Support The Moscow Times!

Moscow Cold Kills 2 and Freezes ATMs

Steam and exhaust fumes rising from cars as they crawl through the traffic-clogged square at Belorussky Station. Vladimir Filonov

Moscow’s temperature plunged to a four-year low, killing at least two people, freezing cash machines and pushing electricity consumption to a record.

The “polar cold” reached minus 26 degrees Celsius early Wednesday, said Tatiana Podnyakova, a spokeswoman for the Federal Meteorological Service.

At least two people died of hypothermia and 33 more were hospitalized, according to City Hall data compiled by Interfax.

Sberbank, which holds about half of the country’s savings, said 34 of its outdoor automated teller machines were disabled by the cold.

“We are seeing ultrapolar intrusions of air,” Podnyakova said. “This is a very major negative anomaly.”

The last time that Moscow was so cold was in January 2006, when temperatures dipped below minus 30 C, and the last time that it was this frigid in December was in 1997, Podnyakova said. Moscow had the warmest December on record last year, with an average of 3.7 C. The coldest was in 1888, when it averaged minus 18.3 C.

Electricity consumption in Moscow and the surrounding region jumped to 17,251 megawatt-hours Wednesday, a second-consecutive record, said Maxim Landa, a spokesman for Moscow Integrated Electricity Distribution Co.

Power use will ebb with the cold snap, Landa said.

Moscow warmed to minus 20 C on Thursday, and temperatures will gradually rise to minus 11 C at the start of next week, the meteorological service said.

… 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