As Muscovites suffer record high temperatures this summer
, a Russian political scientist has claimed the United States may be using climate-change weapons to alter the temperatures and crop yields of Russia and other Central Asian countries.
In a recent article, Andrei Areshev, deputy director of the Strategic Culture Foundation, wrote, "At the moment, climate weapons may be reaching their target capacity and may be used to provoke droughts, erase crops, and induce various anomalous phenomena in certain countries."
The article has been carried by publications throughout Russia, including "International Affairs," a journal published by the Foreign Ministry and by the state-owned news agency RIA Novosti.
In an telephone interview with RFE/RL, Areshev appeared to back off from claims he made in the article, saying that he was merely positing a theory.
"First of all, I would like to say that what I wrote in that article, even the citations, does not in any way claim to a be final truth. It is, if you will, speculation, in other words, the definition of an hypothesis," Areshev said.
Moscow is currently sweltering under record temperatures. On July 29 Moscow suffered its hottest day ever, with temperatures hitting 39 degrees.
But Russia isn't the only country suffering form a heat wave this summer. Indeed, the United States is also experiencing record temperatures. On July 24, temperatures in Washington, D.C., hit 37.7 degrees, and local weather services issued heat warnings for the first time this summer.
Areshev agrees that it is also hot in the United States, but notes that the United States is significantly farther south than Russia, meaning that such high temperatures are not so surprising there.
The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, however, announced in July that land and ocean temperatures throughout the world were the highest ever, since they began tracking global temperatures in 1880.