RMNB’s Fedor Fedin: Living Through A Hot Summer In Moscow

moscow-smoke

2010 has been a tough year for Russia. See here, here and here. 2010 has also been tough for Fedor. See here, here and here. Sadly this summer, Mother Nature decided to pile on. Below, Fedor describes what it’s been like to live through the heat and wildfires surrounding Moscow.

Hey guys! While you were out enjoying the #rmnbparty a few weeks ago, I was sweating profusely in front of my PC in Moscow.  Suffice to say, it’s been sweltering in my home city and it’s driving people crazy.  For example on Twitter,  some of the “trending topics” in Central Russia are heat and wildfire. Why all the hubbub?  This Boston Globe report summarizes it well:

Last month, Russia endured the hottest July ever recorded since records began 130 years ago. The intense heat and drought affecting central Russia has been drying out trees and peat marshes, which have been catching fire recently, burning forests, fields and houses across a massive region. Some 500 new fires have been reported in the last 24 hours alone, and a mobilization of hundreds of thousands of emergency workers is underway to combat them. President Dmitry Medvedev has now declared a state of emergency in seven regions. To date, over 1,500 homes have been destroyed and 40 lives have been lost as wildfires continue across over 300,000 acres.

Little Relief for Those Suffering

The heat has been terrible. In Moscow, the temperature has been over 35°C (95°F) for two months. Lately, I’ve been routinely waking up around 8 AM because it’s too hot and smoggy. I’m forced awake early even if I go to bed at 4am. Every morning, the smoke visibly creeps into my house. On bad days, it doesn’t go away at night. The smell is terrible, and a lot of people have been using gauze bandages over their mouths when going outside. However, I don’t wear them. As one doctor said, “They don’t help. The only and the best salvation is to go out to the safe regions [of the country]”. I definitely would like to go back to Zelenogradsk, where I was on vacation for the whole month of July. It’s much colder there, and there are no wildfires.

To make things worse, a lot of Russians live in block (or panel) buildings, which get hot easily and are impossible to get cold. Thankfully, I live in a brick house which keeps things slightly more insulated. Because of the condition of homes here, the heat has instigated a big jump in prices of air conditioning systems and fans. I’ve heard that fans which once cost $7 in winter are now costing $100. Like most other Russians, I have no A/C in my house, but I do have 3 fans. Unfortunately, one of them is from Soviet Russia and does not work too well. [Ed. note: In Soviet Russia, fan turns you on!] Decades ago, this fan was a famous brand called “Veterok,” which means “little wind”. It provides little relief, which makes sleep my only escape.

In this July 28, 2010 satellite image released by NASA, smoke from fires near Moscow is visible over central Russia. The small red boxes indicate fires. The city of Moscow is located near the left edge, in the lower third. (AP Photo/NASA)

In this July 28, 2010 satellite image released by NASA, smoke from fires near Moscow is visible over central Russia. The small red boxes indicate fires. The city of Moscow is located near the left edge, in the lower third. (AP Photo/NASA)

Wildfires Follow Extreme Heat

Caption goes here

Basically there are wild fires pretty much everywhere.

The wildfires have been more deadly than the heat. The AP reports that thousands of homes have burnt to the ground. To the right is a map of all the reported wildfires in Central, Western and Southern Russia, and Ukraine:

Though others are posting and writing about their own experiences in this natural disaster, the devastation is astounding for everyone here. The photos and videos say what I can’t describe of the wildfires and smoke. Also, watch these videos by the English-speaking Russian channel – Russia Today:

Images of the Devastation

Firefighters work to extinguish a fire near a burning building. (REUTERS/Mikhail Voskresensky)

Firefighters work to extinguish a fire near a burning building. (REUTERS/Mikhail Voskresensky)

Remains of a burnt building sit amongst ashes outside the town of Vyksa. (REUTERS/Mikhail Voskresensky)

Remains of a burnt building sit amongst ashes outside the town of Vyksa. (REUTERS/Mikhail Voskresensky)

