Will Krymsk become Bush's New Orleans for Putin?

Public Opinion Research Center Levada, which the "progressive part" of the Russian society regards as most objective, exposed the results of a new study that showed the growth of the Russian president's rating in July.  As many as  67% of respondents approve of Vladimir Putin's work as president. It would seem to be the opposite, given the recent flash floods in Russia's south.

Of course, they tried to explain this fact (the growth of Putin's popularity, despite the media campaign about yet another crime of the "murderous regime") saying that Putin's rating was recovering, rather than growing after a sharp fall.

"The sharp decline," as Levada said, demonstrated itself with a decrease from 69 percent in May to 64 percent in June. Recall that the statistical error of all sociological research is 3% and judge for yourself to which extent the president's rating "collapsed" in the eyes of Russian citizens.

Let's assume that the rating has been "recovering." This is still not "cool" for those certain of the following: "The tragedy in Krymsk, in Russia's Krasnodar region, has shown the Russia that does not believe anyone in the Russian authorities - not even Mr. Putin."

Indeed, it is hard to believe anyone judging by what people have been posting on the net: "For Putin, the flood in the Krasnodar region should become what New Orleans became for Bush in 2005."

What did New Orleans become for Bush in 2005? Here is some reference: "On August 29, 2005 Hurricane Katrina reached the southeastern coast of the United States in the area of the states of Louisiana and Mississippi. The hurricane struck Louisiana, the south and center of Mississippi, the south of Alabama, the west of Georgia, the west and south of Florida.

As a result of the disaster, 800,000 people were left without electricity and telephone service. The official confirmed death toll reached 1,600. The economic damage made up $125 billion. The decline of President Bush's rating reached 38% - a record low in history (Newsweek).

What were the accusations that Bush's regime had to deal with? It turns out that experts predicted almost all consequences of Hurricane Katrina in advance. Moreover, they tested the consequences with various computer models. The Americans were frankly puzzled as to why the authorities were so unprepared.

Moreover, according to BBC News, just before the disaster, President Bush was personally warned about its possibilities. This is evidenced with the footage of the videoconference, which Bush held with his employees on August 28 at his ranch in Texas. Later, he acknowledged that the actions of the authorities were ineffective. He also promised to do everything possible to rescue people and rebuild New Orleans.

However, it was too late: Bush was accused of incompetence and nearly racism (the vast majority of the affected were African-Americans) and genocide.

Hence the corresponding sociology:  only 28% of Americans said at that time that they were satisfied with the state of affairs in the country. And as much as 40% of Americans rated the government's response to the crisis in New Orleans as "bad", 32% - as "satisfactory", 21% - as "good" and only 5% - "excellent."

Now back to Russia and Levada. The question - "Is Russia moving in the right or wrong direction?" - received 44% of positive answers in July (vs. 28% in the U.S. in September 2005).

Another indicative question - "Does the federal government do everything to cope with the disastrous consequences of the recent flood?" - showed the following results:

"definitely yes" - 21% (versus 5% in the U.S. in 2005)

"probably yes" - 42% (against 21% in the U.S.),

"probably no" - 22% (against 32% in the U.S.),

"definitely no" - 8% (against 40% in the U.S.).

Now just try to think whether Krymsk may become Putin's New Orleans even with all the "terrible truth about Krymsk" from the Internet.

Mikhail Sinelnikov


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Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov