200 Russian military aircraft destroyed in wildfire?

Russian servicemen fighting wildfire
Russian servicemen take a break from fighting a wildfire near Gus-Khrustalny

Sometimes in the United States we have trouble getting accurate information from our news organizations, but a story coming out of Russia about 200 military aircraft being destroyed in a wildfire that burned through a Navy base may or may not be true. Several online articles made the claim about the 200 aircraft, but the Russian defense ministry initially denied reports of the fire and at first even denied that the Navy base existed. Later Russia’s Prosecutor General’s office confirmed that at least 13 hangars containing aircraft had been destroyed in a wildfire at a base outside Moscow on July 29.

It reminds you of “Baghdad Bob” who denied that his city was being overrun by coalition armies during the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

One article has a headline that says “Forest fires destroy 200 Russian navy aircraft — report”, but the video at the same site (shown below)  has a reporter saying 10 20 aircraft were destroyed.

UPDATE @ 8:44 MT August 5
The Boston Globe’s Big Picture has many excellent photos of the fires in Russia, including one, # 18, of the rarely seen Ilyushin-76 jet-powered air tanker.

Typos, let us know HERE, and specify which article. Please read the commenting rules before you post a comment.

Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.

2 thoughts on “200 Russian military aircraft destroyed in wildfire?”

  1. The picture in the video was of a fake plane used for fire training.

    But if the Russians did not keep the fields mowed and allowed brush to grow there is the real possibility they lost some aircraft. I’m sure the Russians have a large fleet of old military aircraft in various states of decay.
    That may be what was burned up.


Comments are closed.