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Toxic Smoke Causes Deaths To Double In Moscow, As Russia Announces State Of Emergency In Nuclear Center City Of Ozersk

Tyler Durden's picture


Wheat prices may be lower now that the dramatic spike higher has seen various speculators coming out and betting on a reversion, but little has been resolved yet, as Russia now debates extending the grain export ban beyond the December 31, even as fires in the Russian countryside continue to burn, and a record heatwave and lack of winds have concentrated a huge toxic cloud of carbon monoxide above the Russian capital. To be sure, some development has been noted with fires now affecting "only" 170,000 hectares of land, compared to the peak of 190,000, although firefighters are still having a difficult time materially containing the blaze. The worst consequence of the inferno: the mortality rate in Moscow has doubled as a result. The FT reports: "The death rate in Moscow has doubled due to the toxic smog hanging over the city from wildfires raging around the Russian capital and the worst heatwave since records began, a senior city health official said on Monday. Andrei Seltsovsky, the head of Moscow’s health department, said the number of people dying daily in the city had now reached about 700, while the death rate normally averages about 360 to 380 people a day. “The mortality rate has doubled,” the official told reporters." And taking things from bad to worse is the breaking news that Russia has just declared a state of emergency in Ozersk, where one of the largest nuclear storage and fuel-reprocessing center Mayak is located. 

From Xinhua:

MOSCOW, Aug. 9 (Xinhua) -- A state of emergency has been declared in Russia's Urals city of Ozersk, where one of the largest nuclear storage and fuel-reprocessing center Mayak is located, reported RIA Novosti news agency Monday, citing the local administration.

Local authorities claim the move was caused by the "complicated situation" with peat bog fires.

As for the standard of living in what is already the world's most expensive city, here are some additional news from the FT that will make living in Moscow virtually impossible:

Moscow was coated in choking smog on Monday for the fourth day running, with levels of pollution, including carbon monoxide and other harmful particles, more than 3 times acceptable levels. The pollution had climbed to nearly seven times acceptable norms on Saturday, prompting many to flee the capital and businesses and a handful of embassies to close, while the area hit by peat bog and forest fires tripled at the weekend.

Mr Seltsovsky’s comments were the first official confirmation of what many had feared. A Moscow morgue official told the Financial Times at the weekend that the number of corpses had doubled in recent days, with mainly the elderly affected, while death rates had been climbing for the last month and half due to the record heat. But other morgue officials had declined to comment and a senior health official on Sunday had disputed an anonymous blog written by a Moscow doctor claiming that medical staff were being forced to coverup the number of heat and smog-related deaths, while space was running out in city morgues.

Mr Seltsovsky said on Monday that the number of people hospitalised due to the heat had increased by 10 per cent, while the number of children in hospital had increased by 17 per cent. Alexei Yakovlev, a prominent doctor of biological science, told the Ekho Moskvy radio station he estimated the smog was costing 200 lives a day even as health officials urged residents to remain indoors with windows sealed while employers were urged to keep staff away from work until Tuesday, so as to reduce the number of people on the street.

Meteorologists said slight winds were expected to start to lift the smog by Wednesday as firefighters continued to battle the blazes that have broken out across a vast swathe of European Russia after the record heatwave turned forests and peat bogs into tinder boxes.



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Mon, 08/09/2010 - 10:06 | 510510 Sudden Debt
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Those Russians aren't what they used to be.

Only a few decades ago, these guys where able to pick up a radioactive rod from a Nuclear reactor  without getting sick, hold their breaths for weeks in a suncken submarine, go months without food and still feel happy. AND NOW THEY DIE BECAUSE OF A BIT OF SMOKE?!!?

Mon, 08/09/2010 - 10:08 | 510520 rapunzel
rapunzel's picture

you c a l l e d ? ? ? ? ? ? ?

Mon, 08/09/2010 - 10:14 | 510531 ZakuKommander
ZakuKommander's picture

Montana women are frightening.

Mon, 08/09/2010 - 10:21 | 510547 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

Are you a Russian woman? On what page of the 2010 catalogue are you located?

Mon, 08/09/2010 - 10:45 | 510637 rapunzel
rapunzel's picture

no R U S S I A N

N O   m o n t a n a

w o m a n    of the   W O R L D , here

got h a i r ?

Technical details of permanent failure:


Mon, 08/09/2010 - 12:45 | 510887 Frank Owen
Frank Owen's picture

Last night I saw upon the stair,
A little woman who wasn’t there,
She wasn’t there again today...

Mon, 08/09/2010 - 16:41 | 511447 rapunzel
rapunzel's picture

say again, franky.

