A total of 249 cities, towns, and villages were stricken by floods in Southern Russia, Deputy Civil Defense, Emergency Situations and Disaster Relief Minister Ruslan Tsalikov told Russia's upper house of parliament, the Federation Council, during a regular hearing for Cabinet members.
Tsalikov went on to say 4,848 houses were destroyed by the floods. 11,342 residential houses were damaged and another 53,600 partly flooded.
The deputy minister said more than 12,000 utility sites have flooded. 110,000 km of natural gas pipelines was damaged, along with 1,500 km of road and 21 km of rail track.
Tsalikov further noted that 800 km of power lines was damaged, blacking out 131 communities.
Adding insult to injury, even now "a difficult flooding situation persists in the territory of the Stavropol and Krasnodar Regions and in the republics of Karachayevo-Cherkessia and Dagestan," he said.
8,500 rescue workers are operating in the disaster area at the moment, with 2,500 vehicles and 84 boats employed.
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969