Commenting on the tragedy in Kemerovo, Russian politicians, officials and journalists are singing praises and showing their deepest sympathy with… Vladimir Putin. They are also criticise Russian opposition for ‘making hay of the situation’.
“I would like to express my condolences and support to our leader, Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin. It is a stab in the back for him, it is a terrible shock! It’s not for nothing that he came there [to Kemerovo]. All that he is doing now for Russia is incredible, he is protecting Russia on the world stage, carrying out serious domestic reforms… And suddenly — such a grief! Behind his back! But he has no time to control everything and everyone, and some of them let him down although he sometimes has to break through walls when solving problems. But he is strong, he is a spiritual warrior. But he also needs our support!” Yelena Mizulina, a member of the Federation Council, said.
Notorious propagandist Vladimir Solovyov accused the opposition of trying to politicise the tragedy:
“If a crowd is shouting and hooting, we should not talk with the crowd. If citizens are seeking a dialogue, when they voice their demands, it is ok, it is their right their right. But when a crowd is caving for blood and does not care about the facts, this is not a state. This is an attempt to stage a Maidan, which cannot be tolerated.”
Aman Tuleyev, Russia’s Kemerovo region governor, called Tuesday’s spontaneous rally opposition’s attempt to destabilise the situation. Notably, he sought president Putin’s forgiveness, not that of local residents.
Линия партии понятна, спасибо pic.twitter.com/Ey10xyW4CT
— Усы Пескова (@Sandy_mustache) March 28, 2018
According to Sergei Kiriyenko, Deputy Head of the presidential administration, the tragedy is being used for ‘provocations’.
The fire at the shopping mall in central Kemerovo erupted on Sunday on the top floor of the four-storey building engulfing an area of some 1,500 square meters.
As fire alarm failed, the shopping centre staff had to notify visitors about the incident themselves. As a result, many people who were cut off from the way outs had to jump out of the windows. Closed fire escapes and panic escalated the situation.