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Russian natural resources minister to open Earth Hour event on Red Square March 19

March 18, 2016, 21:17 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Illumination of the Kremlin will be turned off for one hour as part of the Earth Hour event

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© ITAR-TASS/Sergey Bobylev

MOSCOW, March 16. /TASS/. Russian Natural Resources and Ecology Minister Sergey Donskoy will launch the 10th environmental event of the World Wide Fund for Nature on March 19 on downtown Moscow’s Red Square, the ministry told TASS on Wednesday.

"Donskoy will start the event on Red Square," a ministry spokeswoman said.

Illumination of the Kremlin will be turned off for one hour as part of the Earth Hour event. Russian President Vladimir Putin approved the proposal, which came from Donskoy.

"Let us do it like this," Putin said at a meeting with government members earlier Wednesday.

Earth Hour is an international event during which the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) calls on organizations and individuals to turn off non-essential lights for one hour as a symbol for their commitment to the planet. Illumination of well-known buildings and memorials worldwide is turned off during that period.

The event was first started in Sydney, Australia in 2007.

In 2016, Earth Hour is held on Saturday, March 19, from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. local time.

Moscow’s Department of Natural Resources Management and Environmental Protection said outside illumination of more than 1,000 buildings, including Ostankino TV tower, Luzhniki sports center, the Christ the Savior Cathedral, will be turned off during Earth Hour.

Moscow joined the Earth Hour event in 2009. In 2013, the illumination of the Moscow Kremlin, as well as another 100 buildings, was turned off for the first time. In 2014, some 400 buildings went dark for an hour in the Russian capital.

In 2015, the event involved 172 countries and over 2 billion people. In Russia, 20 million people supported Earth Hour last year.

In 2016, more than 80 Russian cities will take part in the event, the World Wide Fund for Nature said in a statement.

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