Russia hit by deadly wildfires

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Wildfires sweeping across European Russia have killed at least 25 people and left thousands homeless.

Fanned by strong winds, fires ripped through woods and fields that have been scorched for weeks by a heatwave, incinerating hundreds of wooden houses.

The hottest weather since records began 130 years ago has brought drought to some regions of Russia, one of the world's biggest wheat exporters, sending global prices soaring to year highs.

The emergencies ministry said 240,000 people have been deployed to fighting peat and forest fires across 866 square km, an area about the size of Berlin.

The Emergencies Ministry said a total of 1,257 private houses had burnt down in European parts of Russia, leading to the evacuation of more than 3,000 people.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin cancelled meetings in Moscow to fly to the Nizhny Novgorod region, where at least 540 homes were destroyed. He ordered his government to allocate 5 billion roubles (£100 million) to help victims.