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Perm bogs down in traffic, loses communication, and sees garage doors welded shut due to Putin's visit

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Russian President Vladimir Putin's visit to Perm for a sports forum led to the garage cooperative gates near the event venue being welded shut. Owners have been requested not to open them until October 22.

On the night of October 18-19, Putin's arrival caused a nearly half-hour delay in the landing of a passenger plane from Moscow, with the airport and its approaches being temporarily blocked, as reported by the local news website Two days prior to Putin's visit, the city's roads saw significant traffic jams due to the local authorities' last-minute decision to resurface the asphalt. Several buildings in the city center, including the headquarters of the regional Ministry of Internal Affairs, known as the “Tower of Death,” were also repainted in the colors of the Russian flag.

When Putin arrived, the city faced issues with traffic lights, online cameras at the Traffic Safety Center, and disruptions in mobile communication and internet services. The president's motorcade consisted of 24 vehicles, causing a two-hour traffic standstill in the city. News outlet Govorit Moskva reported a surge of outraged comments on social media in response to these disruptions.

“Encircled by enemies,” “As they say, closer to the people,” “Let the whole world wait, the tsar is coming,” “Because of this today I was late for my daughter’s party,” “I wonder why the local population doesn’t like him? Probably because of this,” read locals’ complaints.

“You morons can't wait for a couple of hours? The president doesn't come to visit us every day,” others replied.

In all, the forum drew over five thousand participants from 50 countries, as reported on the Telegram channel of Perm Region Governor Dmitry Makhonin. Putin arrived at the event later in the day. He claimed that “banning Russian athletes from participating in international competitions is ethnic discrimination” and proposed the idea of organizing a domestic Russian equivalent of the Olympics.

A concert by musician Naik Borzov, which was scheduled to take place in the city on the evening of October 19, was also canceled. “Due to the infrastructural congestion in Perm on the dates of the All-Russian sports competitions, we are forced to postpone the concert until spring,” the organizers said.

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