It looks increasingly likely that the fire last week which engulfed the local offices of the Interior Ministry (MVD) in Samara, southern Russia, was arson. The remains of more than thirty victims have been found, and more than thirty others are still missing and assumed to have died in the blaze. Immediately after the tragedy, MVD spokesmen suggested that a short-circuit was the probable culprit. On February 13, however, at the funeral of a group of victims of the fire, Interior Minister Sergei Stepashin suggested that the fire was arson, and was connected with police investigations into criminal activity surrounding the AvtoVAZ factory, located in the nearby city of Togliatti. All the materials from the two-year investigation were stored in the MVD’s Samara headquarters, and the blaze reportedly started in the offices of the economic crime unit, which was directly involved in the AvtoVAZ investigations. Stepashin said the materials had been duplicated and sent to Moscow, so the investigations would continue.