The permafrost thins, the foundations of a giant cistern of diesel fuel collapse, and 20,000 tonnes of diesel fuel spurt into the ground and into the Ambarnaja River. It happened last Friday. No one told us what had happened. The plant belongs to the world's largest producer of nickel - Norilsk Nickel. They said nothing.

But then on Sunday, pictures and stories started appearing on social media. It was no longer possible for the company and the authorities to maintain the strategy that has been the norm here for at least a century; perish, constrict, lie.

Norilsk is located 300 miles northeast of Moscow. The city is windswept, sweltering in the winters and depressing. When I was there, everyone I met said they wanted to move from there. But in the summers it gets hot. Hunting and fishing are many people's favorite activities. But now the river is full of diesel fuel.

Putin was called

The company claims that they informed about the incident in a timely and timely manner. The governor of the region says he only got information two days later, and not from the company but through social media.

So the Kremlin found out what had happened. Putin was called. He likes to do it when what goes wrong is someone else's fault. And he took the head of Norilsk Nickel in the ear pretty hard.

Why did it take two days for the authorities to find out what had happened? Should we really get information about catastrophic events through social media?

30 percent mortality

But that's how it works in Russia. Not least, it appears in the corona times. Executives and managers at all levels are reluctant to report bad news. A report came out today saying that mortality in Russia's second largest city, St. Petersburg, is now 30 percent higher than normal, though fewer than 200 people have officially died of covid-19.

Vladimir Putin himself acts the same, I mean, and many with me. The fact that Russia's economy went down brilliantly when Putin took office was his merit, it is alleged. But it was the price of Russia's oil that had doubled. Now the economy is in crisis. That's not Putin's fault. The fault is that the oil price has collapsed.

But Russia is so incomprehensibly big. An ecological disaster outside Norilsk is so remote that no one in Moscow cares. Since Putin has resigned to governor and CEO reports media. Otherwise, not much had been said.