: no windfarms there.

    But yes, human rights are being trampled by the regime. Bad habits acquired during 70 years of Communism take time to shed. In Europe, the bullies have more subtle ways: they hit your pocketbook. A fierce windfarm opponent in Wales, Lynn Jenkins, has spent $200,000 so far in court to try and save his business under attack by local elected officials.

    In my village (Spain), very few people dare oppose City Hall; rare are the families that don’t have a member working for the administration. Retaliation could mean loss of one’s job. Wind farm opponents are a fierce lot, who do at night what they can’t do during the day: They pulled down an anenometer. The windfarm promoter decided to go “green” the lives of people somewhere else.

    Editor’s note: I regret to say there are folks in Australia who have removed the bolts attaching turbines to the concrete base. We absolutely condemn this vandalism.

  3. Comment by mark duchamp on 04/13/2013 at 7:13 am

    About the fight of the Zapotecos against windfarms in Mexico (see first comment from Lisa Linowes). Back in 2005 they asked me to help them. I went there and saw the lagoon, full of fish and (delicious) shrimp, which is being threatened by a windfarm project. Fishermen there use small boats with sails. Pollution from wind turbine lubricants and washing liquids (to clean insects off the blades) would contaminate this essential food source for San Dioniso del Mar and its people.

    Regarding the other windfarms in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, it is to be feared that a fire caused by a wind turbine would extend to the Zoque forest, which is of paramount importance for biodiversity.

    And of course, the risk to bird life is extreme. The isthmus is the most important migration bottleneck in the world.

    After my trip, I joined the forum of CIPAMEX, Mexico’s most prominent bird society. I tried to alert them to the risk 5,000 wind turbines across the world’s most important migration route would represent. I was immediately opposed by the bullies in the group, most importantly the bird society’s honcho. After years of struggle with them, and many insults received, I am still sending them information.

    CIPAMEX finally opposed a large project on Cozumel island, but nothing more. A bit like the RSPB opposing a project on North Lewis, Scotland, after the publication of my article “Red Energy”— a loss leader, as they say in marketing.

    I wrote various articles on Tehuantepec, two in Spanish and this one in English. (My apologies; the webpage seems to be temporarily out of order.)

    Mark Duchamp

    Editor’s note: The author, Mark Duchamp, is Executive Director of EPAW, the European Platform against Windfarms. He is also head of the global organization, Save the Eagles.

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