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Putin, this train is on fire!

Putin, this train is on fire!

30.03.2018 — Analysis

And we’ve nowhere else to run to.

Hardly has the Internet – both Russian and overseas – had the chance to jump all over the TIME magazine new issue’s front cover with a spiteful Photoshop pic of Putin over the last weekend. The Americans have attached a tiny crown to the Russian President’s head and entitled the pic as the "Rising Tsar".

However, I believe, that the two articles in the issue are of much greater importance. One of them goes as "Why Russia keeps on sinking". The TIME issue was released on the eve of the fire in the Winter Cherry mall in Kemerovo. It is more relevant now (though it was relevant before too!) to wonder why Russia keeps on burning.

A writer Mikhail Zygar gives a partial answer to that question in his article "How Vladimir Putin plans to stay on top". Alas, his speculations turned out to be prophetic in a certain way.

The article starts with description of the pre-election situation when one of the government members imprudently asked the president: "Mr. Putin, what expects me after March 18th?" The Kremlin’s old-timer replied: "I don’t know myself what expects me after the elections."

Photograph by Press Office of the Main Directorate of EMERCOM for the Sverdlovsk region

The minister who did it wasn’t the head of EMERCOM Vladimir Puchkov. In English his department name sounds as the Ministry of Emergency Situations. EmergencY means an urgent necessity. EmergencE means appearance. One part of Zygar’s article is called Emergence of new tsar.

It was an Emergency that has taken place in the end though. And this was so typical of Russia. Kuzbass periodicals informed the region inhabitants on the eve of the presidential elections that they would be given patties and lottery tickets (discount coupons) for exciting leisure time at the polling stations. The voting turnout in Kuzbass exceeded 83%. Putin got over 85% of the votes. There were good reasons the president had allowed Aman Tuleyev to stay in the governor seat, notwithstanding his ill health, - an old ox made a royal furrow, an example to follow!

Photograph by

A week later Kemerovo residents brought their coupons to the Winter Cherry mall. And now there are death, groans, and tears. It reminds me of Vertinsky.

"I don’t know why and who needs this, who sent them to their doom with an untremulous hand. Only so uselessly, so viciously and needlessly were they let off to the Eternal Rest."

Photograph by

The Kremlin gained an epic win of Putin. Who, as Zygar put it, burned out part of the old governors. Has Tuleyev burned himself? And minister Puchkov together with him.

EMERCOM has been being wrecked for several years already. According to the sources of RusBusinessNews, Sergey Shoygu, who headed the emergency response group before the ministry, might be interested in it. He is perfectly aware of the profitable business of EMERCOM, i.e. relief consignments abroad. Who got what from those consignments – they’re good as gone.

Photograph by Informational Politics Department for the Sverdlovsk region

Реорганизация МЧС - это образец наплевательского отношения к живым людям. Как сотрудникам министерства, так и тем, кто в крайней необходимости нуждается в их профессиональной помощи. Разгром авиации спасателей, базировавшейся в Екатеринбурге, хрестоматийный пример.

EMERCOM reorganization is an example of the devil-may-care attitude to living people. Both to the ministry employees and to the ones who need their professional assistance in emergencies. The wipeout of the aviation emergency response group based in Ekaterinburg is a textbook example.

The Urals regional center of EMERCOM was discarded to the Siberian one with the headquarters in Krasnoyarsk. Kemerovo is under responsibility of that center. And now imagine where Krasnoyarsk is situated and where Ekaterinburg, which exceeds the Siberian city in size and significance, is. Devil may care, we can rule from there ok, and we’ll send the aviation from Siberia (like drones (!!!) were sent to Kemerovo?). Even Igor Kholmanskih, Presidential Envoy in the Urals, flare up several days ago: "How in the hell was such management structure invented?"

Puchkov will be bid good-bye, EMERCOM will get torn between the Ministry of Defence and Rosgvardia (Federal National Guard Troops Service). But even the blaze in Kemerovo won’t burn off Russia’s main trouble, i.e. corruption. This country keeps on sinking and burning, because one can buy an inspector or a head of fire inspection. While they sell licences to operate what is likely to get on fire: Lame Horse in Perm, Winter Cherry in Kemerovo.

Meanwhile, there is a newly built construction in Ekaterinburg downtown, i.e. Passage. Media sources wrote a lot on how it was constructed and what materials were used. So what? Has anyone given even a thought to it? Zavodovsky and Pogrebinsky developers demonstrated to the megapolis that they can not only unlawfully build a huge shopping mall in the central square, but risk hundred lives of its visitors as well. Corruption?

In his article, Zygar explains it to the foreign readers, that Putin forms his team with sort-of agents Smiths from the Matrix movie – forty-year-old managers with an eye to FSB. It must be easier to explain what's going on in the Tsardom to the Western audience this way.

As to us, whose hearts’ doors are knocked to by the ashes of Kemerovo’s kids, Grebenshchikov is closer.

"This train is on fire, and we’ve no brakes to hit.

This train is on fire, and we’ve nowhere to run to.

This land used to be ours, until we got locked in the fight,

It will die, should it get no one’s. It’s time to reclaim this land to ourselves".

Again and again I think of going to the big press conference of Putin with a simple question: Mr. Putin, is all that’s happening in Russia your fault or your misfortune? I have found the answer without the Tsar.

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