Saturday, May 13, 2023

Regional Officials Reported to Be Spreading Rumors that Ukrainians Setting Forest Fires in Russia

Paul Goble

            Staunton, May 10 – Most forest fires in Russia are the result of improper and even illegal harvesting of lumber, procedures that put the remaining woods at risk. Many Russians blame governors for allowing that to happen, and now there are rumors spreading on the Internet that the governors have come up with a defense.

            According to web reports, the governors of Kurgan and Sverdlovsk where some of the largest fires this year have taken place have hired Moscow political technologists at enormous expense – more than 145 million rubles (two million US dollars) – to spread the word that Ukrainian special services are behind the conflagrations.

            Of course, these charges are made without evidence; but they are likely to be believed by some. At the very least, they are yet another way Russian officials are exploiting Putin’s war in Ukraine to deflect responsibility and blame away from themselves and onto anyone convenient (

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