Despite swirling rumors, Russia has rebuffed claims of a stonking fire at the Ministry of Defense building situated in the heart of Moscow. This dismissal was reported by TASS, the state news agency, after it initially cited emergency services reporting a fire that had allegedly ignited on a balcony of the building12.
The fire was initially reported by an emergency services source, who was quoted by TASS saying, “A fire broke-out on a balcony at the Ministry of Defense building on Frunzenskaya Naberezhnaya,” noting that emergency services were promptly on the scene34.
However, local authorities later countered these reports, stating that no fire had been detected at the building. The Ministry of Emergency Situations in Moscow also backed this stance, stating, “The presence of a fire has not been confirmed, as no fire was detected by the fire brigade upon arrival. Neither is there any information about victims”56.
Despite these official denials, a video seen by CNN showed a substantial amount of smoke billowing from the Defense Ministry building. An unidentified woman could be heard remarking, “The smell of burning is horrible”7.
Other sources, including Russian telegram channels and the Belarusian opposition medium ‘Nexta’, have also reported the presence of smoke around the building8.