Former mayor of Prokopyevsk Vyacheslav Starchenko closed his Instagram account after the scandal with his participation. Now only about 2 thousand users can see the page of the ex-official.
Starchenko got into a scandalous situation because of the banquet that was held in honor of his appointment as mayor. Officials in the Kemerovo region decided to celebrate the event on the day when the tragedy occurred in the Listvyazhnaya mine. The banquet in Prokopyevsk was held on November 25 from 15:00 to 18:30, while the tragedy in the region’s mine happened in the morning.
Information about the banquet was leaked to the Internet thanks to bloggers who filmed what was happening on video. The mayor did not get on the video, but activists claim that he was present at the banquet, but left earlier.
On November 26, the governor of the Kemerovo region, Sergei Tsivilev, dismissed the mayor of Starchenko after a banquet. The ex-mayor of Prokopyevsk on November 27, in an interview with Izvestia, denied the fact of the celebration in his honor and his presence there.
Also on November 27, Starchenko and the speaker of the City Council Natalia Burdina were expelled from the United Russia party.
On the morning of November 25, smoke started to appear at the Listvyazhnaya mine. The accident killed 51 people, including five rescuers. 58 people were hospitalized.
On the fact of the incident, a criminal case was initiated under Part 2 of Art. 217 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (“Violation of industrial safety requirements for hazardous production facilities, resulting in the death of a person by negligence”), as well as a criminal case on the fact of negligence of employees of the Rostekhnadzor department.
On November 27, five suspects were arrested.