SIBERIAN TIMESThe blaze took place in Lenin Square in the Sakhalin island capital
Thousands of revellers attending the festivities in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk watched in horror as the devastating blaze in the city square destroyed the tree in minutes.
The attendees were warned to keep clear as the Soviet-era music kept blaring from a festive concert.
The blaze took place in Lenin Square in the Sakhalin island capital.
Temperatures were below zero at a perishing -6C, but the plastic burned with immense intensity and within minutes there was only a metal frame intact.Related articles
Firefighters were called but the tree was destroyed by the time they arrived.
Videos of the event went viral along with jokes about a hot New Year party in the Russia Far East.
An investigation is underway into the cause of the fire.
But despite the horror, the New Year was toasted successfully in a more traditional fireworks display in the city and across Russia.
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Revellers along the banks of the River Thames were treated to a stunning sight
Revellers across the world are forgetting the turmoil of the past year to cheerfully welcome 2018 to the sound of music and fireworks.
The new year slowly crept in