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Yugeny Vitishko: We are working 24 hours a day. We have made bunks and sleep in turn

Yugeny Vitishko about the Aid Centre in Krymsk

Special for the YABLOKO web-site

July 10, 2012

The Aid Centre for the flood victims established by YABLOKO and North Caucusus Environmental Watch have been functioning in Krymsk for the fourth day. It all started with one truck which brought food and clothing to Krymsk immediately after the disaster. Now help comes from all the Southern Russia. YABLOKO activists from Krasnodar, Novorossiysk, Sochi and Tuapse are working day and night in the Adagumskaya street, the most affected street of Krymsk. Yugeny Vitishko, one of the coordinators of the head-quarters and leader of the Tuapse branch of YABLOKO, told us about the work of the Centre, the moods in the city and the actions of the authorities.

Question: Yugeny, first of all, we would like to know what is most needed as aid? What people need most?

Vitishko: There are acute shortages of anything there, we have everything. However the most needed things are food, personal care items and candles. People come and tell us what they need and we coordinate purchase of these things.

Question: The Aid Centre is located by house No 153 in Adagumskaya street, by the shop Magnet. Tell us about the work of the centre. How are you providing aid?

Vitishko: We are working 24 hours a day. We have made bunks and sleep in turn. I have not slept since yesterday (laughs). We have about 20 people working here. Our camp is divided into sectors: sectors for delivery and provision of food, clothing, electricity, etc. Now the city is completely de-energized, only we have a generator. People are continuously coming to charge phones or boil tea.

In the coming days we are planning to examine the streets we have not visited yet. We will be walking around with a megaphone, and will look for those who have not received aid yet. I am afraid there will be such people there are many pensioners and elderly in the city who have difficulty to move independently.

Question: Humanitarian aid is coming to you from all over the country. How do people respond to help?

Vitishko: They express their thankfulness. They asked who we are and where do we come from.

Question: And how do people assess the actions of the governments?

Vitishko: I believe that dismissals of the district administration were completely useless, it is more important to coordinate actions at site. Until today only we have been working here. Just today I have noticed that the authorities ordered to start inspection per household, but nothing has been done until today. So far such actions have not been coordinated with us, or between federal services.

Question: Watching television reports from the site it is hard to believe that people can stand that. What moods are in the city now? Is there panic?

Vitishko: There is no panic now. Yesterday it was hard, when there were rumors about the second wave, but now everything is calm. It is obvious that people are recovering from the shock, but still they are very scared and nervous. Certainly, this is hard. The city is de-energized, the water is undrinkable. There are also minor conflicts, and the need in psychological help is strongly felt. Some people try to make food reserves our of fear, and we have to explain that this is not necessary.

Question: The press has already reported on several looting cases in the city. Have you witnessed this?

Vitishko: We have not seen this, although I can not rule this out. But there is police in the streets, and we also give them tea.

Question: What was the most difficult for you these days?

Vitishko: The most difficult thing for me is to understand what happened. I am a geologist by training, but the causes of the disaster have been still unclear for me. I have already taken some soil samples for research, but certainly now it is too early to draw any conclusions. First, we have to finish work at site, which, in my opinion, will not be soon.

See also:

YABLOKOs Aid Centre for the victims of the flood in the southern Russia keeps working in Krymsk. Press Release, July 10, 2012.

Flood victims left without help in Krymsk held a spontaneous rally. Press Relese, July 9, 2011

YABLOKO leader arrived in Krymsk with a truck of humanitarian aid. Press Release, July 9, 2012.

Criminal negligence of officials led to deaths of people in the Krimskiy district, the Krasnodar Area
Statement by YABLOKO Chairman. July 7, 2012.

Human Rights




Press Release

July 10, 2012

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