Fire rips through Russian Ministry of Defence near the Kremlin – as Putin held talks with Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko
- Smoke was gushing from third-floor windows in the defence ministry building
- The blaze came as Putin held talks with Belarus despot Alexander Lukashenko
A major fire erupted at a Russian defence ministry building in the centre of Moscow on Wednesday night, just a short distance from the Kremlin.
The blaze came as Russian President Vladimir Putin was holding talks with the Belarusian despot Alexander Lukashenko.
Dark smoke was seen gushing from the third-floor windows in the defence ministry headquarters at 19 Znamenka Street. Footage shared by state media outlets on social media showed a plume of spiraling smoke.
Some 50 people were evacuated as flames ripped through the headquarters.
Emergency services arrived and the small blaze was put out shortly after it started. There were no casualties, the Russian TASS news agency reported.
Smoke was gushing from third floor windows in a defence ministry building at 19 Znamenka Street, Moscow
A major fire erupted at a Russian defence ministry building in the centre of Moscow. Emergency services responded on Wednesday night
The blaze came as Russian President Vladimir Putin was holding talks with Belarus despot Alexander Lukashenko today
‘Around 19.30 (16.30 GMT), in one of the administrative buildings of the defence ministry in Moscow, duty workers detected smoke on the premises,’ Interfax cited the defence ministry as saying in a statement.
‘The fire department and ministry of emergency situations came to the scene,’ the statement added.
The fire covered an area of 60 square metres (646 square feet), TASS cited local emergency services as saying.
The Russian emergencies ministry said: ‘Intense burning is observed from a window on the third floor.’
The defence ministry said it was currently establishing the cause of the inferno.
The blaze was at a building known as Apraksin House, which has housed the administrative services of the Russian Ministry of Defence since 1987.
It is close to the headquarters of the defence ministry. The location is several hundred yards from the Kremlin.
Some reports said the section on fire was a department of military property dealing with facilities across the country.
The fire at the defence ministry building covered an area of 60 square metres (646 square feet), TASS cited local emergency services as saying
Footage shared by state media outlets on social media showed the dark smoke rising out of the government building
Emergency services arrived and the small blaze was put out shortly after it started with no casualties
People gathered as emergency services responded to the fire at the defence ministry building in Moscow on Wednesday night
Emergency services responded to a major fire that erupted at Russia’s defence ministry building in the centre of Moscow on Wednesday night, just a short distance from the Kremlin
Putin was believed to be holding talks with Lukashenko – an ally in his war with Ukraine – in the Kremlin, where smoke was visible.
The ministry is headed by close Putin ally Sergei Shoigu, and is responsible for Putin’s war in Ukraine.
Russia has seen a spate of fires in recent months.
Ukrainian intelligence chief, Major-General Kyrylo Budanov told Forbes last month that Russia was seeing many unusual explosions and fires.
‘Much of this is no accident,’ he said, admitting that Ukraine was paying Russian saboteurs. Something is constantly on fire [in Russia].
‘Signalling equipment on railways, it lights up several times a day, on various highways constantly for two to three hours, sometimes for five to six hours, traffic gets suspended.’
He admitted Kyiv is behind some of the sabotage attacks.
‘Clearly it doesn’t just happen like this…. I would put it this way: money works wonders.’
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