A man herds goats past a line of military vehicles transporting soldiers to fight forest fires in Ryazanovka. (ARTYOM KOROTAYEV/AFP/Getty Images)

A man herds goats past a line of military vehicles transporting soldiers to fight forest fires in Ryazanovka. (ARTYOM KOROTAYEV/AFP/Getty Images)

A charred car rests in front of a chimney - all that remains of a house that was burned to the ground. (AP Photo/Dmitry Chistoprudov)

A charred car rests in front of a chimney - all that remains of a house that was burned to the ground. (AP Photo/Dmitry Chistoprudov)

At Least Ovi’s Still In Good Spirits!

Even heat and wildfires cannot stop AO from dancing! Here Ovi drives downtown where if you look out his windows, you can see how depressingly grey it looks outside right now.

No related posts.

  • Mily

    Some troubling news: The fires burning near the Chernobyl incident affected areas might cause the nuclear particles to fly up in the air and get carried by wind.

  • madcap

    My thoughts and prayers are with those affected by and trying to contain the fires tonight…..

  • http://jessikalim.tumblr.com/ Jessica

    Woah, if I were more vulgar I’d be cursing more with no censorship about how much mother f—ing fire there is everywhere! It looks like the City of Angels but like a million times worse when there’s wildfires.
    Nature is being a b—-h to the world. Hurricanes, earthquakes, storms, fires, seriously what next?

    Fedor, if I were a person of faith and spirituality, I’d be praying for you and your country.
    Since I would probably make it worse by doing so, I am hoping for the best for you.
    ‘Cause seriously, 8 in the morning? Shucks. Fires make breathing AND summer lame as hell. [crappy unintentional pun? ugh.]
    Well, like I said a few days ago, at least there’s no bugs around. And just lay on the floor. More air circulation.

  • sleza

    the leftover smoke we got was bad enough, i can’t even imagine how bad it must be in russia :/
    hopefully the fires will stop soon

  • http://capssnaps.blogspot.com/ Chris Gordon (Caps Snaps)

    Unbelievable. I used to live in Moscow and cannot imagine how nasty the situation is now. Temperatures are finally lowering though so that should bring some relief to the Russian people. After reaching 100 the last couple days, it’s lowered to 90 today and should be down to the low 80s-high 70s by the middle of next week.

  • http://twitter.com/mcawful mcawful

    Don’t they evacuate? (Not that there are a lot of places to evacuate TO…)

    I saw Medvedev on TV this morning standing in a field looking all sad and butthurt about the agricultural losses. The whole thing reeked like propaganda. You’d think he’d have more important things to do with this kind of shit going on.

    Poor Fedor! I wish I could send you rain. Or an air conditioner.

  • BobbyG

    Fedor, as others have noted on other fan sites and blogs, it seems so terribly unfair that some parts of the world are cursed by floods while poor Russia has to suffer through the relentless fires and no rain in sight. If I could, I’d send you relief in the form of cool rain showers. I hope that you get some much needed relief very soon.

  • http://www.irockthered.net/ IRockTheRed

    Wow. If I knew where to send it, I’d ship you a fan, Fedor. :-( A window air conditioner would be way too expensive to ship, unfortunately, and due to power requirements, it would be hard to make it work.

    I’m not sure what kind of power inverter you’d need to make a US-made fan work, though; I believe Moscow uses 220v, 50Hz power, and we run on 110v over here, plus there are about a zillion different types of outlets… Most fans don’t require a whole lot of electricity to run, but trying to run something that normally takes 110v on 220v does require a power inverter (just like running a laptop from a car 12v outlet).

    Calling on RMNB Fans:

    Let’s send Fedor some relief. Somehow.

  • http://jessikalim.tumblr.com/ Jessica

    @iRockTheRed: ummm, comic relief?

  • http://www.irockthered.net/ IRockTheRed

    @Jessica: actually, I was semi-serious. (Only semi-)…