Antonina Babenko, who survived World War II on a Belarussian battle front, spent her final days in a sweltering Moscow apartment, struggling against a choking smog that rolled in through open windows.

二战中在白俄罗斯战斗前线幸存下来的安东尼娜•巴本科(Antonina Babenko)生命的最后几天在莫斯科一所闷热的公寓里度过,令人窒息的烟雾通过开着的窗子涌入房间,令她痛苦不已。

The 86-year-old Soviet army intelligenceveteran collapsed on Friday, when contaminants in the city's air were five times the acceptable norm, and died the next day in a hospital, her niece said Tuesday. The cause was listed as a heart attack.


Hundreds of ailing and elderly Muscovites have died since a heat wave gripped much of Russia in mid-July and spawned wildfires that have blanketed the capital with a noxious, milky-white haze. How and why they died is a matter of controversy. By official count, 52 people have died nationwide, outside big cities, as a direct result of forest fires. As bodies piled up in morgues, authorities declined to say how many deaths could be linked indirectly to the twin crises of heat and fires, feeding rumors of a coverup.


This week the city's chief health official announced that the daily death toll in Moscow in recent days had reached 700, nearly double what he called the norm, and attributed the increase to the extreme conditions, particularly the heat.


'This is no secret,' said the official, Andrei Seltsovsky. 'Everybody thinks we're making secrets out of it.'

这位名为安德列•塞尔索夫斯基(Andrei Seltsovsky)的官员说,这不是什么秘密,但人们都认为我们在隐瞒事实。

After Mr. Seltsovsky gave his estimated death toll Monday at a televised meeting of the city council, his federal counterpart, Health Minister Tatyana Golikova, called it 'bewildering' and dismissed it as unofficial.

周一塞尔索夫斯基在市议会电视会议上公布了他估计的死亡人数后,俄罗斯卫生部长达姬雅娜•戈利科娃(Tatyana Golikova)称之"令人费解",并指其为非官方数字。

The average daily death toll in Moscow last July was 307, according to the Moscow civil registry office. Mr. Seltsovsky said the average daily death toll 'during normal times' is 360 to 380, in a city of about 11 million people. He said the city's morgues are filling up, with 1,300 of the 1,500 slots taken.


Struggling to keep up, morgues and cemeteries have added workers and work shifts. Istra cemetery, just west of the city, registered 21 burials Monday, the most in a day since World War II.


Independent experts say a rise in mortality isn't exceptional for a city ill-prepared for such temperatures, even without the smog.


Temperatures have soared into the 90s or higher every day since July 15, and most Moscow dwellings lack air conditioning.


But the death toll is sensitive because officials at all levels face public criticism for their handling of the heat emergency and the fires, which continued to burn Tuesday in more than 550 places across Russia, including about 40 near Moscow.


Richard Boudreaux
  • moscow [´mɔskəu] 移动到这儿单词发声 n.莫斯科 (初中英语单词)
  • apartment [ə´pɑ:tmənt] 移动到这儿单词发声 n.一套房间 (初中英语单词)
  • soviet [´səuviit] 移动到这儿单词发声 a.苏联的 n.苏维埃 (初中英语单词)
  • intelligence [in´telidʒəns] 移动到这儿单词发声 n.智力;消息 (初中英语单词)
  • extreme [ik´stri:m] 移动到这儿单词发声 a.尽头的 n.极端 (初中英语单词)
  • federal [´fedərəl] 移动到这儿单词发声 a.联邦的,联邦制的 (初中英语单词)
  • minister [´ministə] 移动到这儿单词发声 n.部长;大臣 v.伺候 (初中英语单词)
  • normal [´nɔ:məl] 移动到这儿单词发声 a.正规的 n.正常状态 (初中英语单词)
  • criticism [´kritisizəm] 移动到这儿单词发声 n.批评;评论(文) (初中英语单词)
  • veteran [´vetərən] 移动到这儿单词发声 n.老兵 a.老练的 (高中英语单词)
  • controversy [´kɔntrəvə:si] 移动到这儿单词发声 n.争论;争吵 (高中英语单词)
  • cemetery [´semitri] 移动到这儿单词发声 n.墓地,公墓 (高中英语单词)
  • sensitive [´sensitiv] 移动到这儿单词发声 a.敏感的;感光的 (高中英语单词)
  • emergency [i´mə:dʒənsi] 移动到这儿单词发声 n.事变;紧急关头 (高中英语单词)
  • acceptable [ək´septəbəl] 移动到这儿单词发声 a.可接受的;合意的 (英语四级单词)
  • elderly [´eldəli] 移动到这儿单词发声 a. 较老的,年长的 (英语四级单词)
  • mortality [mɔ:´tæliti] 移动到这儿单词发声 n.致命性;死亡率 (英语四级单词)
  • exceptional [ik´sepʃənəl] 移动到这儿单词发声 a.异常的,特别的 (英语四级单词)
  • indirectly [,indi´rektli] 移动到这儿单词发声 a.间接地;迂回地 (英语六级单词)