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Russians Fight Fires with Help from Friendly Nations

10. August 2010 by Michelle 0 Comments

Suffocating smoke and hazardous heat is smothering Moscow. With hundreds of wildfires ablaze all across the country, many Russians are becoming panicked. "I think it is the end of the world," said Vera Savinova, a 52 year-old administrator in a dental clinic. "Our planet warns us against what would happen if we don't care about nature."


It’s uncertain when conditions will improve, with weather reports predicting at least 10 more days of extreme temperatures and the fires far from fizzling out. Russian officials have admitted that the 10,000 firefighters battling the blazes aren't enough. Fortunately, countries near and far are offering more than just man power.


Bulgaria and Ukraine are providing shelter for over 10,000 of Moscow’s children and elderly residents, many who require medical attention. They are also taking in firefighters who have been injured.


The United States Government has dispatched a group of specialists from the U.S. Agency for International Development to assist in Moscow. The Department of State is also considering allowing Russian diplomat’s children who have been affecting by the smog to seek refuge in Washington, D.C.


A special battalion of 200 firemen from Poland has also joined the battle in Ryanzan, 124 miles south of Moscow. There are nearly 10,000 acres engulfed in flames in the Ryanzan region, making it one of the worst affected areas of Russia. Several other countries have sent firemen as well, such as former Soviet Republics Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine. Planes and helicopters from Ukraine, Italy, France, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Turkey are also assisting in dousing the flames.


Anti-smog centers have been opened in Moscow to give residents some relief from the ravaging conditions. 123 air-conditioned rooms are available to the public in government buildings and hospitals. Even movie theaters are offering refuge with free movies and drinking water this week.


While Ukrainians are not experiencing the same degree of suffering as Russians, they are battling several small forest fires themselves in the Kyiv region and others. Heavy smog has begun blanketing parts of their country as well. While many are banding together to help each other during this crisis, Mother Nature is showing no sympathy. Higher temperatures and little rain will continue to plague the region this week.


Sources: MSNBC.com, Novinite.com, IBNlive.com

Photo: Mikhail Voskresensky / Reuters