Putin is having a lousy Infrastructure Summer.
Days ago, it was this ruptured gas line in the city of Mytishchi, dangerously near two reactors supplying power to the North and North-East districts of Moscow.
The blaze spread quickly, killing one person and causing multiple injuries.
The Perm Central Market was soon on fire.
Russia’s EMERCOM confirmed the fire at the TEC-27 power plant in the Moscow region, claiming that reserve power sources would prevent any blackouts.
The fire and fury in Mytishchi seems insignificant in contrast to the deep sea conflagration two weeks ago.
On July 2, Russia lost use of its ultra advanced, extremely expensive, top secret military submersible nicknamed the Losharik. The cause of the nuclear-powered sub “accident” is cloaked in secrecy but broadly attributed to an onboard fire or explosion. The damaged sub, purportedly used for surveillance and clandestine missions, was towed from the Berents Sea to a Russian port. Only four survived.
However, this was no ordinary accident. The dramatic explosion on the submarine turned heads in Washington, as VP Pence made his sudden u-turn and huddled in secret with Trump and his inner circle. Norway immediately began testing for radiation. And the full extent of the Losharik mishap became clearer days later.
Popular Mechanics cited a Russian Navy official who proclaimed that Losharik seamen “prevented a planetary catastrophe” quoting remarks made at the funeral of the fourteen naval officers killed during the event.
An aid to the head of the Russian Navy, Sergei Pavlov, stated at a funeral for the sailors lost in the accident, “With their lives, they saved the lives of their colleagues, saved the vessel and prevented a planetary catastrophe.”
Other reports noted that the public was prevented from getting anywhere near the caskets of the fallen, a precaution taken with radioactive remains.
The Kremlin denied that the nuclear reactor powering the Losharik was in danger. Its denial rings hollow when seen alongside another headline. This one from Norway cited an increase in radiation leaking from another sunken Russian sub. The leakage is 8000 times higher than normal. Other news reports give an even higher number.
Back to the present.
In May, another disaster struck. Flight Radar tracked the grisly landing of the SU1492, a Russian Sukhoi Superjet-100 passenger plane that exploded in a ball of flames as it attempted a landing at Sheremetyevo Airport shortly after take off.
Russian news sources reported that 42 of the 78 aboard were consumed in the flames of the SU1492 as it stood on the runway awaiting emergency fire and rescue.
This tragedy occurred on May 5.
Putin’s horrible Infrastructure Summer began in late April with two sets of crises.
The first crisis took a short while to materialize. Reports emerged that Russian crude oil meant for delivery to Europe was rejected because of contamination. By May 10, Forbes was reporting the full extent of the situation.
Since April 20th nearly 5 million tons of Russian crude bound for Europe has been stuck in westbound pipelines. The flow of oil is suspended due to high levels of contamination by organochloride, a chemical used to facilitate the extraction of heavy oil.
The stoppage is costing Putin plenty.
Says Forbes: “Russia is losing half a billion dollars a day in oil profits – revenue that the country desperately needs amidst biting U.S. sanctions and years of anemic economic growth.”
The cause of the contamination appears to be internal sabotage, although that is based on the Kremlin’s investigation.
The private Nikolayevka Oil Refinery owns the Druzhba pipeline ferrying the contaminated crude. It exchanged hands in 2018, and its original owner, a Russian-Maltese named Roman Trushev, has left the country. He’s since been arrested in absentia for polluting the crude passing through the so-called Friendship pipeline.
Meduza did its own thorough investigation and seemingly pointed the finger at the privately owned refinery once associated with Trushev.
Just as this extraordinarily expensive oil blockage was occupying Putin, yet another calamity filled the Siberian skies with flames and billowing black smoke.
This time, Russia’s newest line of ICBMs, nicknamed the Satan, were involved.
TASS reported that the April 26 blaze located at a Siberian plant that produces “Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) and Sineva submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBM),” had been successfully brought under control. The plant, in the industrial city of Krasnoyarsk on the Yenisei River, also makes Sineva ballistic missiles and sections of Zenith and Proton rockets.
Once again, open source intel channels streamed the news as this frightening fire raged out of control amid reports of explosions.
A few days ago, Putin boasted that the silo-based, thermonuclear RS-28 Sarmat missile will complete its final testing in late 2020 and deployment could begin the following year.
There is still plenty of time for more Infrastructure calamities between now and then.