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Post Estimating Kemerovo Fire Death Toll
Created by John Eipper on 03/28/18 3:54 AM

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Estimating Kemerovo Fire Death Toll (Boris Volodarsky, Austria, 03/28/18 3:54 am)

Gary Moore (27 March) asked me whether I know anything about a concealed death toll in the Kemerovo tragedy.

Well, as I was not there myself (and even if I were I wouldn't be objective or precise), I can only use information from the sources that I can more or less trust, and the official information of the Investigative Committee of Russia (EsKa) giving a number of victims as 64 is certainly not to be believed, as much as this whole corrupt organization in general.

For my quotation I used Russia-24 and the Facebook/Twitter statements of witnesses and relatives reporting from the site (see the reference):

https://lenta.ru/news/2018/03/27/hackers/

Later the authorities claimed that it was a Ukrainian hacker's attack giving false information but, as mentioned, I do not believe the Russian authorities but rather the poor local citizens who lost their loved ones.

As a matter of fact, no one today believes the claims of the Russian authorities, and this is rather the Russian president's and not anybody else's fault.

JE comments:  Boris, do you think the Kemerovo protests will lead to any political change?  I would presume not (beyond a mid-level scapegoat or two), but I'd like to hear your perspective.


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  • Estimating Kemerovo Death Toll; from Gary Moore (John Eipper, USA 03/29/18 3:30 AM)

    Gary Moore writes:



    On the death toll in the Keremovo mall fire in Russia, Boris Volodarsky (28 March) said he got the 400 figure from Facebook and Twitter reports by
    witnesses, as opposed to the 64 figure being used by even very skeptical
    Western media.


    To confirm the 400 figure, Boris supplied a link, but the
    content of that link would seem to me to do the opposite, and suggest
    that the higher number is indeed a hack carrying disinformation, as the
    authorities are claiming. I'm no cheerleader for those authorities,
    but take a look at the 400 announcement, below. Sounds a bit like
    the US-aimed disinformation from the bot factory, though this time
    with targets reversed.


    The lenta.ru linked article Boris supplied says:


    https://lenta.ru/news/2018/03/27/hackers/



    "Hackers again declared 'hundreds of dead' in Kemerovo"
    "The unknown parties hacked the page of the TV channel 'Russia 24'
    in the social network 'VKontakte' and again announced 300-400 dead
    in a fire in the SEC "Winter Cherry" [mall] in Kemerovo:
    "DEAR SUBSCRIBERS !!!! !!! ALL THE MEDIA WILL KEEP YOU !!! [sic]
    Killed in Kemerovo as a result of the fire, TC MUCH MORE! 300-400 people !!!!
    ....Apparently there was a deliberate burning of chemical reagents for rapid
    ignition and smoke! Most of the children died! (...) DO NOT BELIEVE....
    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! IT IS ALL PUTINSKY !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! "


    This divide--400 or 64--is very important in a larger sense,
    speaking to the whole question of Potemkin-Village public
    reality in Russia, especially since the larger number is found
    persuasive by a prestigious authority like Boris. But can he
    really trust traumatized and chaotic impressions from non-responders
    on Twitter and Facebook? Boris, would you supply
    some of those links, too?


    JE comments:  When the "Putinsky" truth is believed by no one, there is space for all types of counter-truths.  Scores of exclamation points are supposed to add credibility, but probably they do the opposite.  


    Gary Moore has studied the public psychology of death tolls in a number of history's massacres and riots.  The grim calculus often tells us less about the tragedies themselves than about the mood of a given society.

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  • Will Kemerovo Protests Bring Change? No (Boris Volodarsky, Austria 03/29/18 3:58 AM)

    John E asked: "Boris, do you think the Kemerovo protests will lead to any political change? I would presume not (beyond a mid-level scapegoat or two)."



    BV: Political change? In Russia? After such glorious election? Certainly not. The National Leader is as strong as ever and after the compensation to the families who lost their children, or parents, or both, the case will be closed forever with a couple of scapegoats behind bars.



    Behind the National Leader--quietly but firmly--stands the several thousand-strong National Guard armed with the best Swiss weapons and equipment worth (if you only take one most recent deal) over 150 million dollars. This money was not used to improve the safety of the Kemerovo Shopping Mall and other ugly buildings of the Putin era not designed and constructed by foreigners, but to protect the National Leader from the Kemerovo inhabitants and similar creatures who occupy old apartment blocks, huts and hovels on the territory of the former Soviet Union.



    Political change? The day of national mourning on Wednesday, 28 March (yesterday) will be followed by festive preparations for Easter and after 8 March--La grande Pâque russe--under the slogan "Let our enemies be scattered."


    JE comments:  That settles that.  I can never resist follow-up questions to a Boris Volodarsky post.  This time, I'm curious about the National Guard.  Is this Putin's private army, his SS, so to speak?  Remember Gaddafi's Amazonians?

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