Wildfires that have wiped out Russian forests, villages and a military base sent the thickest blanket of smog yet over Moscow on Wednesday, as emergency officials said the death toll from the blazes had reached 48.
Passengers on Moscow's subway said a haze was hovering above platforms, stinging the eyes and throat, as City Hall warned of health risks from the smoke carrying harmful gases including carbon monoxide. Firefighters have extinguished 293 fires, but another 403 were spotted in the last day while more than 500 continued to rage over large swathes of countryside, the Emergencies Ministry said in a statement, The Associated Press informs.
The weather this week will not help the effort, as temperatures in Moscow and to the south and east were forecast to reach 38c.
Mr Putin has said he will personally supervise the reconstruction of fire-ravaged homes via video cameras to be installed at each building site and would broadcast the images to the government website. He has promised new housing before winter for those made homeless, as well as £4,200 in compensation, Daily Mail says.