Russian troops to help fight Siberia wildfires

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Russia’s military will join the combat against wildfires raging in Siberia as they rip through several remote regions in Siberia.

As residents of several Russian cities struggle with the effects of smoke from vast Siberian wildfires, President Vladimir Putin ordered the military to assist the firefighting effort.

There has been widespread anger after comments by emergencies officials that they are not planning to tackle wildfires in remote uninhabited areas because there is no direct threat to people.

Putin gave the order after being briefed by Yevgeny Zinichev, the head of Russia’s emergency ministry. The Kremlin did not specify what actions the military would take.

U.S. President Donald Trump offered his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin help in putting out vast wildfires that are raging in Siberia, the Kremlin said late on Wednesday, a move it said Putin took as a sign that battered ties can be restored.

The Kremlin said the two leaders had spoken by phone at Washington’s initiative, hours after Putin ordered the Russian army to help firefighters battle the wildfires.

Seperately, the defense ministry told news agencies that 10 planes and 10 helicopters had been deployed to the Krasnoyarsk region in Siberia.

About three million hectares have been affected, in what is considered as an “ecological catastrophe”.

Many residents say not enough is being done to tackle the fires.

A state of emergency was earlier declared in the Irkutsk and Krasnoyarsk regions, two areas of the Republic of Buryatia and one area of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia).


Via BBC/DW/ Moscow Times

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