Chronicle of diving Governor. Why does Irkutsk region Head Levchenko commit political suicide?
While the Irkutsk region was submerging, Governor of the region Sergey Levchenko remained in Moscow. He knocked the thresholds of high offices, drank and ate at the 75th anniversary of his party boss Gennady Zyuganov. He returned to his native region only to the visit of President Vladimir Putin. On the same day, the fire broke out at the Tukolon reserve, cutting down of which led to the criminal case against the Minister of Forest Complex Sergey Sheverda.
Most recently, The CrimeRussia has written that the Governor of the Irkutsk region, Sergey Levchenko, faced the criminal prosecution for the first time. The case materials over the brutal murder of a sleeping bear right in the den were requested to Moscow. At the same time, the security forces and supervisory agencies became more active, arrests and discharges began. The inhabitants of the region started collecting signatures under an appeal to the President with a request to dismiss the Governor. Probably, the people opinion would not be ignored.
What does a normal Governor do in this situation? He tries to prove that all claims against him are unfounded, that he is a competent leader who does not spare himself for the good of the region. When the Irkutsk region limelight the whole country, the Governor was not there at all. Levchenko was warned that the weather report was unfavorable. As early as June 23, hydrometeorologists reported to the Government of the Irkutsk region and the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry for the Irkutsk region that a cyclone was approaching, and heavy rain was expected in the mountains. The Irkutsk region understands what it means: the water from the Sayans will rush to the plain, the rivers will overflow.
The Irkutsk region Directorate of the Ministry of Emergency Situations of Russia reported that the water level in the rivers Irkut, Belaya and Biryusa had already increased by 20–25 cm due to heavy rainfall. Rescuers began to patrol the coast and take regular measurements. Meteorologists said: the rains are gaining strength and will continue until the end of the week. An emergency warning has been announced in the region. On June 25, rescuers began the first evacuations: they began to take the children out of the Zarya health camp. What did Levchenko know about the threat? He boarded the plane and flew to Moscow. The Irkutsk Governor has more important things to do. What if the flood turns the criminal case of Minister of Forestry Sergey Shverda into the case against Governor Levchenko?
A source of the CrimeRussia in local law enforcement agencies said that the Minister, who was arrested by the court, did not like the SIZO. So far he has just begun to testify, but he is already answering questions from investigators extensively. The names of the curator of the forestry sector and the right hand of the Governor Dmitry Chernyshov and Levchenko have not yet sounded.
Perhaps Levchenko became aware of the Minister’s extreme pliability, so he flew to Moscow so hastily. The Irkutsk Administration says that the Governor hoped to get a personal appointment with the ICR Head Alexander Bastrykin. The Head of the region expected to agree about Sheverda's release under house arrest, but he could not get through to Bastrykin. For some unknown reason, the prearranged meeting with the Head of Rosleskhoz, Ivan Valentik, also failed.
Head of Rosleskhoz, Ivan Valentik
On June 26, the Bolshaya Belaya and Uda rivers overflowed and flooded the first household plots. The state of emergency was announced in Nizhneudinsk and the Solyarnaya village of the Taishet District. On June 27, water in Nizhneudinsk and Tulun began to flood the first floors of houses. By evening, Nizhneudinsk turned into Venice, and more than 700 homes were submerged in the region. The emergency has already been introduced in the entire Irkutsk region. Services began to evacuate residents of Nizhneudinsk, Taishet and Tulun districts.
What did the Governor of the Irkutsk region do when the part went under water? He visited a banquet in honor of the celebration of the 75th anniversary of Gennady Zyuganov. While residents of the Irkutsk region lost roofs over their heads, its Head drank, ate and made toasts for the health of the leader of the Communist Party, who nominated him for the post of Governor.
By the morning of June 28, the situation was catastrophic. The water rose two meters above the critical levels, flooded 20 settlements, more than four thousand houses and personal plots, damaged 13 road bridges. Sixteen local roads and six kilometers of the Siberia federal highway went under water. The movement along the only way connecting the west and east of the country was stopped. There was a threat that Transsib would also soon went under. By lunchtime, the flood took the first lives: in the village of Evdokimovskiy, an 86-year-old man and an eight-year-old boy were killed. Soon it became known about another dead.
