Wildfires sweep central Russia

Forest fires swept across central Russia on Friday, killing at least eight people and forcing the evacuation of thousands during the hottest summer since records began 130 years ago.

Fanned by strong winds, raging fires ripped through woods and fields already scorched by the heatwave. The emergencies ministry said 866 square km, an area about the size of Berlin, was on fire in hundreds of peat and forest blazes.

“We don’t know where to go,” said Galina Shibanova, 52, standing outside the charred remains of her family home in the town of Maslovka in the Voronezh region, about 500 km (300 miles) south of Moscow.

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