Moonshine vodka production in the protected quarters

Infringements: Clauses 25, 26 and 27 of the Law of the Republic of Belarus «About Special Protected Natural Territories and Objects» are violated; Clause 55 of «Forest Codes» of the Republic of Belarus is violated; infliction of damage to biological diversity; violation of the ecological balance within the protected forest.

Events, facts, documents and evidences: Moonshine (forest-distilled self-produced) vodka production has always been made in Belovezhskaya Pushcha forests. However, in recent years the practice has drastically increased, turning the National Park into a paradise for the people involved. The place has a well-organized, partially legalized network for making the moonshine vodka. The latter is being made in hundreds of liters. With output capabilities of 500 liters of wash, some moonshine-making devices (apparatus) may look more like small factories.

Almost every forestry in Belovezhskaya Pushcha has its own network of such factories. Some forestries count dozens of moonshine-making devices. As a rule, the devices are put up in remote places including the Wilderness Protection Zone, which are difficult to access. The foresters and administration of the National Park are well aware of the scope of this shady moonshine business. That is why it is not an exaggeration to say that the moonshine is being made with the assistance and patronage of officials in the administration of the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha". The officials must get good profit for their patronage.

Narrow winding roads lead to the remotest places of Belovezhskaya Pushcha, the places where virtual moonshine-making factories are set up and operating. The pictures show some of the roads moonshiners use to penetrate into the heart of Belovezhskaya Pushcha - the strictly protected Wilderness Protection Zone - on their cars.

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(Secret roads to moonshine-making apparatus, compartment 115,
December 20, 2004)

This is how moonshine-making factories look from a distance.

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(A view of moonshine-making factory, compartment 115, December 20, 2004)

Large containers are used to boil wash for distilling moonshine vodka.

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(Barrels in which moonshine is brewed, compartment 115,
December 20, 2004)

A water well is nearby.

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(The water well,compartment 115,
December 20, 2004)

Firewood for boiling wash and distilling alcohol is prepared in the same place, the Wilderness Protection Zone, which is supposed to be a model of undisturbed natural processes, and where a man must not put his foot.

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(A stack of prepared firewood,
compartment 115, December 20, 2004)

That is why unauthorized cutting-downs for firewood in the Wilderness Protection Zone are common practice for moonshiners. Some of them, however, try to cover up the traces of their offence against nature and law by putting branches over stumps of cut-down trees.

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(Unauthorized cutting-down,
compartment 115, December 20, 2004)

Hundreds of liters of used-up wash are poured out in the same place, making a poisonous mix which affects soil and wilderness.

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(Poured out wash, compartment 115, December 20, 2004)
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(Moonshiners' business, the summer of 2004)

All this is taking place in the strictly reserved Wilderness Protection Zone, in the midst of wild nature, where not even economic activity, but also the presence of man is strictly forbidden. In pictures - the wilderness Belovezhskaya Pushcha forest which surrounds moonshine-making factories.

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(Wilderness forest surrounds moonshine-making factories, compartment 115,
December 20, 2004)
Further: The residence of Santa clause: the violation of legislation and ecology-planning