WHAT: The sinking of a Volga riverboat, with some 125 people drowned, is the latest fatal failure of Russia’s rotting transit equipment. Two Soviet-era airplanes went down over Siberia in just the past three weeks.
HOW: River ships are supposed to undergo checks before each voyage and thorough inspections every two years. But the whole process is riddled with corruption, as are most Russian industrial inspections, including construction.
WHAT’S BEING DONE: “The number of old heaps we’ve got floating around is too high,” President Dmitri Medvedev told department heads. He ordered tougher ship inspections and grounded older airplanes pending investigations.