Other than the obvious harm to human life and society, the Russian fires are clearly prompting greater interest in climate change even among the formerly disinclined (e.g., Putin).
This article in this week’s Economist does as nice a job as I have ever seen of explaining why the fires have such significance:
Both heatwaves and heavy precipitation are more common everywhere than they were 50 years ago. Reflecting the latter trend, the Indian monsoon has been seeing more of its rainfall in extreme events than it did in the past. No single one of those events can be directly attributed to climate change; nor can Russia’s heatwave. The pattern of increases, though, fits expectations—and those expectations see things getting worse.
They see things getting worse faster from here.