Military Enlistment Office Set on Fire in Russia

A military enlistment office in Vladivostok, in Russia's Far East, was reportedly set on fire by two men in the early hours of Wednesday, according to Russian daily newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda.

The newspaper said the incident had been confirmed by a source in law enforcement agencies but not been independently verified. Images of the building on Google Maps show a structure that's entirely made of wood.

The Russian newspaper writes that the unidentified source said two suspects launched a bottle containing flammable liquid at the wall of the building and then took out their phones to film the spread of the ensuing fire.

Komsomolskaya Pravda writes that the military recruitment office was hosted in a historic building but it was only slightly damaged by the fire.

According to the paper, the military had already begun replacing damaged wooden boards and the head of the regional Primorsky Krai police, Maj. Gen. Oleg Stefankov, had registered the arson incident and put the building "under control."

Police are looking for the two suspects, who the newspaper said fled the scene after being noticed. The pair face up to five years in prison for damaging a historic building, the newspaper reports.

The incident in Vladivostok, nearly 4,000 miles east of Moscow, is the latest of a series of mysterious blazes reported in Russia since the beginning of the invasion of Ukraine on February 24.

There have been dozens of cases of military buildings and ammunition depots catching fire. Until now, Moscow has been reluctant to describe these blazes as anything more than incidents, while Ukrainian and Western media have described the possibility that they could be the result of sabotage.

On May 28, Ukraine's Kyiv Post reported that a Molotov cocktail had been thrown at the military registration and enlistment office in Simferopol, in Russian-occupied Crimea, by an unidentified activist. On the same day, it reported another act of what it called "sabotage" in the Sergiev Posad District of Moscow, where a railway junction was reportedly dismantled, making the railway temporarily unusable.

A fire broke out next to the regional parliament in Tyumen on Saturday, with images shared on social media showing thick black smoke spreading across the center of the Siberian city.

The blaze covered an area of around 16,000 square feet and took around two hours to be extinguished, according to the regional branch of Russia's emergency situations ministry.

Newsweek has contacted Russia's Ministry of Emergency Situations for comment on these incidents and the fire in Vladivostok.

Vladivostok military enlistment office fire
This screenshot from Google Maps shows the military enlistment office in Vladivostok, Russia, which was reportedly set on fire by two arsonists. Google Maps