Mon, 08/09/2010 - 10:50 | 510655 dark pools of soros
dark pools of soros's picture

call back that crew from MIR - they will be able to handle the situation like real men

Mon, 08/09/2010 - 12:22 | 510848 Whizbang
Whizbang's picture

"huge toxic cloud of carbon monoxide above the Russian capital" I lived in L.A. for two years, I don't understand the problem here.

Mon, 08/09/2010 - 10:11 | 510526 goldfish1
goldfish1's picture

Russia's Urals city of Ozersk is surrounded with our best energy and thoughts sparing it from catastrophe and returning it to perfect radiant health.

Mon, 08/09/2010 - 10:17 | 510539 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

I think Puttin is creating some extra parking space for the new Starbuck branches. Their slogan to hit the market will be:

"Roasted locally, for, by and with the local people!"

Mon, 08/09/2010 - 14:22 | 511080 knukles
knukles's picture

Now that's funny.  Seriously. 

Like Starbucks would give a shit in spite of the tripe they print on the side of the $19 paper latte cups.  Let them drink dark roast.

Mon, 08/09/2010 - 10:14 | 510530 DosZap
DosZap's picture

Worst heat wave in 1,000 yrs?, temps are CLOSE to 93*F, in Moscow.

They are saving their crops, and we are sending them billion of tons of wheat, so we can hit the American consumers for $3.00 a loaf bread.

We cannot save ourselves, bit we continue to save the world........avowed enemies.

Mon, 08/09/2010 - 10:19 | 510545 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

Instead of sending them wheat, we should send them Californian Wheed.

Swazzy would be happy, the russians would be happy, EVERYBODY would be happy!

Mon, 08/09/2010 - 11:05 | 510702 downrodeo
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...until they got the munchies and realized that there was no wheat to eat, then they would be sad again...

Mon, 08/09/2010 - 11:09 | 510711 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

I've heard, the Russians eat their children...

Mon, 08/09/2010 - 11:17 | 510730 rapunzel
rapunzel's picture

wheed over wheat.

am going up into the hills tomorrow and

S C O R E ---------->>>>>-----------

Mon, 08/09/2010 - 12:35 | 510875 BorisTheBlade
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Thanks, but no thanks, heroin from Afghanistan is more than enough.

Mon, 08/09/2010 - 10:32 | 510574 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

93 degrees is that ALL? Bread is already way over $3 a loaf already.

Mon, 08/09/2010 - 14:23 | 511092 knukles
knukles's picture

Oh, come on. 

!,000 years?  Is that a result derived from the same overtly manipulated non-existent ICCU data base?

1,000 years, my ass.


Mon, 08/09/2010 - 15:40 | 511293 thisandthat
thisandthat's picture

You got to cling to whatever hope you've got left (re GW):

Floods in Germany, Poland and Czech republic, besides Pakistan (in Summer!);

Hundreds of children dead from cold in Peru;

Millions of fish dead from cold in Bolivian rivers and lakes;

Rain in the Sahel;

Worst snow fall in a decade in RGS and SC, Brazil;

Pythons and alligators dead from cold in Florida;

Atoll islands growing;

Definitely GW...

Mon, 08/09/2010 - 10:15 | 510533 Internet Tough Guy
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Saw a Guardian article over the weekend that 5000 are believed to have died in the heat wave, across Russia.

Mon, 08/09/2010 - 10:37 | 510596 Assetman
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For an area that's as close to the Arctic circle as some parts of Alaska, the climate of Moscow this summer resembles Dallas, Texas (this includes the nasty thermal inversions that traps toxic smoke/pollution).

The only exception here is that most Moscow residents don't have air conditioning.  Little wonder daily mortality figures are up there.

Mon, 08/09/2010 - 11:21 | 510736 Lndmvr
Lndmvr's picture

They are on the same parralel as HARRP?

Mon, 08/09/2010 - 16:07 | 511376 thesapein
thesapein's picture

air conditioning?

Last I checked, consumer units don't filter out smoke.

Mon, 08/09/2010 - 12:32 | 510866 Frank Owen
Frank Owen's picture

Amazing how many drowning deaths there have been in Russia.. >1200 people in June alone.

Mon, 08/09/2010 - 10:25 | 510554 old_turk
old_turk's picture

There's something else going on.

I have no idea what it is, perhaps drought?

We burn off 200,000 acres a year in the US due to fires soooooo ... there's something else going on.

They are way too twitchy.

Mon, 08/09/2010 - 10:42 | 510622 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture


Mon, 08/09/2010 - 14:25 | 511094 knukles
knukles's picture

HAARP and Chemtrails, too

Mon, 08/09/2010 - 10:46 | 510641 firstdivision
firstdivision's picture

I have a hint, but I have been told by the big energy lobbyists that it is a mirage.  They told me this happens all the time.  So that is good to clear out 100sq mi of the Amazon. 

