RUSSIALINK: “No plans to create system for tracking tourists in Moscow – mayor’s office” – Interfax

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

MOSCOW. April 9 (Interfax) – There are no plans to create a system that will track tourists in Moscow, the press service for the Moscow information technologies department said on Thursday. “The Moscow information technologies department currently has no plans to create a system for tracking tourists in Moscow,” the department told Interfax. The Kommersant newspaper reported on Thursday, citing […]

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Russia Is Well-Positioned to Weather COVID-19’s Economic Fallout

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

(Russia Matters – russiamatters.org – Chris Weafer – April 9, 2020) Chris Weafer is a founding partner of independent macro consultancy Macro-Advisory. Russia is in a relatively good position to survive the COVID-19 crisis and several months of low oil revenues. This is because of the changes it was forced to make to its monetary and fiscal management as a […]

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RUSSIALINK: “‘Scary to Predict’: Bolshoi Theater Warns of Closure if Coronavirus Lockdown Persists” – Moscow Times

Bolshoi Theater file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – April 9, 2020) Moscow’s legendary Bolshoi Theater has warned that it is at risk of closing down if the city’s coronavirus lockdown doesn’t end by September, its director Vladimir Urin said in an interview published Thursday. The Bolshoi canceled all performances, concerts and tours until April 30 due to the pandemic that has infected more […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Washing his hands of it; As covid-19 spreads, Vladimir Putin is invisible; Russia’s indispensable leader is strangely absent from the fight against the pandemic” – The Economist

Putin at Desk

“For … past 20 years Russians have been told they could not survive without … Putin. … The public was also told over the past few months that the threat of the new coronavirus was greatly exaggerated, that the Americans had invented it to harm China, and that Russia was well protected. Now, Moscow and many other cities are in […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Coronavirus in Russia: The Latest News | April 7” – Moscow Times

Coronavirus File Photo adapted from image at cdc.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – April 7, 2020) As the new coronavirus that has killed more than 74,000 people worldwide continues to spread, Russia has stepped up its measures to tackle the pandemic and prevent its spread within the country. There have been 7,497 cases of coronavirus infections reported in Russia so far and 58 deaths. The number of confirmed […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Not enough applications from Russian citizens even for one flight from U.S. – Ambassador Antonov” – Interfax

File Photo of Russian Embassy in Washington, D.C., Adapted From Image at loc.gov

WASHINGTON. April 7 (Interfax) – There are not enough applications from Russian citizens even for one flight from the United States amid the coronavirus epidemic, Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov said. “It is important that every compatriot who wishes to leave the United States for Russia gets registered in the relevant section of the Internet portal Gosuslugi. […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Kremlin says not planning state of emergency over Covid-19” – Interfax

Dmitry Peskov file photo adapted from image at kremlin.ru/wikimedia commons

(Interfax – April 1, 2020) Russia is not planning to declare a state of emergency over the outbreak of the Covid-19 coronavirus, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said. “No, this is not being discussed,” Interfax news agency quoted Peskov saying on 1 April, though it was later reported that President Putin had issued an order giving the government the right […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Beware of Bad Samaritans; China and Russia are sending medical aid to Italy and other coronavirus-stricken countries, but their motives aren’t so altruistic” – Foreign Policy/ Elisabeth Braw

Medical Symbol with Pole, Serpents, Wings, adapted from image at lanl.gov

“… ‘Of those Russian supplies, 80 percent were completely useless or of little use to Italy. In other words, the delivery was more like a pretext’ …. for example, equipment for bacteriological disinfection and a field laboratory for chemical-biological sterilization—not the ventilators and personal protective equipment so desperately needed …. The Kremlin’s aid is indeed rather unusual. The medical experts […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents & links :: JRL 2020-#59 :: Wednesday, 1 April 2020

St. Basil's Domes

To inquire about a subscription to the full Johnson’s Russia List e-mail newsletter, e-mail David Johnson at davidjohnson@starpower.net Support the JRL: russialist.org/funding.php Donate Online: click here for direct link at GWU [check back for updates, including more links; links also posted to facebook and twitter] Johnson’s Russia List :: JRL 2020-#59 :: Wednesday, 1 April 2020 A project sponsored through […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Coronavirus in Russia: The Latest News | March 30” – Moscow Times

Coronavirus File Photo adapted from image at cdc.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – March 30, 2020) Russia has stepped up its measures to tackle the coronavirus pandemic and prevent its spread within the country.Aleksander Avilov / Moskva News Agency As the new coronavirus that has killed more than 33,000 people continues to spread around the world, Russia has stepped up its measures to tackle the pandemic and prevent […]

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Post-Soviet State Responses to COVID-19: Making or Breaking Authoritarianism?

Coronavirus File Photo adapted from image at cdc.gov

(PONARS Eurasia – Marlene Laruelle, Madeline McCann – March 24, 2020) Marlene Laruelle is Research Professor, Director of the Institute for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies (IERES), Director of the Central Asia Program, and Co-director of PONARS Eurasia at George Washington University. Madeline McCann is Program Coordinator for PONARS Eurasia at George Washington University. (PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo) Pandemics are […]

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What Lies Behind Russia’s Coronavirus Containment Effort

Coronavirus File Photo adapted from image at cdc.gov

(Kennan Institute – wilsoncenter.org/program/kennan-institute – Judy L. Twigg – March 24, 2020) Professor of Political Science, Virginia Commonwealth University Russia is on edge. Its current reported COVID-19 case count lags considerably some of its European and Asian neighbors’ counts, with fewer than 500 confirmed infections as of March 23. The prospect of those numbers accelerating has already prompted a slew […]

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What Exactly Is Going On With Russia’s Low Coronavirus Numbers?

