Russia floods: Putin demands explanations

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Russia floods: Putin demands explanations

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As Russia remembers its flood victims on a national day of mourning, there are growing claims that warnings given were too little, too late.

President Vladimir Putin paid his respects to the more than 170 people killed as a criminal inquiry was launched. And, as the government accused authorities in the disaster zone of not doing enough, two local officials were dismissed.

“We need to analyse…..what caused this tragedy and how all the services worked, what was done, what was not done, what we still need to do, both there and in other places where such things could occur,” said Putin who wants explanations by the end of the week.

The floods in the southern Krasnodar region have stirred strong emotions in Russia. It is also mourning 14 pilgrims killed in a bus crash in Ukraine on Saturday.

More than 25,000 locals in and around the devastated town of Krymsk lost all or some of their belongings in the torrential rain overnight on Friday. Many are still in shock.

“My son has not eaten for over a day,” said one distraught woman. “I wish he would eat at least a piece of bread but he doesn’t want to. He is afraid of everything, every sound, every murmur.”

The wall of water that hit the town was so high that the gates of a nearby reservoir must have been opened, some residents say. While dismissing these suggestions, the government admits mistakes were made.