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Listvyazhnaya coal mine disaster, Kuzbass, Russia

Kuzbass' Listvyazhnaya coal mine suffered an explosion in 2021 due to safety violations and neglect including falsification of methane levels. 46 miners and 5 rescuers were killed in the explosion.


The coal-producing region of Kemerovo ---Kuzbass--- has suffered another fatal mining accident due to high levels of methane gas on November 25, 2021 [1, 3, 4, 13], in which forty six miners and five rescuers were killed [1]. Many miners were in their 20s and 30s, with the youngest just 23 years old [5]. In fact, the high level of methane in the mine made the rescue operation extremely difficult and it was also the supposed reason for the death of rescuers [3].

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Listvyazhnaya coal mine disaster, Kuzbass, Russia
Country:Russian Federation
State or province:Siberia
Location of conflict:Belovo, Krasnoyarsk Krai
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Mineral ore exploration
Specific commodities:Coal
Project Details and Actors
Project details

The Listvyazhnaya coal mine has been operating since at least 2011. In 2011, the mine was producing around 4.1 million tons of coal per year. A 2011 press release announced that the mine's longterm goal was to increase production to 6 million tons per year in 2012, and then eventually reach 10 million tons per year [10]. Russian mine accidents are not uncommon and this is not the first accident at Listvyazhnaya. In 2004, a methane gas explosion left 13 people dead.[4].

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Type of populationRural
Start of the conflict:25/11/2021
Company names or state enterprises:Kuzbassrazrezugol OAO from Russian Federation
Relevant government actors:The president of Russian Federation
Prosecutor's Office
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Russian Independent Trade Union of Coal Industry Workers
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stageMobilization for reparations once impacts have been felt
Groups mobilizing:Industrial workers
Trade unions
Forms of mobilization:Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Fires
Health ImpactsVisible: Accidents, Deaths
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Violations of human rights
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Compensation
Court decision (undecided)
Five people of the management team, including the mine director have been arrested.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:In the 11 years spanning two of Russia’s mining disasters 51 at Listvyazhnaya and 91 at Raspadskaya coal mine (also covered in EJAtlas) took place in Kuzbass, indicating that probably no safety improvements were made nor implemented for workers at coal mines in the region. Also the court case has not been decided yet on the issue.
Sources & Materials

[1] Radio Liberty 2021: In Russia, Coal Is Still King. And The Government Wants Even More
[click to view]

[8] Reuters 2021: Death toll in Russian mine tragedy jumps past 50
[click to view]

[2] Russian News Agency 2021: Kuzbass declares three day mourning for victims of Listvyazhnaya coal mine emergency
[click to view]

[6] NS Energy 2021: Gas explosion at Russia’s Listvyazhnaya coal mine kills over 50
[click to view]

[3] New York Times 2021: A Mine Disaster in Russia Highlights Safety Shortfalls in Rush to Dig Coal
[click to view]

[4] BBC News 2021: Russian coal mine: Dozens killed in Siberia accident
[click to view]

[5] World Socialist Web Site: 51 workers die in Siberian mine disaster
[click to view]

[7] The Moscow Times 2021: More Than 50 Dead in Siberia Coal Mine Accident
[click to view]

[9] Radio Liberty 2021: "We Had It Coming With Methane': How 51 People Died In A Siberian Coal-Mine Tragedy"
[click to view]

[10] Global Energy Monitor: Listvyazhnaya coal mine
[click to view]

[11] SDS UGOL Press Center 2011: Listvyazhnaya miners have produced 655 thousand tons of coal since the beginning of the year
[click to view]

[12] Reuters 2021: Putin accuses management of falsifying data at Russian mine where 51 died
[click to view]

[13] Reuters 2021: Death toll in Russian mine tragedy jumps past 50
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

[14] Business and Human Rights. Payment of compensation to families.
[click to view]

Other comments:According to source [14]. " It is reported that each family will receive 2 million rubles at a time, in addition, each family member will receive 1 million rubles. On average, each family will receive 6 million rubles. According to preliminary calculations, the owners of the mine will allocate more than 300 million rubles to pay off their obligations. The families of the victims will be bought apartments or increased living space, regardless of the current living conditions, the children of the victims will be paid for their education in universities, the loans paid by the families will be repaid ...".
Meta information
Contributor:ENVJUST project ICTA-UAB
Last update11/01/2022
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