Russian fire crews are struggling to control a vast wildfire near the country’s main nuclear research facility. It is unclear how close the flames have come to the Sarov plant.
Earlier this month, officials said all explosive and radioactive material had been removed as a precaution due to a previous fire. But reports suggested it had been returned by the time the latest blaze broke out.
There was better news over the border in Ukraine where a peat bog fire 60 kilometres from the Chernobyl site is apparently now under control.
As Barack Obama pledged US firefighting help to his Russian counterpart President Dmitry Medvedev, overnight rain gave Muscovites some relief. It is still hot but, thanks to the wind, the capital remained clear of the smog that had choked it in recent days.
Russian media reports suggest doctors are being told not to give ‘heatstroke’ as a cause of death to keep a lid on the official number of casualties.