03 August 2010

What's Going on in Russia?

Have you heard anything of what is going on in Russia?

...Wildfires raging across central Russia claimed 34 lives and blanketed cities in a smoky haze as drought and record heat cut crop yields, driving wheat prices as much as 19 percent higher last week.

About 156,000 firefighters are battling 693 blazes on more than 120,000 hectares (463 square miles), according to the Emergency Situations Ministry. Since the start of the fire season, 565,737 hectares have been consumed by flames, the ministry said in an e-mailed statement today.

In many regions, including Moscow, July was the hottest month since records began 130 years ago, and the heat wave will last at least through the end of this week,....

...Industrial output may also suffer in July and August from extreme weather, VTB Capital’s Evtifyeva and Dmitry Fedotkin said in an e-mailed note today. “In particular, major automakers have announced summer breaks due to the extreme weather conditions.”

Last week, state-run automaker OAO AvtoVAZ suspended production because of the heat.


The cost of the damage caused by forest fires that have hit European Russia amid the ongoing heatwave is now preliminarily estimated at 5 billion rubles and is likely to increase further, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin told reporters on July 31.


Russia's drought threatens sowing for next crop