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A new study finds that Russia’s Federal Emergency Management Agency is dangerously understaffed


A new report carried out on orders from the new head of Russia’s Federal Emergency Management Agency found that the it is dangerously understaffed. The country apparently needs 23,100 more firefighters and 10,800 more on-call officers. There are also serious shortages of fire safety inspectors and first responders. According to the report, understaffing is one of the agency’s key problems.

Russia’s Federal Emergency Management Agency has faced criticism since a fire in March killed 60 people (including dozens of children) at a shopping mall in Kemerovo. Investigators have charged nearly a dozen people — including two firefighters and the Emergency Management Agency’s local director — with criminal negligence.

In May, Vladimir Putin appointed Evgeny Zinichev, his own former security guard, to replace Vladimir Puchkov as the agency’s head. Almost immediately, Zinichev announced major reforms and revoked several of the regulations introduced under his predecessor.