29.01.2022

Aman Tuleyev on “Winter Cherry”, rallies and the current government

Three years have passed since the tragedy in Kemerovo, but the whole country still recalls that horror with a shudder. People and children were on fire and no one was able to save them. Until now, none of the perpetrators of the tragedy has been imprisoned.

Until the end, all the circumstances have not been clarified. The former governor of Kuzbass, the legendary Aman Tuleyev, who lost his 11-year-old niece in this hellish fire, is sure that it was arson.

Aman Gumirovich told our colleagues from him why he thinks that the fire in Zimnyaya Vishnya was caused by arson.

“Personally, I think it was arson. But there is, of course, no evidence. Because well, too quickly [lit up], the temperature is 700 degrees. 700 degrees at once, in a moment! And then everything turns off automatically (talking about fire extinguishing systems that did not work. – Ed.). It turns off – these are, of course, corrupt officials, they [turned off] this alarm there. But this does not happen instantly! If it were from the wiring, it would still take longer [lights up]. But this is my opinion, legal documents, of course, I have no evidence. The investigation is underway, the main culprits have been named, – Aman Tuleyev told NGS42.RU.

He says he follows the courts, but from open sources. Tuleyev also said that he continues to communicate with the relatives of those killed in the fire. For him, “Winter Cherry” was not only a huge personal tragedy, after all the events, the governor of Kuzbass, the last of the heavyweight governors, resigned. He announced that he was leaving on April 1, 2018.

The former head of Kuzbass told NGS42.RU reporters how it all happened. About six months before the tragedy in the shopping center, he had an operation in Germany. After that, the doctors insisted on rehabilitation, but Tuleyev decided to return to the region.

– Immediately after all the operations [on the spine] I turned to President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin. He explained the situation that everything was fine with me, my head was working, I was able to work, but the problem was that my movements were limited. And additional rehabilitation is needed. The presidential administration asked me personally to wait for the new successor, they gave me my last name – Sergey Evgenievich Tsivilev. At that time he was building a powerful processing plant in Yakutia. They told me: “You accept him.” I had to put him on, which I did, to the post of deputy governor, “ride” him for at least two months so that he would plunge into the events. And then he is appointed. And he was supposed to arrive in November, before the New Year. And in January [2018], even at the end of [2017], to take up the duties of [governor]. Instead, he arrived at the end of February. Because he was engaged in the commissioning of an object in Yakutia. That’s why! Although many people think that this is my mistake. Yes, not mine, that is how the circumstances developed.

The ex-governor has been out of power for three years now, but he cannot dismiss the questions of the region’s residents. He communicates with them on his page in the social network, answers the most pressing questions. Here’s what he wrote in his last column:

– I want to sincerely thank you for your good wishes, for your assessment of everything that I have done as governor. Of course, this is all done together with you. My main wish to you is good health. You know, for me it is like a sip of living water after such a long silence about me. I am sure that all these good wishes will return to you and your families, I really want that. Thanks again!

But, as they say, not everything is white and fluffy. I also received very angry, cruel, I would say, comments. Especially with regard to the rally, which I did not attend, and why I did not attend. There were even obscene expressions with a distortion of my name. Now, dear fellow countrymen, we will finally dot all the “i” s, and now, pay attention, I am talking to you like in front of an icon.

It seems that I destroyed the economy and, in fact, did nothing. Dear spiteful critics, please raise all the assessments of my work and all Kuzbass people over these 20 years. Take the assessments of the government newspaper Rossiyskaya Gazeta, which can no longer manipulate the facts. It is not difficult to find them. One estimate! That over these 20 years of governorship together with you – I emphasize, only with you – has been done. Only at the expense of your mind, talent, I am not afraid of this word, the selfless labor of everyone. All of us together with you from the striking Kuzbass, knocking helmets all over the world, sitting on the rails, turned Kuzbass into a constructive one, the support of our state. This is your merit!

