A noxious smog engulfed Moscow today as Russia took steps to protect military and nuclear sites from the worst wildfires on record that have killed 52 people.
The defence ministry ordered removal of missiles from a depot outside Moscow as the authorities warned that the fires posed a risk of reactivating contamination in an area hit by the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster.
Many commuters wearing masks wheezed their way to work in the worst smog to hit the capital since the fires broke out more than a week ago.
According to experts the pollution is at four time the safe levels.
According to the emergencies ministry the total area on fire was down slightly at 179,500 hectares (444,000 acres), but there still remain around 588 fires across the affected region in European Russia and 248 new fires had appeared over the last 24 hours.
The fires have already claimed 52 lives according to the ministry of health in its latest update and the emergencies ministry called for volunteers to join the firefighting efforts.