Vladimir Putin's hypersonic missiles under threat as wildfires reach top-secret nuclear base

VLADIMIR Putin’s hypersonic missiles are at risk as raging wildfires threaten a nuclear weapons base.

A state of emergency has been declared in the top-secret "closed town" of Sarov as civilian and military fire-fighting forces are mobilised. 

Videos showed furious fires rapidly reaching the town which is a base for Russia’s leading nuclear research centre and dedicated to designing Putin’s latest strategic missiles including his new hypersonic arsenal.  

One blaze threatens the so-called Third Plant, a key defence-related nuclear research site, with almost 1,100 firefighters deployed to hold back the flames. 

A statement from the top-secret All-Russian Scientific Research Institute of Experimental Physics said: "Several hotbeds of fire are in the perimeter of the town.

"The main work is carried out in the area of the 3rd plant in order to prevent the fire from reaching the industrial zone.

"Due to the high temperature and gusty wind, fire from the Mordovian Nature Reserve spread to Sarov closed town."

One inferno cut the rail link between Sarov and Moscow, which is 232 miles to the west.

The state of emergency was called by Sarov’s senior official Aleksey Safonov, permitting more powerful fight-fighting capability to be deployed.

A major effort is underway to hold back the blaze in the nature reserve located in the closed town of Sarov.

The town, based in western Russia, is home to the Russian Federal Nuclear Centre and is where scientists have been designing Putin's latest strategic missiles including his new hypersonic arsenal.

Last week Russia confirmed that flight tests of its new deadly hypersonic 208-tonne Satan-2 intercontinental ballistic missile will begin soon.

The first test of the fifth generation silo-based liquid-propellant intercontinental ballistic missile — called RS-28 Sarmat but dubbed in the West as Satan-2 — will be "in the autumn”.

The lethal weapons were most likely designed and created in the secret based in Sarov — where the fires are currently raging.

Authorities in Russia deployed firefighting planes and helicopters to drop dozens of water bombs in a bid to contain the wildfires.


Some 300 workers from Sarov including the Russian national guard have been redeployed to fight the fires, and more than 600 Russians are actively tackling the blazes, say reports. 

A state of emergency was called by Sarov’s senior official Aleksey Safonov, a move that will permit more emergency crew members to the area.

Elsewhere, Russian authorities evacuated two villages in the vast region of Siberia after 155 forest fires burned on Sunday.

A dozen villages in northeastern Siberia were threatened by fires over the weekend.

On Saturday, flames destroyed 31 houses and eight maintenance buildings in another village, Byas-Kuel, and about 400 residents were evacuated, local officials said.

In recent years, Russia has recorded high temperatures that many scientists regard as a result of climate change.

The hot weather coupled with the neglect of fire safety rules has caused a growing number of fires.

This week, smoke from the wildfires around Russia travelled more than 3,000km from Yakutia to the North Pole.

Images released from NASA's Earth Observatory showed that the smoke obscured the view of the land below as it stretched 2,000 miles from east to west.

In neighbouring Turkey, fires that have ravaged the country and killed eight have now entered a second week.

The situation remained serious however around the tourist hotspot of Mugla, where at least three neighbourhoods have been ordered to evacuate.

There have been over 200 fires in 47 of Turkey's 81 provinces, Agriculture Minister Bekir Pakdemirli tweeted Saturday and 13 of those fires in five provinces were still burning.

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