Support The Moscow Times!

U.S. ‘Climate Weapon’ Caused Russia’s Warm Winter, Lawmaker Says

In addition to an unusually warm winter, with a lack of traditional snow cover in December, Moscow experienced its coldest summer on record in 2019.  Mikhail Tereshchenko / TASS

The United States may be using a “climate weapon” to cause an unseasonably warm winter in Russia, a lawmaker has claimed in an interview with the Govorit Moskva radio station Tuesday.

Weather experts say the anomaly in Moscow and parts of Russia this winter was caused by an atmospheric front from the Atlantic Ocean.

“I’m convinced these are not random changes in the climate,” Alexei Zhuravlyov, a member of Russia’s lower house of parliament, the State Duma, told Govorit Moskva. 

“If [Russia's permafrost] melts now, it will be a disaster. ... The Americans know this and they’re testing this weapon,” the leader of the nationalist Rodina party said, alleging that the U.S. tests are in violation of international bans.

Zhuravlyov, 57, previously blamed last summer’s Siberian forest fires and Moscow storms on U.S. “climate weapons.”

The theory that the U.S. deploys climate-change weapons against Russia dates back to at least 2010, when Moscow sweltered under record temperatures that summer. Back then, a Russian political scientist claimed that the alleged weapons “provoke droughts, erase crops and induce various anomalous phenomena in certain countries."

Forecasters expect above-average temperatures in Russia this January and February, the RBC news website reported Tuesday. 

In addition to an unusually warm winter, with a lack of traditional snow cover in December, Moscow experienced its coldest summer on record in 2019. 

Russia remains a relatively climate-skeptic nation, with recent polls saying that less than half of Russians believe climate change poses a major threat to their country. 

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.