Russians stage a rare protest after a dam collapses and floods homes near the Kazakh border

Russians gathered in the city of Orsk in a rare protest on Monday, to demand compensation in the wake of the genocide Dam collapse and subsequent floods In the Orenburg region near the border with Kazakhstan.

Protests are an unusual sight in Russia, where authorities constantly suppress any form of dissent President Vladimir Putin's Invasion of Ukraine. Russian news agency TASS said hundreds of people gathered in front of the administrative building in Orsk on Monday, while videos shared on Russian social media channels showed people chanting “Putin, help us” and “Shame.”

Floods caused by rising water levels in the Ural River forced more than 4,000 people, including 885 children, to be displaced. To evacuate The regional government said on Sunday in the Orenburg region. TASS said on Monday that about 10,000 homes, including about 7,000 in Orsk, were flooded in the region and that floodwaters in the city were continuing to rise. Footage from Orsk and Orenburg showed water partially submerging buildings, including homes, as well as nearby fields.

The Russian government declared the situation in flood-affected areas of Orenburg a federal emergency on Sunday, with preparations for possible flooding in three other regions, state media reported.

Following the protest, TASS reported that the governor of the Orenburg region, Denis Basler, promised to pay compensation of 10,000 rubles a month (about $108) for six months to people forced from their homes due to the flood.

The regional government said on Sunday that total flood damage in the region was estimated at 21 billion rubles ($227 million).

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The city of Orsk, located less than 20 kilometers (less than 13 miles) north of the border with Kazakhstan, took the brunt of the floods that caused a dam to collapse on Friday, according to Orsk Mayor Vasily Kozubitsa.

A criminal investigation has been opened to investigate suspected construction violations that may have caused the dam to collapse. Local authorities said the dam can withstand water levels of up to 5.5 meters (about 18 feet). Kozubitsa said the water level reached about 9.3 meters (30.51 feet) on Saturday morning and is rising. On Sunday, the level in Orsk reached 9.7 meters (31.82 feet), according to Russian water level information site AllRivers.

Authorities in Orsk reported that four people had died, but said their deaths were not related to the floods.

The classification of the situation as a federal emergency reflects the risk of flooding outside the Orenburg region.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Sunday that Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke with the head of the Ministry of Emergency Situations, as well as the heads of the Kurgan and Tyumen regions, located in the Ural Mountains region, to discuss the situation and “the need.” …for the early adoption of measures to assist people and their possible evacuation.

The Ural River, about 2,428 kilometers (1,509 mi) long, flows from the southern part of the Ural Mountains to the northern end of the Caspian Sea, through Russia and Kazakhstan.

In the Smolensk region of western Russia, part of an overpass collapsed in the town of Vyazma, 233 kilometers (144 miles) west of Moscow, killing one person and injuring several others, TASS reported.

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The bridge fell on railway tracks, halting trains along the line to Belarus and cutting off gas supplies to nearly 9,000 people, TASS said, adding that local officials had opened a criminal investigation.

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