Having surveyed Russian language media sources, JOTMAN.COM contributor Sanjuro reports on the fires sweeping across Russia:
It's quite amazing that mainstream media in the west are failing to provide good stories with the Russia fire situation. It looks like half of the country, most of its populated part, is on fire. Some pics and videos are quite apocalyptic in nature. Authorities are proving next to useless - even a The Russian Navy's materiel base was reportedly seriously damaged, and as of yesterday there were reports of a fire approaching a nuclear research center in Sarov (former secret town Arzamas-16). The current situation is both a result of the past years' cutback of firefighting services in rural areas, and an illustration, along with man-made disasters of the recent past, just how badly the Russian infrastructure has deteriorated. It's not quite Pakistan as yet. The most badly affected areas are the areas surrounding the cities of Ryazan and Voronezh, both major cities. But it's pretty bad everywhere. Some maps:
PM Vladimir Putin is busy shuttling from one fire scene to another, "fixing" things. Seems genuinely concerned, but may also be trying to convert into cheap political capital. Medvedev has so far seemed distanced, but now is getting sucked into this as well.
Despite more resources thrown into this, the fires are likely to continue until the autumn.
Perhaps the best sources of news on the fires have been the eyewitness reports of bloggers. Sanjuro takes us through some of the best he came across over at THERE LIVE.COM.