Life is returning to normal in Moscow after a massive powercut plunged the Russian capital into chaos. President Vladimir Putin is openly blaming the management of the state-controlled electricity monopoly for the failure. Some 20,000 people were trapped in the city’s underground system during the outage while the stock market had to close for several hours. Although it still had electricity, most of its clients did not.
Putin told journalists the powercut was caused by technical failure but, he said, that was not all. “I think we can talk about insufficient attention by top management to the daily operation of the company,” he added.
The comment is being interpreted as a direct criticism of Anatoly Chubais – the liberal politician who heads the firm. With the underground and the city’s trams out of action, Muscovites packed themselves into anything still moving as they tried to get around the city.
Traffic light failure soon caused gridlock in many streets. Where it was possible to move, taxis found themselves deluged and reportedly hiked their prices accordingly.