A vicious attack on anti-nuclear protesters in Russia this summer has had the unexpected outcome of undermining the country’s environmental movement, after the son of a high-profile green leader confessed to having a role in the melee. Marina Rikhvanova had been successful at inspiring grassroots activism in Russia — particularly against the government’s plans to build oil pipelines around the beloved Lake Baikal — but many onetime allies are now keeping their distance. “The attack and the arrest afterwards have been a tremendous blow to the environmental movement, and divided it like never before,” says one journalist. Agrees Maksim Vorontsov, a member of the National Bolshevik Party: “In Russia, there is a feeling that in an ordinary family, children support their parents. Now people are wondering why children might be attacking their parents. They are saying [ecologists] must be abnormal.”

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