Putin accepts Kemerovo Governor resignation

CEO of company owning Kemerovo's Zimnyaya Vishnya shopping mall arrested

According to the statement of the Kemerovo administration, Aman Tuleyev submits resignation as governor of the Russian Kemerovo region on a voluntary basis, according Sputnik.

In the political fallout from a mall fire in Siberia that killed 64 people, 41 of them children, a longtime regional governor resigned on Sunday. His current mandate was due to expire in 2020.

Tuleyev, who has served as the regional governor since 1997, having been re-elected four times, has handed in his resignation to Russian President Vladimir Putin, the regional administration's press service has said. "I want to tell you, residents of Kemerovo and all the region, that I will do everything for those guilty in this awful tragedy to receive the harshest punishment", Tsivilyov said in a video address posted on the regional administration's website. "I have met the families of the deceased, I have tried to settle the matter of aid". Tuleyev's deputy, Sergey Tsivilev, has been appointed as acting governor of Kemerovo region. Tuleev also recorded a video message to the residents of the Kemerovo region, in which he offered his condolences to the families of those killed in the Zimnyaya Vishnya fire and called his resignation "the only reasonable solution". But we have to live on. "I want to say to you, the residents of Kemerovo and the entire region, that I will do everything to ensure that those guilty in this awful tragedy are brought the strictest punishment". According to Emergency Service, the flame occurred on the fourth floor, where the cinema and children's playground are located.

President Vladimir Putin said the incident had been caused by "criminal negligence" and that those responsible would be punished.

Investigators said last week that fire exits had been illegally blocked, the public address system was not switched on, the alarm system was broken, and children had been locked inside cinemas.

Meanwhile, the majority of Russians blame owners and managing staff of the shopping compound for the deadly blaze in the Siberian city of Kemerovo, a survey made by Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VTsIOM) said on Friday.

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