Therefore, dear spiteful critics, you remember: you are not insulting me personally, I am used to it, you insult all Kuzbass people with this, who achieved all this with incredible work. Hate is hate, but you always remember this if you can.

Many sources wrote, it is not difficult to find that over these 20 years we have made such a powerful leap forward in the coal and metallurgical industries. Especially in coal. Many countries of the world have not achieved such results even in 70 years. There are also official data. For 20 years of joint work, dear fellow countrymen, we have overcome two most powerful crises – the coal one and, accordingly, the financial one – and we got out of them with dignity.

Once again, I bow to you for this labor feat. Over the past two years, the economy, unfortunately, has been in a corral. Mainly due to the new crisis in the coal industry. Of course, I see the efforts being made by the regional administration. I see that over the past 2 years, the incomes of our population have dropped sharply, but at the same time, prices, as usual, have skyrocketed in everything, and especially for food products, tariffs for housing and communal services and – which I personally felt especially – for medicines in times. This, I think, is just blasphemy, because for the sake of health we will give the last money. I’m not even talking about the rise in gasoline prices.

One more thing. Now is Great Lent. And the first thing for a person, especially these days, is that there must be God and love in the soul. But it has already been proven, I say this to our respected journalists and all kinds of spiteful critics, that evil, deliberate distortion of information and insults in my direction will return to you like a boomerang. And if not personally to you, then to your loved ones. Please just think: do you want this? I understand that there is some kind of general conspiracy between the powers that be and journalists to write only bad things about me, to denigrate or keep silent so that everyone will forget about me. You know this, and I know, but this is our story. I do not blame you, I enter your position, because all our momentary actions are driven simply by fear for ourselves. Well, fear is our eternal engine. Therefore, I understand and do not condemn. Our Lord will put everything in its place,

And once again, dear journalists, understanding all your position, I would like to unobtrusively remind you that the current law on libel and insults has been passed. It seems to me that it should always be on your desktop. My personal opinion: I am against this law. I think that you can tie up anything you want under this. And then you will spend most of your time in the courts. And you will have a fun life! I do not hide the fact that my team has a highly professional attorney and lawyer. And you still have to remove many of the defamatory information written about me. By the way, now another new law is being prepared on this topic. But this, as they say, is for memory.

Now, of course, I believe there were some mistakes. Of course, I would have done even more if I had the money. Now they are falling on the region like a cornucopia. And under my governorship, we collected decent taxes, but 50% of these taxes were taken by the federal treasury. And I went to the government, the Ministry of Finance and begged for my own money for social programs.

And now let’s dot the “and” again. About a meeting in mourning days for us. Questions are constantly heard: “Why didn’t you go to the rally?”, “Why did you call the protesters Buzoters?” There is nothing more to say, the courts are underway, the main culprits have been named. However, in my opinion, the courts take a long time. Apparently there are reasons! And again, the main owner, in my opinion, is somewhere abroad.

Now further. Where did the word buzoter come from? I immediately ask everyone for forgiveness for this word, which I said in a strong emotional outburst. How did it even appear. Here’s the story: in the Novokuznetsk region, a provocative rally was organized more than three years ago, but schoolchildren were invited to the rally, schoolbags, bags were on their backs, and dolls were peeping out of some. Well, they went out and went out, although it is blasphemous to attract children to such actions. But they were taken out to the territory of the operating open-pit mine. And this chain of children stood along the technological road, along which huge BELAZ trucks often pass, loaded with coal, from which blocks of coal are poured. You understand what a danger it is.

But get together in the club, in the square, you want to dance, but not in the same dangerous place! Of course, I turned to them in impatience and fervor, I said: “What are you doing, little buzoters?” I wanted to address it in a diminutive manner, the little ones … Remember, as in Pushkin in Eugene Onegin: “She replaced the dry” you with the hearty “you, saying a word,”. I wanted it affectionately, in a fatherly way, but it worked out, remember how our legendary Viktor Stepanovich Chernomyrdin: “We wanted the best …” stuck to all the meetings, including this one. Here’s the point.

