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Soviet Pollution is a photo essay by Gerd Ludwig conducting during the early 1990's while on assignment for National Geographic. The text of the essay starts as follows: "From Vilnius to Vladivostok, across more than eight million square miles, a beleaguered environment bears witness to a legacy of irresponsibility. The rivers of the former Soviet Union are open sewers of human and chemical waste. The Aral Sea is drying up. In many Soviet cities the air is so polluted that it puts millions at risk for respiratory disease. Tons of nuclear waste are spread out all over the country and toxic chemicals poison the soil I set my foot on earth at places so polluted that neither man nor beast will survive in them for years to come."