St. Basil’s Cathedral and Red Square have disappeared amidst acrid black smoke and planes have been diverted from Moscow’s airport as peat fires burning around the Russian capital doubled in size yesterday. Some businesses are closed and office workers are donning surgical masks indoors. NASA images show a 3,000 km-long cloud of smoke as a record 150,000 firefighters battle countless blazes. Russia is experiencing one of the hottest and driest summers on record with temperatures approaching 40 degrees C in some places. Russia’s largest airport diverted 15 planes after visibility fell below 400 metres yesterday. This comes as trains and planes sell out as many of Moscow’s 10.5 million residents try to flee the smoke.