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Russia struggles to contain spreading wildfires

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Russia struggles to contain spreading wildfires


Fifty two people are now known to have died in the wildfires ravaging large swathes of the Russian countryside.

The government is appealing for all able-bodied citizens to come to the aid of the emergency services as foreign reinforcements are drafted in to help fight the flames

Two water bearing Canadian transport planes have arrived from Italy and European Union nations have offered the use of staff and equipment as the heatwave shows no sign of abating.

The emergencies ministry now fears the situation in the south is worsening – including Rostov – which so far is not one of the seven regions where a state of emergency has been declared.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is already making plans for the new school term in Russia urging the Education Secretary to ensure measures are taken to keep the schools open.

“We need to think about this beforehand,” he said. “There will be reconstruction works going on. We need to talk about this now and look at all the possibilities, so that on September 1st, there won’t be any problems.”

In western Russia the government is warning the blazes could even pose a nuclear threat by releasing radioactive particles buried in trees and plants from the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in neighbouring Ukraine in 1986.

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