Raspadskaya Coal Mines are situated near Mezhdurechensk town in Kemerovo Oblast in the southern part of the West Siberia. The Oblast is well-known coal mining regions with an extremely degraded environment   . The Raspadskaya mines are owned by Evraz company that also manages OAO Yuzhnaya in Mezhdurechensk .
Shors are indigenous people who continue to live in small villages in the region according to their traditional livelihoods, which includes hunting and fishing. For many years Shor activists and their supporters have been fighting against coal mining .
The activists are known for their campaign against coal-mining . However, the house of a Shor leader activist was attacked twice, in 2013 and 2014. The activist believes that the attack was part of the pressure plan of the coal mining company as it controls armed check-point on the road to the village. In a similar way, a campaign was organized against Shor activists on regional and federal levels . The neighboring villages are in the same situation, as the mining activities destroy the surrounding environment of the villages .
After several public street protests against mining in the region   , the leader of the Shor community was officially informed by the police about the criminal responsibility for organizing and participating in protests. The leader was also fired from the school where she worked as a teacher and received multiple threats connected to her protest activity from representatives of the police and coal business. After several years of such pressure, the leader and her family escaped from Russia and applied for political asylum in Europe  . Those who stayed are now displaced, and some are reported homeless .
Besides targeting Shor activists, the coal business also implies a highly low working and health conditions for employees of the mines . A methane gas explosions took place at the Raspadskaya mine resulting in the death of 91 miners and rescuers in May 2010   . "All they care about is that we produce more and more coal. And what do we get? Just 7-8 kopeks for every ruble [of profit]. They take the rest. We demand a raise of our salaries and reduction of the production quotas", a miner stated .
A week after the explosion, miners in the town of Mezhdurechensk took to the streets to protest the fact that they must routinely risk their lives. In the protest, some 28 people were arrested as demonstrators blocked a railway line and clashed with police . Then, protests were held in a number of Russian cities to mourn the victims of Raspadskaya and demand better conditions for miners and the dismissals of Interior Minister and Kemerovo Governor .
Some of the authorities however are claiming that "unidentified enemies are trying to use the tragedy at Raspadskaya to bring down Russia's current governors, saying the protests in Mezhdurechensk were not organized by miners but by young people and bandits".
The Russian government stated how new technologies could further improve the safety and working conditions of the miners, as the gas company Gazprom has developed technology to extract methane from coal beds in working mines and provide a safe and explosions free working environment .
Finally, the head of Raspadskaya mine quit his position shortly after the 2010 accident and protests, when Russian Prime Minister assailed him regarding the occurred explosions .