KRYMSK, Russia — Vladimir Putin flew to southern Russia on Sunday for the second time in eight days to meet survivors of deadly floods, determined to dispel an image of leading a weak state two months after returning to the presidency.
Dressed casually in a blue-and-white check shirt, Putin chatted with residents of the town of Krymsk whose homes were damaged in floods that killed 171 people in Russia’s traditional “bread basket” area known as the Kuban on July 7.
“We need to help people in the true sense of the word — to help them clear their homes and lands,” Putin said, promising to send 5,000 servicemen to the region to help provide food, water, medicine and tents for the needy.
Lines of military trucks were already parked outside the mountain town of 57,000 people near the Black Sea, where most of the deaths happened. — Reuters