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During a recent meeting in Kazan in connection with the sinking of the Volga transport Bulgaria, which killed 129 people, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin angrily stated, "How did the boat operate without a license? How were tickets for it on sale at the port in the first place?! How was it allowed to leave port?! Who authorized it?! Where was Rostransnadzor (Federal Service for Transport Oversight)?... This is simply a nightmare! What sort of utter shambles do we have here?!!"
The people died when the overcrowded double-decker craft sank in a wide bend of Europe's longest river on 10 July.
The Bulgaria tragedy has raised larger questions about not only the country’s commercial vessels but its military fleet as well, Svobodnaia Pressa reported.
Russia's General Prosecutor's Office determined that unlicensed work occurred aboard the flagship of the Northern Fleet, the heavy nuclear-powered missile cruiser Petr Velikii. After a long trek to Vladivostok and back, the ship underwent scheduled preventive maintenance in Murmansk by the ZAO Spetsialnaya Proizvodstvenno-Tekhnicheskaya Baza Zvezdochka joint-stock company.
According to the General Prosecutor's Office investigation, ZAO Spetsialnaya Proizvodstvenno-Tekhnicheskaya Baza Zvezdochka General Director Barashko signed a report stating that the repairs and upgrades had been completed and the funding had been received and spent as designated. General Prosecutor's Office investigators determined however that ZAO Spetsialnaya Proizvodstvenno-Tekhnicheskaya Baza Zvezdochka had in fact only spent just $3.6 million of the designated funds to repair the Petr Velikii, while the remaining $9.56 million designated for the repairs had in fact apparently been stolen.
By. Joao Peixe, Deputy Editor OilPrice.com
Joao is a writer for Oilprice.com