Weapons evacuated from Russian military depots as fires continue to blaze

Photo: Reuters

The blazing wildfires around Moscow have forced the Russian defence ministry to order the evacuation of munitions from military depots around the capital on Thursday


"Because of the danger posed by fires in the region, and on the decision of the district military commander, artillery and missile munitions depots have been transferred to a secure site," a defence ministry spokesman said.

No details about the munitions involved were disclosed, but the Russian armed forces have already acknowledged that a naval air logistics base near Moscow had been destroyed by the ongoing inferno.

Although the fires are a result of extreme heat and drought in the country Nikolay Shmatkov, forest policy coordinator for the World Wildlife Fund in Russia, told RFI that “forest management in Russia has a very low profile. There is a prevailing view that forests are just a resource to be used like oil and gas and that nobody needs to take responsibility for it.”

“The debate about forest management was very active in 2006 when the new forest code was adopted. All civil society believes this forest code was promoted by large business and is not sound for sustainable forest management Russia. We only hope things will change after these devastating fires” he said.

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