Wildfires: Putin back in full control, Medvedev 2nd best

What is the main lesson to consider regarding this summer wildfires in Russia. Is the government weakened and criticized as Western media claim? Let’s be serious!!! No, paradoxally this summer’s big winner is Vladimir Putin who got the perfect occasion to show Russia and the world who really is the boss in today’s Russia.

Who’s made the frontline of Russian media? Who’s been seen among victims and firefighters? Who’s actually been joining an airborne firefighting team? Vladimir Putin! Who was in his office ? Meeting officials? And waiting for Putin’s phone calls (this image was actually really on Russian TV)? Dmitry Medvedev!

The situation is clear enough. When the situation gets tough, daddy’s back… And that should be enough to stop speculations over a so-called rivalry between the two men.

Please find below an extract from the Guardian on Putin’s airborne firefighting mission. Funny how Western media accept their own leaders PR set ups and mock Putin…

Russia prime minister, Vladimir Putin climbed into a firefighting plane yesterday and dumped water on two of the hundreds of wildfires sweeping through western Russia and cloaking Moscow in a suffocating smog. In a carefully managed photo opportunity, he joined an airborne firefighting team dumping water on one of the two hundred fires. After taking off in a Be-200 firefighting plane, he then moved into the co-pilot’s seat. Usefully placed television cameras captured the moment he pushed a button to unleash gallons of water on forest fires about 120 miles south-east of Moscow. After hitting the button, Putin glanced toward the pilot and asked, “Was that OK?” The response: “A direct hit!”

The fires that have savaged Russia in the past two weeks have caused billions of dollars in damage and left thousands homeless. Putin has called on soldiers to help overstretched firefighting brigades and has played a visible role, walking through villages effected by the fires and promising new homes.

Damage from the fires was expected to hit $15bn (£9.5bn), although the government has yet to release any damage estimates. The hottest summer since record-keeping began has cost Russia more than a third of its wheat crop and prompted the government to ban wheat exports.

The acrid smog that has engulfed Moscow for a week eased slightly yesterday, but pollution remains a serious problem in the city. Putin summoned Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov, who said the situation in the capital was difficult but that city health authorities were doing what was needed to help people cope with the heat and smog.

Ambulances calls have risen by nearly a quarter, Luzhkov said.

Sergei Gordeichenko, the head of the Forestry Agency for the Moscow region, was fired on Tuesday, following criticism from the president that he had not cut short his summer holiday to tend to the crisis. Medvedev has also been criticised for being slow to interrupt his holiday on the Black Sea and failing to interact with villagers who had lost their homes.


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