The Governor of the Irkutsk region learned much more important news for him: Valentik publicly announced that he had submitted a letter of resignation to Dmitry Medvedev. Earlier, the Head of the Federal Forestry Agency tried to justify the "sanitary felling" in the Irkutsk region, which got him fame as patron of Sheverda. And the fact that after the arrest of the Irkutsk Minister Valentik hurried to leave the post became a warning for Levchenko: the situation is dangerous. There will be a full-scale investigation of the “forest crime” in the Irkutsk region. Levchenko had to urgently develop a plan on how to avoid the new criminal cases. Perhaps that is why the Governor did not have time to follow the events in his native region.
On June 28, the water broke through a dam in Tulun, built after the 2006 floods. When it was commissioned in 2009, residents of the city were assured that the barrier would protect the city for the “next 100 years”. But a hundred-year guarantee, given by officials, did not work, the high water broke through into the city. Only after this that the Tulun residents were evacuated. The corpses of people were pulled out of the water.
Everyone except its leader realized the unprecedented scale of the disaster in the Irkutsk region. Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev convened an emergency meeting and instructed Emergency Situations Minister Yevgeny Zinichev to fly to the Irkutsk region. It became known that the President of the country intends to go from the Osaka summit to the disaster zone. Vladimir Putin found it necessary to monitor the situation in Priangarie personally. It means to commit political suicide remaining in Moscow when water floods cities in your region, and the President flies to figure out what is happening. Levchenko had to distract from the thoughts about the Sheverda case and leave the capital.
The Governor returned to Priangarye only on June 29. Bratsk has already waited for the landing of the President's plane. Everything that the Governor did for the Irkutsk region in the four days that have passed since the beginning of the catastrophe was the personal meeting with Vladimir Putin at the board No. 1.
Levchenko did not have time to do the research, and he got confused at the emergency meeting gathered by the President, sometimes he was utterly naughty. For example, Putin promised that monetary compensation to the victims would be transferred to cards. “So many have neither bankcards nor documents. There are no ATMs either,” Putin was surprised.
Even the President understood what kind of Governor heads the Irkutsk region. The President told Levchenko that you need to personally visit the victims, all the temporary accommodation centers without exception. He also asked Levchenko to “talk to people.” And then he removed Levchenko from the management of the elimination of the flood consequences, entrusting this task to Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko.
On June 29, the flood reached a peak. During the absence of the Governor, the wave took the lives of at least 14 people, more than three hundred suffered. That is how Sergey Sokol, the Chairman of the Legislative Assembly of the Irkutsk region, described the situation in the city, who, unlike Levchenko, considered it necessary to come to Tulun: “We spent about an hour and a half on boats where Tulun streets used to be. The houses were either flooded with roofs or were completely blown away. The mass of demolished buildings is now reaching the federal highway.” At the same time, Sokol was forced to state that he did not see "a clear and well-coordinated work on the part of regional executive bodies." Nobody parses the debris, the supply of victims of food and necessities is not organized. Evacuees have to sleep right on the floor; there are no mattresses and folding beds.
At this very moment, Levchenko finally took to lead the rescue of the Irkutsk region from the water and the consequences of flooding. No one has any doubts about what he is doing, so he put on the uniform of the Emergency Ministry rescuer with the “Governor of the Irkutsk Region” patch.
While the Governor posed for the cameras, and the attention of all journalists was focused on the flood, another event occurred; it was directly related to the Sheverda's case. On the day of the Governor's return, Irkutsk forests caught fire. Of course, the flames engulfed the Tukolon nature reserve, the very one that was hacked out by Sheverda. Piles of deforested woods broke out. The fire spread quickly over a vast area, which immediately led to assume: it was not an accident, but arson. In less than two hours, the ignition area increased 50 times, to 25 hectares. In a matter of hours, the flames destroyed all the wood that could have become evidence of the corruption of Sheverda and his high patrons.
On June 1, two days after the fire, the environmental Prosecutor's Office began checking in the Tukolon reserve to find out if forest cuttings could cause a fire. Perhaps it was the prosecutor's check that made him lose his temper. The Governor suddenly lost his self-control and shouted at a federal edition journalist. The Izvestia correspondent dared to ask Levchenko why people were not given temporary accommodation or were not accommodated in hotels. He screamed: “Why are you lying? First, answer the question, then we will answer your questions! Why are you doing this? You came from Moscow to make panic here, to lie to people.”
What kind of “questions he will have to answer”? And who will ask them to the Governor? Maybe not journalists, but investigators who “come from Moscow to spread panic here”? A source of The CrimeRussia says that local law enforcement agencies are already waiting for colleagues from the capital. It is expected that a group of investigators from the department of Bastrykin will arrive in Irkutsk.