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Novokuznetsk Mayor Grapples with Record-Storm Aftermath Ahead of Moscow Official Visit

Uprooted fir trees in the city of Novokuznetsk. Yaroslav Belyayev / TASS

Officials in the Kemerovo (Kuzbass) region are grappling with the aftermath of a powerful storm that struck Siberia on Sunday, as Moscow begins scrutinizing how local authorities responded to the natural disaster, Telegram channel Russian Decadence said Wednesday, sharing video recordings of the officials’ meeting.

While addressing subordinate civil servants, the Novokuznetsk mayor Sergei Kuznetsov resorted to using profanity in an attempt to drive his colleagues to act, describing the events as a “state of emergency.”

"We need to deliver hot meals, water and essential supplies to people already,” Kuznetsov said. “Tomorrow, the Deputy Prosecutor General is coming here. Don't you understand, damn it?”

The mayor instructed officials to prepare all necessary documents for the visit of Russia’s Deputy Prosecutor General Dmitry Demeshin, who arrived in Novokuznetsk on Wednesday.

“Do you not understand that all of [these documents] will now go to the Prosecutor's Office? Have you completely lost your nerve, or what? They will put you all in jail!” Kuznetsov said.

The storm, which was the most powerful in half a century, hit Siberia over the weekend, resulting in at least four deaths and wreaking havoc in eight regions.

The hurricane-force winds of up to 35 meters per second deprived over 170 settlements of power, affecting tens of thousands of people.

In Kuzbass, a major Russian coal mining region, the storm killed three people and injured another 18, prompting the Investigative Committee to initiate a criminal case on the charge of negligence which led a falling tree killing people

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