Mon, 08/09/2010 - 16:13 | 511392 thesapein
thesapein's picture

It would be a like a snow storm in Mexico City. They weren't prepared for the temperatures to break a thousand year record. They aren't prepared for the worst yet to come, either.

Mon, 08/09/2010 - 10:38 | 510600 linrom
linrom's picture

Like this is a joke? Well I hope that your house burns down and you die of smoke inhalation. Let's see how funny this going to be.

Mon, 08/09/2010 - 10:43 | 510632 firstdivision
firstdivision's picture

Please come back when you find cynicism in the world.  Otherwise I believe you meant to type www.cnbc.cominto your web address bar.  This mistake seems to be happening with a high degree of frequency lately. 

Mon, 08/09/2010 - 10:53 | 510671 dark pools of soros
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is your meth extra peppy today?

Mon, 08/09/2010 - 12:20 | 510844 Call_me_Al
Call_me_Al's picture

*First one:

In case of fire

You will act like this.

*Second one:

It is better to shut your mouth and seem to be a fool

than to open it and make it a certainty.


Mon, 08/09/2010 - 11:01 | 510696 Temedar
Temedar's picture

50 dead Russians << 1 guy who wanted to nuke the Gulf of Mexico.

Mon, 08/09/2010 - 11:43 | 510776 tamboo
tamboo's picture

speaking of which:

and pravda bashers take note that they are not the original source.

Mon, 08/09/2010 - 10:51 | 510658 usikpa
usikpa's picture

I am writing this from the north eastern part of Moscow as of 7 pm local time (11 am New York). SmoKe (it was NEVER smoG) is gone, as far as I can see, almost not felt in the air.

It is somewhat tough for the Moscovites out there as it is unusually hot for unconventionally long this time of the year, and very few appartments (let alone public places and facilities, such as subway and bus traffic) are equipped with air conditioning (no use in the past).

Forecast says we get fresh air tomorrow, and temperatures will subside 


Mon, 08/09/2010 - 11:13 | 510675 firstdivision
firstdivision's picture

The interesting part is that northern lower 48 states have been a bit unusually warm this year as well.  Though we have A/C, there is obviously something major going on with the climate this year.  Never mind how Pakistan and China are having record rain falls in many areas this past month. Records were meant to be broken.  Is this another shot across the bow of the USS Human Survival, or a shot into the side?

Mon, 08/09/2010 - 11:45 | 510782 Assetman
Assetman's picture

Thanks for the update... and I'm very glad to hear that temperatures are expected to go back closer to seasonal.  This almost reminds me of what happened in Chicago (more than) several years back...

Mon, 08/09/2010 - 13:11 | 510925 thesapein
thesapein's picture

Don't believe posters on ZH who claim to be at the source reporting back that things are fine. These people are either lying or just too scared to open their eyes.

Mon, 08/09/2010 - 16:15 | 511397 thesapein
thesapein's picture

I hope who ever junked me watched the video link to see the actual situation in Moscow as it is today.

Mon, 08/09/2010 - 12:42 | 510884 ATTILA THE WIMP

Who keeps letting these Ruskie spies into Zero Hedge? I'll bet he's taking pictures of Robotrader's graphs. Where is Gen. Turgidson when we need him?

Mon, 08/09/2010 - 12:59 | 510902 Call_me_Al
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Forget about robotrader, just wait 'til you hear what we're doing to your precious bodily fluids. ;-)

Mon, 08/09/2010 - 13:13 | 510928 thesapein
thesapein's picture

Judging by the deception, maybe the poster was a spy...

Mon, 08/09/2010 - 15:10 | 511216 Andrew_Miller
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No, we don't take pictures of Robo's charts. Daneric's charts are better.

Mon, 08/09/2010 - 12:54 | 510897 thesapein
thesapein's picture

Just sit tight and wait for the big one. Moscow will one day be in textbooks for those studying classic hallmarks for earthquakes. 

Mon, 08/09/2010 - 10:53 | 510669 Oswald Spengler
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The decision, therefore, lies here in the East; here must the Russian enemy, this people numbering two hundred million Russians, be destroyed on the battle field and person by person, and made to bleed to death . 
Heinrich Himmler 

Mon, 08/09/2010 - 11:14 | 510701 Martel
Martel's picture

Nothing new in Russia. About 10 years ago I did a tour in several cities in Russia (west of Ural). While traveling by train through the countryside, smoke from forest fires was constant. Nothing similar in other forest-rich countries, such as Sweden or Finland. I wonder whether the Russians burn their country just for fun, or maybe they just don't care.

