A prayer has not helped: Sarov covered with smoke

2021-09-01

Profanity in the guise of struggle.

Several regions of Russia are engulfed in fires at once. Mordovia, located next to the city of Sarov (the former science city “Arzamas-16”), is also on fire. Recently, fires came close to the city. To combat the coming disaster, a reliable weapon was used – prayer. The priest of the Nizhny Novgorod episcopat flew over the city on a helicopter. But the triumph of Orthodoxy over the elements was short-lived: today (August 29th) Sarov is covered with smoke.

According to the original source – the website of the Nizhny Novgorod Metropolitanate of the Russian Orthodox Church – on Tuesday, August 24, Archpriest Vladimir Kuznetsov performed a prayer service while being aboard an Mi-8 helicopter. Apparently, the helicopter with the EMERCOM employees made a planned flight in order to monitor fire hazardous situations. The church website reports on the effect of the prayer service, citing the words of the priest, who, in turn, refers to an unnamed employee of the nuclear center:

“… Soon one of the managers of the RFNC-VNIIEF industrial site, who did not know anything about our flight, told how a wildfire was going to the site, but suddenly the wind changed, and the wall of fire did not jump over the protective zone, but went back to the Mordovian nature reserve.”

Truly speaking, if you read carefully, it turns out that the priest was talking about a case from 2010. In the interpretation of the Nizhny Novgorod journalists, it turned out that the episode with the miraculously changed wind belongs to our days. Then the same version was repeated by the federal media.

We do not know how things were in 2010, but now the effectiveness of prayer is clearly in doubt. The wind blows clouds of suffocating smoke on Sarov. On August 29, amateur videos of city streets appeared on social networks; they illustrate haze around houses and poor visibility on sidewalks. The author of the video commented on the situation: “So much smoke, there is nothing to breathe again.” Since August 19, an emergency regime has been in effect in Sarov.

Sarov is a once closed city called “Arzamas-16“, built in the USSR to conduct scientific and technical developments in the field of nuclear physics. In 1949, the Council of Ministers of the USSR decided to build an assembly plant for the industrial production of nuclear weapons on this territory. Outstanding intellectual and production forces of the country were concentrated in Arzamas-16. After the destruction of socialism, the city was renamed Sarov; the actual power in the city is shared by VNIIEF and the church.

In addition to Yakutia and Mordovia, large-scale fires this summer broke out in the Sverdlovsk, Chelyabinsk, Orenburg, Samara regions, Karelia, Bashkiria and many other regions of Russia. In many cases, residents were left alone with the raging elements. This catastrophe now happens every year; many recall how the press service of the Irkutsk Oblast government decided to leave some fires “under observation”, since it turned out to be economically inexpedient to extinguish them. Officials can be understood: indeed, it is difficult to do business on firefighting.