Apocalypse now

This morning, I woke up thinking there was snow outside. Turns out, the reason the light was so diffuse is because today the smoke from the fires is worse than it has ever been.

It has been spotted by a NASA satellite (see left, click to see the large version) and scientists are saying that they’ve noticed the formation of pyrocumulus clouds, which typically form during volcanic eruptions and nuclear testing.

Visibility in Moscow has dropped to 40-50 yards, the sun is completely hidden, it’s 102 F, all three Moscow airports are barely functioning, and the amount of toxic crap in the air right now is eight or nine times the allowable limit. Trains out of Moscow are fully booked, pharmacies are mobbed as people scramble to get face masks. Everyone I’ve spoken to is struggling to breathe and many are reporting headaches, the first sign of carbon monoxide exposure.

This, if you don’t believe me, is the view from my window:

So, in light of this situation, what are the authorities doing to inform and help their citizens cope?

Well, Andrei Belevsky, the head pulmonologist of Moscow’s Ministry of Health, says, psssh, fuhggetaboutit! “It’s like smoking,” he says. “In order to develop the risk of lung cancer, you need to smoke a lot and for a long time. A month or two of this smoke will not cause this.”

I’m sorry, a month or two?!

Moving on. Dmitry Medvedev has proposed renaming the “militia” to “politsia,” or “police.” Grand.

The authorities are reporting that Russia’s nuclear arsenal is safe. Phew.

And, the coup de grace, Moscow mayor Yuri Luzhkov is on vacation and has no intention of coming back to help his subjects deal with what looks increasingly like a bad remake of “28 Days Later.” Moreover, he sent his rude son of a bitch spokesman Victor Tsoi to break the news. Here’s what he said.

What is the problem? What, do we have an emergency situation in Moscow, a crisis? What is the problem in Moscow? Is it Moscow’s problem? Is the crisis in Moscow? What can we do in Moscow in this situation? If it’s necessary to come back and just show yourself, that’s one thing. But everything that should’ve been done in Moscow has been done. A system has been worked out.

Asked where the mayor was vacationing, Tsoi said, “If we want to tell you, we’ll tell you.”

Yeah? Well, fuck you, too.

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10 Responses to Apocalypse now

  1. max says:

    nice! i had a blog too,but my company told me to stop it!

  2. larussophobe says:

    Here’s another great account of the conflagration and the Putin regime’s utter, humiliating failure to address it from a reporter on the ground in Russia:


  3. Julia Barton says:

    The real Viktor Tsoi would have been saying all that for purposes of satire–no, I can’t even imagine him talking that way. WTF? What a nightmare.

  4. Soeon says:

    If anyone deserves to breath this smoke it is Mr. Luzhkov.

    Here’s an idea for the Russian government to reduce corruption – implement travel bans on government employees who steal assets from the state. No more trips to Italy, no more sunning in Turkey, no more shopping vacations in London, and no more yacht racing in Cote d’Azur.

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