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Historic Moscow Belltower Catches Fire

The belltower of the Novodevichy Convent, a UNESCO World Heritage site, caught fire late Sunday.

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The fire broke out on the scaffolding around the tower, which has been closed for repairs since late last year. Emergency services told Russian state media that the cause of the fire was as yet unclear.

The cemetery adjoining the monastery is one of Moscow's most sought-after burial places.

Angela Monika Arnold / Via

Boris Yeltsin, Russia's first president, and former Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev are buried there, as are many of Russia's leading writers, including Anton Chekhov; Nikolai Gogol; Vladimir Mayakovsky; and Mikhail Bulgakov.

Max Seddon is a correspondent for BuzzFeed World based in Berlin. He has reported from Russia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and across the ex-Soviet Union and Europe. His secure PGP fingerprint is 6642 80FB 4059 E3F7 BEBE 94A5 242A E424 92E0 7B71

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