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In some areas affected by Russia's catastrophic fires, houses are being rebuilt. Just don't expect to be able to follow it online....

In some areas affected by Russia's catastrophic fires, houses are being rebuilt. Just don't expect to be able to follow it online....

As fires were slowly being put out throughout Russia this summer, the government promised it would rebuild people's homes and villages quickly. It even created a special portal where people could watch 30 different localities -- from several different vantage points -- be rebuilt.

The only problem -- the video feeds on the site don't load.

When clicked on, they buffer in a Sisyphean loop for minutes.

However, some blogs and Russian papers say that work is going on.

The small village of Neznamovo in the Staroskolsky district south of Moscow was almost completely burned down in the fires that swept Russia this summer.

As of today, six houses have been built in Neznamovo, and four more are expected to be completed by September 10.

The new homes are completely furnished and have power. The new residents have been given everything "from spoons and forks to clean sheets," one blogger writes.

The head of the Stary Oskol city and suburbs, Pavel Shishkin, has promised that courtyards will be constructed and people who lost livestock in the fires will receive cows and pigs as well as feed.

The rest of the residents of Neznamovo have opted to rebuild their houses themselves. They receive 25,700 rubles ($834) for each square meter.

Additionally, those affected by the fires are given 200,000 rubles ($6,491) per person and an additional 200,000 for each family as a whole.

However, parts of the forests are still burning. Firemen in the region predict that the fires will only stop burning when all the remnants of wood and material have burned down to nothing. They also note that during the day, temperatures spike to 40 degrees Celsius.

-- Ashley Cleek

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Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at transmission+rferl.org

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