Putin bans aviation officials from taking holidays
Thursday, 30 December 2010 21:54

Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has banned aviation officials from taking their New Year holidays after bad weather severely disrupted air traffic at major airports in Moscow.

The majority of Russians go on a 10-day holiday over New Year.

Mr Putin castigated government officials at a televised meeting, pointing to transport chaos and power cuts triggered by icy weather, the BBC reports.

Mr Putin said everyone in charge of the situation should stay at work until special notice and no one should "whine" about his decision.

More than 8,000 people got stuck at Moscow's Domodedovo airport because they had not been warned, he said.

"There will be no holidays until a special order is given. Everyone must be at work," Mr Putin told cabinet ministers and regional governors.

On Tuesday, angry passengers assaulted staff at Domodedovo and Sheremetyevo airports after hundreds of flights were cancelled.

Passengers had been stranded for several days with little food or information.

The airports were closed due to power cuts caused by freezing rain and tens of thousands of homes were left without electricity.

(Radio New Zealand News)

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