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Russia’s Water, Air Fails Standards

Seventy percent of Russia’s drinking water is so polluted that it fails to meet even minimal safety standards, an official said Wednesday.

It doesn’t meet “our own lenient standards, least of all fairly tough world requirements,” Nikolai Mikheyev, head of the government water agency, said at a news conference.

Most urban Russians also breathe polluted air, especially in car exhaust-choked cities like Moscow and St. Petersburg.

The Soviet government paid little attention to environmental protection, developing huge industrial centers that polluted as they produced.

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