Russian activist Vladimir Slivyak is »Schoenau Electricity Rebel 2022«

Russian environmental activist Wladimir Sliwjak is »Schönauer Stromrebell 2022«. The prize, awarded this year for the ninth time by the German cooperative EWS Elektrizitätswerke Schönau eG, the Schönau Energy Initiatives and the town of Schönau, honors people »who have rendered outstanding services to the environment through their many years of commitment and have set special examples through consistent action.«
Sliwjak, who is also winner of the Right Livelihood Award (»Alternative Nobel Prize«) 2021, founded the environmental organization Ecodefense in 1989 as a student in his hometown of Kaliningrad. He later became involved in the fight against nuclear power plants. In 2014, he was able to expose a project to build eight Russian nuclear reactors in South Africa by publishing secret contracts; the project then failed in South African courts. Ecodefense also informed in national and international campaigns about the destructive effects of coal mining in the Kusbass region of Siberia. The connections of Vladimir Putin’s family to coal companies were also subject of these campaigns.
Ecodefense’s work has been defamed as foreign agent activity under Russian laws since 2014. Co-chair Alexandra Koroleva fled to Germany in 2019, and Vladimir Slivyak also went into exile here in 2021. In his acceptance speech, he also addressed the war in Ukraine: »As a Russian, I call on Russian troops to leave Ukraine immediately and let the people live in peace and democracy.«
The EWS emerged in 1994 from a civic movement that arose after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. Following a citizens’ referendum, they took over the city’s electricity grid in 1997 and converted the supply to renewable energy. In the meantime, EWS have become a nationwide green electricity supplier.

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