Now again about the rally, about its mass character. And one more thing that is constantly awakened is why I didn’t come out to the protesters. I answer: because, in my opinion, he is simply provocative. Honestly, I am very offended. Our Kuzbass, from the beginning of the wild reforms, went on strike for 100 years ahead. And with all the strikers, I took a personal part. And, of course, he supported the just demands of our miners against the anti-people reforms. And, of course, he spoke from all the stands.

I repeat, these were meetings of many thousands. I have a photo chronicle of those years. One of them is on the Square of Soviets, where several thousand miners, undressed to the waist, sit on the square, knocking their helmets, July, the utter heat, and I with them. These are the rallies. What did you do? Provocative rally. I already know in verse how it is done and who is driving it. In just one night, before the arrival of the head of state, Vladimir Putin, they purposefully prepared. For me, this is not a meeting, I repeat, but a planned provocation. Well-pumped, young, athletic guys with megaphones and chants, with pre-prepared slogans, naturally, against me, came out to the square. Different in content, almost to be shot.

My personal opinion is a deliberate provocation to lobby for my political ambitions against the backdrop of the tragedy. This is blasphemous and cynical. And then they threw in false information that more than 400 people died. By the way, a criminal case was opened against the Ukrainian blogger for this nonsense. Among the protesters there were only representatives of three families of the victims’ relatives. A small mass of this rally, including myself, I organized. I just made the entire regional administration go to this rally. They had to really hear what people are talking about in order to have reliable information.

Second – with whom to speak: at this rally, about 700 people were employees of the regional, city and district administrations. So I trained with them every day.

Dear fellow countrymen! It’s probably no secret for you that every such rally is attended by employees of all law enforcement agencies dressed in civilian clothes. I’m not talking about people who stood in uniform. So you got massiveness.

The purpose of the organization was very thoughtful and distant. Hold a rally in all cities and regions, rock the Kuzbass, try to arrange a small Ukrainian maidan. And all this was arranged for the arrival of the head of state. And there were demands that Putin Vladimir Vladimirovich come out to the protesters. This was the main goal!

Forgiveness from the president, yes, I asked. For the fact that this whole tragedy happened in my region. That’s for this. But that’s how I was brought up.

Once again, dear fellow countrymen, I want to remind you, and this will be confirmed by all the families of the deceased relatives. I met with the commission with each family, expressed condolences to each and stood with each family for a minute of silence in my office. Funds were allocated from the regional budget: I personally agreed with the owners on the allocation of 3 million rubles for each family, as well as federal assistance from the government under the law. I personally turned to almost the whole world and opened a personal account to help the relatives of the victims.

Thank you and bow again to everyone who responded and donated funds. They are fairly distributed among all relatives. All official documents and protocols for the distribution of funds have been preserved. I did not have time to meet with relatives of only three families, for some reason they could not come to the meeting. I continue to meet with the relatives of the victims at their personal request. So, on the third anniversary of the tragedy, on March 25, 2021, I met with Andrey Chmykhalov. Now he is studying at St. Tikhon University to become a conductor in Moscow. He flew in on the anniversary of the Winter Cherry tragedy, where his 11-year-old brother Vadim died. I have known Andrey for a long time, he is a talented, kind guy. He repeatedly noted him with awards, sent the brass band to competitions where Andrei played the trombone. Also at his own expense he sent to the international music competition in Tuapse. And I am very glad that he remembers this!

And now, dear people of Kuzbass, I am addressing first of all to those who have problems with pain in the spine, lower back, joints, in my opinion, you should understand perfectly well. I underwent two major spinal surgeries. And how would I go to the podium on two crutches at that time? This is physically impossible. Hope you can understand me.

Dear fellow countrymen! Here is your answer to all kinds of attacks, to all these evil attacks. I repeat once again, I tell everything as in front of an icon. Once again, I offer my deepest condolences to all the relatives of those killed in this terrible tragedy. I always keep in touch with you. If you wish, I will always have meetings with you. Take care of yourself!

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