Putin berates officials over floods

2012-07-16 10:01
AP

AP

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Moscow - Russian President Vladimir Putin paid an unannounced visit to the scene of the deadliest flood in the post-Soviet era and berated officials for possibly deceiving him about their response.

Putin's trip late on Sunday to the southern town of Krymsk came as the media speculated about insufficient warnings about the disaster - the first since the Russian strongman's return to a third Kremlin term.

The 7 July pre-dawn floods in the Krasnodar region killed many of the 172 victims in their sleep and destroyed the property of about 30 000.

"Is there anyone here from the Investigative Committee?" Putin asked at the start of a meeting that was top item on state news broadcasts on Monday in a sign of the political implications the flood carries for Putin's new term.

"I will definitely talk [to its chief] and give him the required orders," he said.

"People here think that there was no early warning - despite the fact that the previous head of the administration said that there was one," said Putin, referring to an official who has since been fired.

Terse exchange


"The Investigative Committee must issue an objective assessment of the actions of all officials," Putin warned.

News reports have cited locals as saying that those applying for emergency assistance had to sign documents stating they had received early warnings about a potential flood.

Some Russian lawmakers have demanded the dismissal of the region's powerful governor Alexander Tkachev while others said the heavy toll proved the current authorities' ineptitude.

Putin was shown having a terse exchange with Tkachev that began with the governor - apparently sensing the president's angry mood - thanking him in advance for keeping him on the job.

"Esteemed Vladimir Vladimirovich [Putin], first of all, I would like to thank you for your support," said Tkachev before being interrupted by Putin.

"Wrap up those thanks," Putin told him. "It is time to be more specific."

Putin's get-tough image suffered a bruising blow at the start of his first term as president in 2000 when he holidayed while the nation watched in horror as 118 seamen perished in the sinking of the nuclear submarine Kursk.

Rumours

The KGB-chief has worked hard to show himself in command of the chronic disasters that have since shadowed his 12-year rule.

He paid an immediate visit to Krymsk on the day of the flooding to meet local officials and on this occasion took the time to tour the town and hear out residents' complaints.

State television showed heavy security guards letting through small groups of locals to Putin - some of the men bare-chested and several of the more elderly women shaking - to vent their frustrations.

Some cited rumours saying the flood was caused by officials who opened the sluice gates in a nearby mountain reservoir to keep an important port city downriver from flooding.

Putin firmly denied this was possible and took time out to patiently address individual complaints.

"Thankfully, we have enough money to deal with this," he said at one stage.

"You hear what they say," Putin later told the regional officials at their more formal meeting.

"People here say that the local services ended up being unprepared at the moment of the disaster to deal with what was happening," he said.

Read more on:    vladimir putin  |  russia  |  floods
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
2 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

This is what South Africans Googled in 2014!

Find out who and what South Africans were most curious about in 2014!

 
 

I love summer.24

This hilarious song is your new holiday anthem
The world's least visited destination is breathtaking!
LOL treadmill fail!
Google’s top searches of 2014

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be emotionally defensive or reserved today. You need to step up today as there may be extra responsibilities to deal with....read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.