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Russian ballerina dances on frozen ice to protest construction in Batareinaya Bay

Ilmira Bagautdinova took to the frozen Gulf of Finland to urge the Russian government to stop the construction of a port in the area.

Russian ballerina dances on frozen ice to protest construction in Batareinaya Bay
Image Source: Twitter/ theanimalreader

Russian ballerina Ilmira Bagautdinova danced Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake on frozen ice in the Gulf of Finland in order to protest the construction of a port in Batareinaya Bay. She is one of the thousands to speak out against the development of the port, which would be used for grain shipments. Batareinaya Bay is a beach located about 100 kilometers west of Russia’s second-largest city, St. Petersburg. The ballerina chose Swan Lake in recognition of the swans that inhabit the area. Bagautdinova has also started a petition, calling on Russian President Vladimir Putin to halt the construction project, Yahoo! News reports.




"I had this idea of course because one of the unique features of this place is that swans are coming there to nest, it is a unique part of it, to come and see them swimming," the ballerina explained in an interview with the news outlet. "And of course, a swan is the most known image in ballet. It would be great if after I danced in the Gulf, the construction would stop and we could save this amazing natural spot. But I don't think it's that easy. Although we got plenty of public reaction and it is great that so many people support it, that people understand that we need to save nature, the ecology. It must be part of our culture."




In a video posted to Facebook, Bagautdinova can be seen gracefully dancing Swan Lake. She wrote in the post's caption, "A unique natural and historical place where swans nest in spring, families with children rest in summer and hundreds of fishermen go out on the ice in winter ... Nature in harmony with people. All of this is under threat of destruction." She also urged individuals to sign her petition. So far, just under 8,000 people have signed the petition, but the ballerina hopes to hit 10,000 in the near future.




According to activists, the bay is part of a former protected wildlife zone in addition to being a key habitat for rare plant species and animal species, including the gray seal, ringed seal, waterfowl, and migratory birds. Some of these animals appear in the Red Book of endangered species. Earlier this year, in January 2021, Leningrad region governor Alexander Drozdenko claimed that there was really “no need” to build a separate port for grain shipments on Batareinaya Bay. Despite this, the area is set to house the Baltic Grain Terminal on land leased by the Russian government for 10 years. The company will thus be permitted to build a 35 billion ruble ($470 million) production and logistics complex and grain terminal there by 2024.



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