Support The Moscow Times!

New Year’s Tree in Russia’s Far East Turns Into Column of Flames

New Year’s celebrations on Sunday got heated after a 25-meter tree in Russia’s Far East caught fire.

The artificial New Year’s tree on Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk’s Lenin Square was engulfed by flames after being hit by fireworks, the local outlet reports. No one was injured in the incident.

Footage shows the presenter of the festivities urging the audience not to panic and encouraging people to move closer to the tree.

Firemen managed to quickly arrive on the scene, but not before hundreds of revelers captured the bonfire on their phones.

Local authorities have promised to replace the burnt out frame with a new 12-meter high artificial tree within a day.

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

As the only remaining independent, English-language news source reporting from Russia, The Moscow Times plays a critical role in connecting Russia to the world.

Editorial decisions are made entirely by journalists in our newsroom, who adhere to the highest ethical standards. We fearlessly cover issues that are often considered off-limits or taboo in Russia, from domestic violence and LGBT issues to the climate crisis and a secretive nuclear blast that exposed unknowing doctors to radiation.

Please consider making a one-time donation — or better still a recurring donation — to The Moscow Times to help us continue producing vital, high-quality journalism about the world's largest country.