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Paying Out the Dead

One can appreciate Vladimir Putin’s genuine efforts in response to the tragic accident at the hydroelectric dam in Sayano-Shushenskaya.  He’s ordered a probe into the state’s infrastructure, and promised to boost much needed investments – this dam provided 2% or the entire country’s energy.  The latest news is that the surviving family members of the 26 confirmed dead workers, and potentially of the other 49 missing workers, will get a pay out from the Kremlin of about $30,000.

That’s a heck of a lot better than Dmitry Medvedev’s handling of the crisis in the North Caucasus.  In response to the bloodshed and latest suicide bombing, he reiterated his desire to prohibit jury trials in these types of cases.  It might not be the functional equivalent of Putin’s move to directly appoint regional governors right after Beslan, but it’s still pretty bad for the justice system.