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From the Prologue: Blagopoluchnoe

...One look at Slava Maksimov"s animated eyes tells you that he is a man of strong convictions, and that you should expect to hear some of them soon. He is a scientist by training, a microbiologist who has worked in and around the lake for more than thirty years. But his manner is more that of a preacher spreading the Good News. We have just met, and he has already dispensed with the usual scientific caveats and gotten straight to the undeniable truth about the largest body of fresh water on earth.
The truth, the professor says, is that Lake Baikal is perfect.
"Absoliutno blagopoluchnoe!" he declares. "As a creature that lives within Lake Baikal, I can say it is in a perfect state!" ...
...The harsh climate of Siberia and the rim of mountains on all sides of Baikal have isolated this place from most of the rest of the world for millennia. Humans are finally beginning to breach these barriers, but no matter, Dr.Maksimov says, the lake"s exquisite ecosystem will continue to keep its water as pure as any on earth. This mighty lake can withstand every challenge, he says. Whatever harm humans do, Baikal has the power to heal itself.
"In the coming one thousand years," the Professor says with a wide grin, "Baikal is not threatened by anything! Ha ha!" All stories in Russia have a lesson, and as he finishes his story, Dr. Maksimov again makes sure we don"t miss his lesson. "As long as it is cold at Lake Baikal, there is no need to be concerned about its future! It is perfect!" Absoliutno blagopoluchnoe ozero Baikal!

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