Several videos circulated online on Sunday showing huge black smoke over Russia believed to have been caused by a fire at a construction site in Moscow on the same day that wildfires ravaged other parts of the country.
A fire broke out on Sunday at a construction site belonging to PIK Group, a Russian building construction company headquartered in Moscow, Euromaiden Press reported, citing reports from residents of the city. The site that is believed to have burned is located about 8 km from the FSB Academy.
The cause of the fire remains unknown, but the media reported that the flames broke out after rubbish and building materials caught fire. Euromaiden Press published a brief clip of the black smoke billowing from buildings in Moscow.
A video of the fire was shared on Twitter by analyst Feher Junior, Irish journalist Jason Corcoran and former representative Adam Kinzinger who writing, “Dreams of Russian expansion?” The clip was also shared on a Telegram channel named “Operational Armed Forces”, which publishes information about Ukrainian army operations, according to his bio on the social media platform.
Meanwhile, a small village in the country’s Sverdlovsk region had to be evacuated after a wildfire spread to a gunpowder depot, local officials said on Saturday evening, Reuters reported. . No casualties were reported, according to preliminary information, but the fire spread over 960 square meters, the region’s emergency ministry said on its Telegram channel.
Yevgeny Kuyvashev, governor of the Sverdlovsk region, called the wildfire situation “critical”, according to Reuters. The wildfire spread through the area as it was aggravated by dry and strong winds.
A state of emergency has been announced in a number of areas of Sverdlovsk, where 55 fires broke out on Sunday, Meduza reported, citing Ekaterinburg Online. The media reported that two gunpowder warehouses were set on fire and that 18 buildings, where explosives were stored, were threatened due to the forest fire that spread to the village of Pervomaysky, which was evacuated with the Krasnoarmeysky village.
Residents of the town of Asbest in the Sverdlovsk region, where four large fires are believed to have spread, were left without water and electricity after the impact of water and electricity installations.
The area also saw a fire – the origins of which have not been determined – last week that swept through a village, leaving one dead and hundreds homeless, according to Reuters.
Reports of the fires in Russia come days after two drones hit the Kremlin in Moscow last week. A small explosion from the drone above the domed roof of the building was captured on video that has circulated online, but it remains unclear who was responsible for the attempted strike. Russia has accused Ukraine of the “terrorist attack” and of attempting to assassinate Russian President Vladimir Putin, which kyiv has denied.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said his country would not attack Putin or Moscow, adding that his country did not have “enough weapons for that”.
Newsweek emailed the Russian Foreign Ministry and the PIK Group for comment.