Amid fires the air is thick with prayers
The Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin occupied the nation’s TV screens while reports of his bravado in fighting forest wildfires littered the media. The rest of the country were dead on their feet, choking with smoke as they fought the disaster.
Unable to depend upon Putin, government authority or new luxury equipment for assistance, locals grew weary as they defended their houses using an arsenal of tractors, farm equipment and shovels.
Some relied on their prayers.
A priest blessed firefighters in the village of Berestyanka before they continued on. Local residents conducted religious services asking God for rain to prevent new wildfires like the one that partially destroyed the village of Kriusha on August 5.
About one hundred people, mostly elderly women, knelt asking God to forgive their sins. They then followed an Orthodox priest during a procession through the village.
As they walked, the procession appeared to dissolve into heavy white smog, which had shrouded the settlement. Only their prayers were heard. These words drifted out from behind the screen of smoke “You, God Almighty, ask for our houses, people living there and property inside: bless, sanctify with a holy cross, save us from fire.”
The local church was burnt. Though residents could only meet with the priest once a week, they still believe and trust in God.