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Wednesday 08.04.2020 | Name days: Dana, Dans, Danute, Edgars

Protecting image: Putin visits flood zone and due to meet Annan

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Russia's President Vladimir Putin

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has visited Krymsk for the second time in eight days to meet survivors of deadly floods, which claimed 171 lives.

“We need to help people in the true sense of the word – to help them clear their homes and lands,” Putin said, promising to send 5 000 servicemen to help provide food, water, medicine and tents for the needy.

Meanwhile, the visit is said to have been mere attempt to dispel an image of leading a weak state two months after returning to the presidency. Although Putin often goes to the scene of big natural or man-made disasters, he rarely does it twice in such a short time. Allegedly, this signals his nervousness about his image following opposition protests that have undermined his authority, reports Reuters.

Therefore, television footage of the visit was clearly intended to depict Putin as in control and playing the role of the nation’s leader.

As reported, the Russian government accuses local authorities of mishandling floods, failing to issue proper warnings.

In Krymsk, people have been complaining that their leaders have let them down. They say the wall of water that swept through the mountain town was so high that the gates of a nearby reservoir must have been opened.

Flood victims have received initial $300 compensation payments from the government.

It should be added that Putin is trying hard not repeat his mistakes of August 2000, when he was on holiday when a nuclear submarine sank in the Barents Sea with 118 men on board. Back then, was accused by media of responding too slowly.

Meanwhile, it emerges that Putin is set to make another step that could polish his image. Namely, on Tuesday, July 17, he is meeting UN and Arab League special envoy Kofi Annan.

The two are expected to discuss the bloody violence that keeps raging in Syria, the Kremlin press service says.

Putin plans to reaffirm Russia’s support for Annan’s plan to peacefully resolve the armed uprising against President Bashar Assad, The Moscow Times reports.

“The Russian side believes that this [Annan’s] plan is the only viable platform for solving Syria’s internal problems,” the statement says.

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