The United States, Germany and France have issued travel warnings to people heading for Moscow where smog from wildfires is choking the capital.
A number of governments have also ordered the evacuation of their embassies in the city.
where drifting, acrid smoke has been deemed a health hazard.
One Moscow resident said: “You see, we use handkerchiefs soaked in water and cover the nose. There’s no other way. Or maybe you can buy a respirator. Let’s hope God will have mercy on us and we will have rain.”
Many Muscovites fear the authorities are not doing enough to counter the hazardous air quality
One woman said: “People are left on their own here in Moscow. The authorities should maybe water the streets more. We are actually shocked that no-one cares. They should maybe hand out protection masks to people, because we cannot breathe, eyes are itching. They can at least give water to people, do something about it.”
Russia has moved to protect military and nuclear sites from the worst wildfires in Russia’s modern history which have so far killed 52 people.
The emergencies ministry is appealing for volunteers to help stem the flames.
NASA says the fires are clearly visible from space and smoke has risen six miles into the stratosphere.