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.

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.


Putin berates officials over floods

16 July 2012, 11:25

 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.


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 News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...