Enjoying ad-free content?
Since July 1, 2024, we have disabled all ads to improve your reading experience.
This commitment costs us $10,000 a month. Your support can help us fill the gap.
Support us
Our journalism is banned in Russia. We need your help to keep providing you with the truth.

Siberian Governor Sparks Backlash With 'Insulting' Comments to Flood Victims

Kirill Shipitsin / TASS

The head of a Siberian region hit by major floods has sparked online backlash for comments addressed toward victims that were deemed insulting.

Authorities in the Krasnoyarsk region town of Kansk declared a state of emergency and evacuated dozens of residents amid severe flooding last weekend. The neighboring Irkutsk region bore the brunt of the devastation, where 14 people have been killed in what scientists have called the biggest floods in 180 years.

Krasnoyarsk governor Alexander Uss visited Kansk on Monday, where he examined the extent of the damage and vowed swift disaster relief measures to the estimated 300 victims. Some of Uss’ exchanges with residents caught on video, however, showed Uss in an unfavorable light.

“What do you want to tell me? You want to appeal to the law?” Uss asked one resident after she asked if they would be evacuated by helicopter in case of more flooding. 

“I can appeal to the law too,” he told the woman, who had told him “we’ll be cut off from the world if the road is washed away.”

In another eyebrow-raising exchange, Uss can be seen interrupting a resident who had begun to ask a question, telling the resident: “Calm down, let me fix your collar” as he taps the unamused man on the shoulder.

The governor’s comments ignited online backlash, with local news outlets citing social media comments that call his behavior “unexpected” and “rude.”

Update: Uss later called and apologized to the female resident from the video, the woman told the state-run RIA Novosti news agency.

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more