Smoke was seen billowing from the roof of the Russian consulate in San Francisco, California Friday afternoon. The Russian ambassadors are apparently burning documents in preparation for the move back to Russia after the United States ordered the Russian consulate be closed on Saturday. The tensions with Russia are rising and the Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova claims that the U.S. plans to send "special services" into the consulate to search the building on Saturday. Similarly, Russian ambassadors living in San Francisco will also have to leave their apartments while U.S. officials search their homes for 10 to 12
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<span style="margin-top:15px;rgba(42,51,6,0.7);font-size:12px;">Credit: Eric Risberg</span>
The State Department did not comment on whether they plan to search the premises but one can assume they will be scouring the buildings for every scrap of evidence they can find. The State Department also refused to comment on the black smoke rising from the Russian consulate. At 12:50 p.m., the San Francisco Fire Department said that acrid, black smoke was seen pouring from a chimney at the Russian consulate. Currently, California is subject to a massive heat wave that has prompted restrictions on burning. Two men could be seen carrying boxes from the consulate on Friday afternoon and loading them into a car. The car had tinted windows and diplomatic license plates.
A reporter at the consulate overheard people from the building turn firefighters away and say everything was fine and they were only burning undisclosed items in the fireplace. It appears the Russian Nationals are in a hurry to shut down Russia's oldest consulate in the United States by the Saturday deadline.
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