54 Requests for Krymsk Flood Relief Repayment Unjustified, Prosecutor Says

Over 50 Krymsk residents who received demands from the regional government to return funds provided as compensation for damage caused by last July's floods will get to keep the money, a spokesman for the Krasnodar regional prosecutor said Wednesday.

Of a total 161 requests for repayment, 54 of them were unfounded, RIA-Novosti reported.

In January, a total of 161 Krymsk residents were asked to return funds provided to them earlier by the regional government as compensation for damage caused by massive flooding in July. The move was attributed to mistakes made in the process of issuing payouts that resulted in overpayments.

"There was no basis for such a request in 54 of the cases," the spokesman said. The decisions were made prematurely, he said, without conducting any follow-up research.

"The current situation is the result of poor coordination between agencies of the local Krymsk administration with regional authorities, and the absence of an individual approach to each concrete case on the issue of providing state support," he said.

The prosecutor's statement follows President Vladimir Putin's statements on Tuesday evening that any victims of the flooding who mistakenly received extra funds should be allowed to keep the money.

"That shouldn't have been done, taking money back from these people. They could've already spent it. Where are they going to find that money for you now? That's why I just spoke with the finance minister, and the solution is this: We need to leave those people alone and leave them with all the funds, and whoever already gave the money back, we should return it to," Putin said at a meeting in Sochi on flood relief efforts, Interfax reported.

More than 170 people died in the flooding, which destroyed thousands of homes in Krymsk on July 7. The total amount of compensation paid out to victims amounted to 4 billion rubles ($133 million).

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