Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed his concern this year over natural disasters of an unprecedented magnitude in Russia, which is witnessing devastating wildfires in Siberia and flooding in the south.
During a video meeting with local officials, the Russian president directed the government to do “everything possible to help the population of Siberia, whose areas have seen major wildfires from the drought, as well as the population of the South.” , where the flood was recorded.”
In Yakutia (Siberia), the coldest and largest regions of Russia, the fire burned more than 9.4 million hectares, which is more than the territory of Portugal.
Russian scientists and environmentalists concluded that “the current fires are caused by climate change and global warming.”
“All this once again shows how important it is for us to commit ourselves in a deep and systematic way to the climate and environment program in the future,” Putin said.
He continued, “the scale and nature of natural disasters in some regions are absolutely unprecedented,” calling for “addressing environmental issues in a thorough and systematic manner”.
Putin ordered officials to be “ready to evacuate more residents, especially the elderly, from areas prone to fire, and to provide them with financial aid.”
Putin asked local officials to “assess the damage caused by the fire and draw up a plan to rebuild the homes”.
For their part, the local authorities solicited support and financial assistance from Moscow to repair the damage caused by these disasters.
“The scale of the fire in his region is unprecedented in history,” said Esen Nikolaev, governor of the Yugatia region. He sought “support to compensate for the damage caused to agricultural crops”.
On Friday, Russia launched a national response center and deployed an additional number of firefighters to fight the major wildfire that ravaged Siberia.
And the governor of the Krasnodar Territory, Vinyamin Kondratiev, insisted that “it rained on his territory in one day, which usually falls for a year.”
In Crimea, which Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014, Governor Sergei Akhinov said “two people died in the floods” and added that more than 3,000 people had sought help from the authorities.
For years, Putin was skeptical of climate change, and even believed that Russia could benefit from the change.
This year, Putin attended a summit convened by his US counterpart Joe Biden and voiced support for “international cooperation” on climate change.
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