×
Enjoying ad-free content?
Since July 1, 2024, we have disabled all ads to improve your reading experience.
This commitment costs us $10,000 a month. Your support can help us fill the gap.
Support us
Our journalism is banned in Russia. We need your help to keep providing you with the truth.

Arsonists Behind Animal Shelter Blaze, Investigators Say

Investigators said Tuesday that a fire that killed seven dogs in a Moscow animal shelter in early November was the work of arsonists.

Experts are continuing to examine the area surrounding the Alma shelter, which was engulfed in flames in the early hours of Nov. 5, but they now treating the case as an arson attack, Sergei Chervyakov, head of the Federal Fire Service, told RIA-Novosti.

Investigators said in preliminary conclusions that the blaze was started by "careless handling of fire by unknown persons," but speculation has swirled that "dog hunters" could have been behind the fire.

Moscow has seen a spate of attacks in the past few months by so-called dog hunters, who conceal poison in food and leave it in public places to kill stray dogs.

Days after the Alma shelter fire, police opened a criminal case on charges of animal cruelty and intentional destruction of property, which carry a maximum sentence of five years in prison.

In comments carried by Interfax, shelter director Lyudmila Bychkova said a witness had seen a man in a green Lada stop outside the shelter in western Moscow and throw something into the compound, after which the building caught fire.

The shelter housed around 200 animals at the time of the incident, but most were saved after staff opened their cages.

Related articles:

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

Once
Monthly
Annual
Continue
paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more