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Arrests of local official begin in Krymcsk

July 23, 2012, 13:14 UTC+3

Rank-and-file residents of Krymsk are not quite satisfied with the arrests

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The Russian Investigative Committee announced on Sunday that Krymsk Mayor Vladimir Ulanovsky and former head of the Krymsk district Vasily Krutko had been arrested over the flooding in Kuban. Officials are accused of negligence - having received a warning from weathermen they did not warn the citizens about the danger. The investigators intend to apply for taking them in custody.

Viktor Zhdanov, acting head of the department for emergency situations and civil defense of the Krymsk district, has also been arrested, the Moskovsky Komsomolets newspaper writes. The head of the Nizhnebakanskaya settlement, Irina Ryabchenko, has also been made accountable as a suspect. All these people are members of the commission for warning and liquidation of emergency situations and fire safety.

Rank-and-file residents of Krymsk are not quite satisfied with the arrests.

“We believe Governor Tkachev is the main person to be blamed for what happened,” Tatyana from Krymsk said. “However, for some reason he is out of prison and retains his office. This is a kick in the teeth” for all affected in the flooding, she stressed.

Tatyana Topoleva from the Russian Public Chamber has just returned from Krymsk. She says the dominating emotion as to the authorities is an absolute mistrust. “It is clear that somebody must be punished, that is why arrests have been made. But I am not confident that all those responsible will incur responsibility. People are surprised and are indignant – why no measures are taken against Krasnodar Territory governor Alexander Tkachev?” she said.

On Sunday, the authorities decided as to who is to blame for the tragedy in the Krasnodar Territory, the Nezavisimaya Gazeta writes.

According to the Investigative Committee, these officials failed to determine the possible scope of the natural calamity and did not warn the citizens about the danger, despite a storm warning issued on July 5 and 6. As a result of their inactivity, 153 residents of Krymsk were killed, according to investigators.

Thus the issue of the dismissal of the regional authorities is over and done with – Governor Alexander Tkachev retains his office. At the same time, the federal authorities did all to minimize the aftermath of the catastrophe, sociologists say. Moreover, the ruling party has sizably added to its rating, which has grown over the recent week from 45 percent to 50 percent. It seems the United Russia Party has managed to get through to the hearts of those Russians who were hesitating in their appraisal of the party activity.

However, according to an officer from the Krymsk administration who asked not to be identified, all the detained officials took an active part in the evacuation of people during the flooding, the Kommersant writes. “Overnight to July 7 all of them were at the headquarters, all of them worked,” the officer said. According to Alla Yusupova, a staffer of the Ecological Watch for the North Caucasus, the list of those responsible for the aftermath of the flooding must be sizably expanded. “It looks very much as if the authorities try to find scapegoats, as it already happened ten years ago,” Yusupova said.

Meanwhile, restoration work continues in Krymsk, the Novye Izvestia marks. Electricity and gas supply was restored by the end of the previous week. “Life in the city has got back to normal 100 percent. All life support systems operate in a routine regime,” the director of the department for regional policy at the Russian Ministry for Emergency Situations, Yuri Kovalyov, said on Saturday. Some residents have already received not only initial compensations of 10,000 rubles for each person, but also compensations of 150,000 rubles for lost property.






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