The governor of Russia's Kemerovo region, Aman Tuleyev, has resigned in the wake of a tragic fire in a local mall, in which 64 people, most of them children, died, RT reports.
Tuleyev, who has served as the regional governor since 1997, having been re-elected four times, has handed in his resignation to Russian President Vladimir Putin, the regional administration's press service has said. His current term was due to expire in 2020.
Speaking about his resignation, Tuleyev said that he believes it is the only right decision. "I believe it's the right, sensible, the only correct decision, because it's impossible, morally impossible to hold a governor's post with such a heavy burden,"he said in a video address.
"I have done everything I could," Tuleyev said. "I have met the families of the deceased, I have tried to settle the matter of aid. Again, I offer my deep apologies. But we have to live on. Live to keep the memories of those we've lost."
Russian President Vladimir Putin has accepted Tuleyev’s resignation and signed a decree providing for the early termination of his authority, the Kremlin press service said in a statement. Tuleyev’s deputy, Sergey Tsivilev, has been appointed as acting governor of Kemerovo region.