President Vladimir Putin flew to the Siberian city of Kemerovo two days after the tragedy and laid roses at a makeshift memorial as critics questioned his response to one of the deadliest fires in Russian Federation over the past century.
Emergency officials confirmed 41 children and 23 adults were killed in the flames that swept through the mall in Kemerovo on Sunday.
While in the Bryansk, Yaroslav and Tambov regions, among others, remembrance ceremonies began yesterday, before the official mourning scheduled for today.
Rallies in memory of the victims were held in several cities around Russian Federation, and at least one, in Moscow, turned into an anti-government demonstration.
Vladimir Chernov, the Vice Governor of Kemerovo region had difficulty to explain why 67 claims about missing people were filed to the Investigative Committee of Russian Federation.
The journalists were driving to one of the malls in the Russian city of Vladimir for an inspection in wake of the deadly fire in the "Winter Cherry" shopping center in Kemerovo, which claimed dozens of lives.
The youngest victim according to an official list published by Kemerovo authorities was a two-year-old boy, while at least 19 of the 64 people killed were under 10.
"The fire broke out in the foamed trampoline pool", the source said. People came to relax, children. "Because of what? Because of some criminal negligence, slovenliness", Putin said.
The Kemerovo fire comes at a delicate domestic political moment for Putin, who sailed to a re-election victory on March 18.
A criminal probe has been opened and five people have been arrested over the blaze. One parent related a call, "My son was crying and asked, 'When will we be rescued?'"
Vostrikov, who lost his family in the blaze, said he had spoken to his wife in her final moments. According to CNN, a preliminary investigation suggested that the fire may have started outside the movie theater.