Pensioners in Russia's Far East have gone without food and warm clothes as care home managers misspent their state pensions, an investigation has found.
Prosecutors in the Republic of Sakha found that elderly residents had not received any mittens or gloves since 2009, despite weather in the area regularly plunging to minus 40 degrees Celsius. Residents had also not been given any new underwear for the past two years, officials said in a press statement.
Managers had instead spent residents' pensions on institutional needs such as waste disposal and staff training, deliberately manipulating menus to hide that pensioners were not getting enough food.
Authorities also criticized the local Ministry of Labour and Social Development, whose audits failed to flag up the problems.
Prosecutors were pushed to launch the case when one retiree wrote a letter of complaint to Russian President Vladimir Putin. The president was invited to dine with residents and judge whether state funds were well spent.