Russia: Kemerovo Region governor accuses protesters of ‘capitalising on people’s grief’

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Governor of the Kemerovo Region Aman Tuleev accused those who gathered outside the local government headquarters on Kemerovo's Sovetov Square of “capitalising on people’s grief,” claiming that they “are not even the relatives of the deceased.” He made the comments while briefing Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday’s deadly shopping mall fire.

He described the protesters as an “opposition force” and those who “always protest,” adding “it is blasphemy when there is grief and you are trying to tackle your own problems by capitalising on this.”

At least 64 people, including many children, were killed in the fire which engulfed the shopping mall in Kemerovo on Sunday. According to the Russian Investigative Committee, the fire escape routes were blocked inside the mall. An investigation into the tragedy is underway.

The source of the blaze was on the top floor where several cinema halls and children's playgrounds with attractions were located.

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