The grain export ban proves the idea of making profitable agribusiness in Russia is faulty. You buy or rent farming land in the "Black earth" area, bring in the best Western technology and expertise, realize bumper harvests, but the Russian state prevents you from making profit. There are at least two listed Western companies doing this (Black Earth Farming and Trigon Agri). I wonder if from now on, they'll concentrate their business on the Ukrainian side.

Even though Communism is gone, the state (FSB/KGB kleptocracy) in Russia is still everything, private people and businesses are nothing.

Mon, 08/09/2010 - 12:21 | 510846 alpha60
alpha60's picture

martel, that multi-city tour ten years ago and your deep knowledge of Black Earth Farming are just enough to make you a zerohedge expert.

yes, fires happen every year, sometimes started to collect insurance, sometimes to clear land, sometimes - shit just burns cause its hot and dry and people are generally stupid. not just in russia.

closing wheat exports is a technique to increase profits for selected exporters, and apease domestic consumers.

double people dying? maybe, but not just from smoke, also from extreme heat, and auxiliary circumstances from heat and smoke - car wrecks, accidents etc. there is a death peak in the middle of summer and middle of winter - all standard.

yes, this year is higher, but come on, i already heard how half of ukraine was dying from the death flu plague last year. another moderately bad situation turned into a media scam - thanks to internet users everywhere.

FYI, its black earth management, acting as if they are russia experts, who aren't letting their 'investors' make a profit, not the russian government. and now they are the way to ukraine - is that because ukraine is less corrupt? ha. or they got another tranche of your cash to give another go in a much, much better investment. (invest with us! we rent x gizillion hectares and call it an asset!)

i'll make sure i put you on the distribution list for the CIS Bagholders' Opportunity Fund.

Mon, 08/09/2010 - 13:47 | 510981 Martel
Martel's picture

yes, fires happen every year, sometimes started to collect insurance, sometimes to clear land, sometimes - shit just burns cause its hot and dry and people are generally stupid. not just in russia.

My point was that forest fires seem to be very frequent in Russia, or you're not too eager or capable in putting them down.


FYI, its black earth management, acting as if they are russia experts, who aren't letting their 'investors' make a profit, not the russian government.

If Russian government bans exporting grain, they prevent the companies from making most of the situation. It is very short-sighted, but nothing new, though. I doubt the people e.g. at Black Earth Farming thought/claimed they were Russia experts, but experts in agribusiness certainly. If they had been "Russia experts", they would never have invested there.


i'll make sure i put you on the distribution list for the CIS Bagholders' Opportunity Fund

Thanks, but I'm not holding bags of neither Russia nor its satellites - even Ukraine is out of question because of its demographic setup. Life is short, and there are better opportunities elsewhere. Russia's main asset is its women, and for the past 20 years, they have been exported abroad for the convenience of foreign men.

Mon, 08/09/2010 - 14:28 | 511103 knukles
knukles's picture


Mon, 08/09/2010 - 12:06 | 510819 Thorlyx
Thorlyx's picture

oxygen, bitchez !

Mon, 08/09/2010 - 13:04 | 510912 thesapein
thesapein's picture

I'm not buying those numbers. The normal stats are obviously false to make the increased numbers not look so bad. A city with a death rate that high would not be a city for very long.


Mon, 08/09/2010 - 13:46 | 510984 Temedar
Temedar's picture

360 deaths per day = 131 thousand deaths per year. Moscow's population is (officially) about 10 million, in reality it it at least 12M. Death rate for Russia is 14.2 people per thousand per year. Sad but true..

Due to (surprise) immigration the total population is falling quite slowly, if falling at all (as the official figures do not include the illegals).

Mon, 08/09/2010 - 14:38 | 511126 knukles
knukles's picture

The vast majority of all deaths in Russia are directly related to physical and mental deterioration directly as a result of alcoholism. 

Mon, 08/09/2010 - 15:13 | 511227 Andrew_Miller
Andrew_Miller's picture

Complete nonsense. Most northern nations beat us in yearly alcohol consumption per capita.

Mon, 08/09/2010 - 15:40 | 511294 Temedar
Temedar's picture

Yeah, the Norway citizens consume quite a lot home-made alchohol and technical spirits, don't they?

Mon, 08/09/2010 - 15:34 | 511281 Temedar
Temedar's picture

I wouldn't call it a vast majority, but obviously drinking is a major factor.

Mon, 08/09/2010 - 16:43 | 511451 thesapein
thesapein's picture

There's no such thing as "directly caused by alcoholism."

Mon, 08/09/2010 - 16:31 | 511426 thesapein
thesapein's picture

So Moscow was already a dying city?

Seems like we're totally missing a bigger story then. Why is it so hazardous to your health to live in Moscow?

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