A series of videos depicting a horrifying apartment building collapse in Southern Russia is currently making the rounds on the Internet— and sparking anti-Putin commentary.
On February 27, an old Soviet-style, Brutalist, apartment building in Astrakhan crumbled to the ground, killing two people and injuring 12. Eleven people are still missing.
The most popular video of the incident, at press time viewed more than 600,000 times since being uploaded yesterday, was shot by a young male tenant filming from inside a highrise across the courtyard.
The camera zooms in on the rumble presumably immediately after the initial explosion. While the cameraman banters with his male companion, most likely over what caused the explosion, parts of the building collapse, much to their surprise.
“Explosions of gas canisters in Russian residences and businesses are common because antiquated infrastructure has not been modernised in the last decades,” wrote UK’s Daily Mail regarding the incident. Russian YouTube commenters, however, seem to think the collapse is more complicated than that.
Many are writing, on various angles depicting the collapse, as well as on copies of the video, the same thing: simply “Election season in Russia.”
Angry citizens have been out protesting Putin’s re-election for weeks, but this comment specifically references the 1999 apartment bombings anti-Putin critics say were orchestrated to bring Vladimir Putin to power. The 1999 apartment bombings were the subject of the book “Blowing Up Russia,” and a documentary of the same name. Both documents were at one point banned in Russia.
While many argued over whether this apartment collapse was a ploy to help Putin during his current re-election campaign, others couldn’t help but crack jokes.