A check on cruise ships following the Volga River tragedy has found that 90 per cent fail to meet basic safety requirements.
The most common violations are missing or faulty life-jackets and no flares in the lifeboats.
After the thorough check-up, 23 vessels have been banned from operating as passenger ships, and prosecutors have initiated 66 administrative cases against boat owners. More checks will be carried out in other regions.
The Bulgaria sank during a pleasure cruise on the Volga River. Out of 201 people onboard 122 died as the ship went down in a matter of minutes. There were 28 children, 72 women and 22 men among the victims.
A criminal case was launched against the captains of the two freighters which failed to take part in the rescue of people from the Bulgaria on June 10, the day she sank.
“Even though both suspects deny any wrongdoing, the body of evidence collected by the investigation, including passenger and crew-member reports and the logs of the vessels Dunaysky 66 and Arbat, confirm their guilt,” the spokesman for the Investigative Committee, Vladimir Markin, said.
The captains of both ships are suspected of abandoning a ship in distress. Two other people have already been charged with criminal negligence in connection with the incident.