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Leonid Bershidsky

Putin Can't Feel Russia's Pain

A Siberian city is angry and grieving after a fire that killed dozens. So Putin paid a visit -- and mostly ignored them.
View from the top.

View from the top.

Photographer: Alexei Druzhinin/TASS via Getty Images

Whoever advised Russian President Vladimir Putin to change his plans and go to Kemerovo -- the scene of the shopping center fire that took at least 64 lives on Sunday -- must have meant well. The Kremlin failed to declare nationwide mourning in the direct aftermath of the tragedy, and, had Putin stayed away, the insensitivity would have grated with many Russians, even those who voted to return him to power on March 18.

QuickTake Vladimir Putin