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.

Police Search Offices of Russian Retailer Wildberries After Warehouse Fire

Police search Wildberries' main office in Moscow. Alexander Shcherbak / TASS

Russia’s biggest online retailer Wildberries said Thursday that law enforcement officers were carrying out searches at its Moscow headquarters, just days after a fire destroyed its warehouse in St. Petersburg.

On Saturday, a fire covering some 70,000 square meters ripped through a Wildberries warehouse on the south side of St. Petersburg, destroying an estimated 17 billion rubles ($191 million) worth of goods and company property, or around 1% of the retailer's turnover.

No one was reported injured in the blaze, which took firefighters more than 30 hours to extinguish.  

“Law enforcement agencies are [searching]... the Wildberries office in Moscow today in connection with the fire at the warehouse in Shushary,” Wildberries’ press office said on the messaging app Telegram, referring to the location of the St. Petersburg warehouse. 

The company said it was cooperating with investigators and was interested in establishing the causes of the fire “as soon as possible.”

Russia’s Investigative Committee, which probes major crimes, opened a criminal investigation into the fire over the weekend. 

The RBC news website, quoting an anonymous source familiar with the investigation, reported Thursday that “all Wildberries facilities are undergoing fire safety inspections, including corporate offices.”

“Security systems and documents for all facilities are being checked,” RBC quoted its source as saying.

Wildberries’ press service said its operations were not impacted by the police searches.

According to the investigative news outlet Agentstvo, the company's warehouse in St. Petersburg had allegedly operated illegally for nearly two years due to ambiguity over building inspection certificates.

The Moscow Times could not confirm the report.

… 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.

paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more