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Russian President to visit flood-stricken Amur Oblast, Khabarovsk Krai

August 29, 2013, 0:57 UTC+3
President has repeatedly urgently flown to Russian regions affected by floods
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Photo ITAR-TASS / Alexei Nikolsky

Photo ITAR-TASS / Alexei Nikolsky

BLAGOVESCHENSK, August 29 (Itar-Tass) - Russian President Vladimir Putin, who on Wednesday arrived in Blagoveshchensk, on Thursday will visit the flood-stricken Amur Oblast and Khabarovsk Krai, the Kremlin press service reported.

“On August 29-30, 2013, the Russian president will make a working visit to the Far Eastern Federal District during which he will fly over the affected areas of the Amur Oblast and Khabarovsk Krai and will hold a meeting on the “flood situation in the Far East,” the Kremlin said.

The meeting will be attended by RF presidential aides Andrei Belousov, Yuri Trutnev, First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov, the ministers of the economic, social sphere and law enforcement officials, heads of federal agencies and departments, heads of the regions affected by floods. “The heads of Yakutia, Primorsky Krai and Magadan Oblast are expected to report to the president on the situation in the regions via videoconference,” the press service said.

Putin, despite the fact that he receives information in a constant mode on all major emergencies in the country, often prefers to personally visit a disaster site to make sure that all necessary measures to save lives and minimise damage are taken.

Thus, the president has repeatedly urgently flown to Russian regions affected by floods. In May 2001, he arrived in the flooded city of Lensk in Yakutia to urgently work out measures for liquidating the consequences of a powerful flood; on other three occasion - in June 2002, October 2010 and July 2012 - inspected destroyed by floods southern regions of Russia, where he attended, in particular, the Barsukovskaya village and the town of Krymsk.

There were also other emergencies, when Putin personally found it necessary to come to the disaster areas. For example, in May 2010, when he held the post of prime minister, he flew to the Kemerovo Oblast where dozens of miners were killed in two explosions in the Raspadskaya mine. The RF government head was overseeing the rescue operation.

In the summer of that year, Putin made several flights to the Nizhny Novgorod, Voronezh and Ryazan Oblasts that were affected by major forest fires. The RF prime minister visited the burned down villages, talked to the local residents, informed them of the assistance measures that were being taken, as well as personally participated in fire extinguishing from the amphibious plane Be-200.

Putin, having visited an emergency area, as a rule had returned to the most severely hit areas in a few weeks to make sure that all the promises concerning the elimination of the disaster aftermath and provision of aid to the local population were fulfilled.

The current working visit of the RF president to the east of the country continues since Monday. Its main theme is, first of all, the situation in the flood-stricken Russian regions. Its first part was devoted, among other things, to the situation in the energy sector.

Over the past three days, the RF president, in particular, has visited the Kemerovo Oblast where he held a meeting of the Commission on the development of the fuel and energy complex and energy security and met with miners, as well as with the families of the miners that had been killed in an explosion at the Raspadskaya mine in 2010. After that Putin arrived in Khakassia, where at the Sayano-Shushenskaya hydropower plant he held a meeting on the development of the electric power industry in Siberia and the Far East. In addition, the RF presidential envoy to the Siberian Federal District Viktor Tolokonsky informed Putin about the situation in the district.

Putin had said he intended to personally inspect the flood-affected regions last week. “We need to assess the whole damage and plan specific actions of regions and the federal government to restore the lost infrastructure and households,” he said in Rostov-on-Don on August 22.

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