March 28, 2018
There was this big fire in a shopping center in some little town in Russia. About a hundred people dead or hurt in the blaze.
Blocked fire exits, a shut-down alarm system, and “glaring violations” of safety rules exacerbated the human toll of a fire that swept through a busy Siberian shopping mall, killing 64 people as panicked visitors jumped from windows and banged on doors in an attempt to escape, Russian investigators say.
An Investigative Committee statement on March 26 suggested that the effects of the fire that broke out at a shopping center in Kemerovo a day earlier could have been much milder if not for violations committed during construction of the mall and after it opened in 2013.
And like a Tsar from the fairytales, Putin swoops in and starts demanding answers.
He does this quite a bit. Unlike in the US, where people rely on institutions for justice – in Russia, the institutions are still wobbly and the President is sort of expected to take a personal interest in things – and using his sweeping Tsar-like powers, to set things right according to what the people believe is Just.
So Putin does this thing where he periodically goes to some factory that hasn’t paid its workers or some town that’s trying to kick old people out of their homes and just starts firing people left and right.
Kind of like what Trump promised he would do…
And it’s quite cathartic and fun to watch him at work.
Anyway, this shopping center was run by some apparatchik of the United Russia political party – Putin’s former party – and owned by some billionaire playboy no one has heard of.
Apparently, they didn’t pay much attention to safety, so this is why the tragedy happened like it did – no sprinklers went off, no emergency lights, no alarm, nothing. Putin went down there to pay his respects, raise money for the victim’s families and demand answers and arrest/fire people.
So far so good.
But then he even started talking about demographics while he was there.
“We talk about demography and we are losing so many people – why? Because of criminal negligence, slovenliness,” Putin said. “How could this have happened?”
That’s not bad at all.
The demographics question is the question our leaders need to start asking and start asking it yesterday. It relates to pretty much everything and it must be the lens that our leaders use to assess pretty much any situation going forward.
I’m not saying that Russia is the savior of the White world – but boy is it nice to hear a world leader even voice these concerns and ideas from time to time.
Shit, he’s a liberal by Russian standards.
But until someone can one-up him, I’m on team Putin.