By Tuesday, there were 23,000 forest fires across Russia that have singed 650,000 hectares across the country. That’s 57,000 more burning hectares than there were on Monday. 48 people have died. Moscow is covered in a thick cloud of smoke that’s even made it into the metro stations deep underground. It makes breathing difficult, and the eyes watery. (After a dinner on a rooftop last night, I felt like I had smoked two packs of cigarettes though I had not in fact smoked a single one.) The capital’s residents are calling for ambulances 15% more often.
Russians are angry that authorities have been slow to respond, which means finding people to blame (and photo ops for Putin).
Another standard expression is finding the real culprit. You guessed it: the American military-industrial complex.
Here’s what happened: Nikolai Karavaev, a former military meteorologist, has come out with an earth-shattering hypothesis that “climate weapons” are being used against Russia. I mean, is it a coincidence that, right in the area where the atmosphere has thinned the most over Russia, causing a “giant anti-cyclone” — never before seen in these parts — right when the Americans launched the X-37B satellite right there?
If that’s not proof enough, here, mesdames et messieurs, is the charred proof pudding: a big, burned-to-the-ground military base outside of Moscow. 200 units of aviation, up in smoke. That’s $670 million worth of damage.
Check mate, America. Check mate.