Medical Symbol with Pole, Serpents, Wings, adapted from image at lanl.gov

(Article text ©2020 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Mike Eckel – March 24, 2020 – article text also appeared at rferl.org/a/what-exactly-is-going-on-with-russia-s-low-coronavirus-numbers-/30507115.html) A woman, a 69-year-old Muscovite, died on March 24 at a clinic in the Russian capital specializing in treatment of the coronavirus. Authorities said she died of cancer that she had been battling, not the […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “‘They need to quarantine Moscow’; How small businesses in Russia’s capital are scrambling to stay afloat as coronavirus clobbers the economy” – Meduza

Coronavirus File Photo adapted from image at cdc.gov

“… The news website RBC estimates that shutting down for a single day costs the average shopping and entertainment center in Moscow and the surrounding region roughly 60-155 million rubles (between $775,800 and $2 million). Fitness clubs … will lose as much as 300,000 rubles ($3,900) a day, while coffee shops in the city center will lose 100,000-200,000 rubles ($1,290-$2,585) […]

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Putin Makes Plea For Sanctions Relief At G20 Summit

File Photo of Assorted U.S. Cash, adapted from image at tsa.gov

(Article text ©2020 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – March 26, 2020 – article text also appeared at rferl.org/a/30511615.html) Russian President Vladimir Putin has proposed at a Group of 20 (G20) video conference that a freeze be placed on economic sanctions to allow countries to better combat the coronavirus pandemic that has infected more than 500,000 worldwide […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russia’s Aeroflot Still Flying Limited International Routes Despite Virus Grounding Order” – Moscow Times

File Photo of Airplane Approaching Runway About to Land

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – March 27, 2020) Russia’s state carrier Aeroflot is continuing to operate a limited number of flights abroad despite the Russian government’s order to ground all international flights that took effect at midnight Friday. The government decree published Thursday orders aviation authorities to halt all regular and charter flights to and from other countries, with the […]

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RUSSIALINK: “‘Nuclear Reaction’: Russian Medics Warn of ‘Explosive’ Coronavirus Spread” – Moscow Times

Coronavirus File Photo adapted from image at cdc.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – March 26, 2020) Russian doctors are preparing for an “explosive” escalation of the coronavirus situation across the country as the country’s number of cases began to increase exponentially, Moscow’s top infectious diseases specialist said Wednesday. As of Thursday, Russia has confirmed 840 cases of coronavirus and three deaths. Wednesday and Thursday saw Russia’s largest one-day […]

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Contagious Solidarity: As Russia Faces Growing COVID-19 Crisis, Independent Activists Gear Up To Help

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

(Article text ©2020 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Lyubov Chizhova, Aleksandr Litoi, Robert Coalson – ST. PETERSBURG, Russia, March 25, 2020 – article text also appeared at rferl.org/a/contagious-solidarity-as-russia-faces-growing-covid-19-crisis-independent-activists-gear-up-to-help/30509363.html) Aleksandra Krylenkova is a human rights activist with a long track record. In recent months, she has been campaigning in support of the defendants in the so-called Network […]

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Coronavirus could crash Russia’s already overstretched healthcare system

Medical Symbol with Pole, Serpents, Wings, adapted from image at lanl.gov

Russia’s healthcare system was already working at full capacity before coronavirus. We spoke to one of the people organising Russian healthcare workers on workloads, optimisation and wages. (Opendemocracy.net – Elena Platonova – March 25, 2020) Elena Platonova is a journalist and correspondent for the finance section of the Russian publication Gazeta.ru. She researches and writes on education, gender and migration, […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Coronavirus Forces Putin to Delay Vote That Could Keep Him in Power” – Wall Street Journal/ Ann M. Simmons

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

Referendum originally planned for April is final hurdle to allowing Russia’s president to potentially stay in office until 2036 “In his first address to the nation since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic … Putin told citizens that an April referendum on changes to the country’s constitution would be postponed to help curb the spread of the illness. The national […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Coronavirus in Russia: The Latest News | March 25” – Moscow Times

Coronavirus File Photo adapted from image at cdc.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – March 25, 2020) As the new coronavirus that has killed more than 18,000 people continues to spread around the world, Russia has stepped up its measures to tackle the pandemic and prevent its spread within the country. There have been 658 cases of coronavirus infections reported in Russia so far and one death. March 25: […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Number of officially recorded Covid-19 cases in Russia rises by 57 to 495 over past 24 hours” – Interfax

Coronavirus File Photo adapted from image at cdc.gov

(Interfax – March 24, 2020) MOSCOW. March 24 (Interfax) – The number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in Russia has increased from 438 to 495 over the past 24 hours, according to the Stopcoronavirus state website monitoring the coronavirus situation in Russia. “Fifty-seven new cases of the novel coronavirus infection have been registered in 14 regions in Russia over the past […]

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With Europe In Lockdown, Skeptical Russians Are Told: ‘No Reason To Panic’

Coronavirus File Photo adapted from image at cdc.gov

(Article text ©2020 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Matthew Luxmoore – MOSCOW, March 20, 2020 – article text also appeared at rferl.org/a/with-europe-in-lockdown-skeptical-russians-are-told-no-reason-to-panic-/30498837.html) The COVID-19 pandemic has spread throughout China, Western Europe, and the United States, threatening to paralyze major economies and subjecting much of the world’s population to state-enforced lockdowns. Leaders are warning of disruptions to […]

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RUSSIALINK: “‘We Don’t Have Enough Intensive Care Beds’: Coronavirus Will Test Russia’s Creaking Healthcare System” – Moscow Times

Medical Symbol with Pole, Serpents, Wings, adapted from image at lanl.gov

Doctors are worried that the coronavirus pandemic will expose equipment shortages and old facilities. (Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Jake Cordell, Evan Gershkovich – March 19, 2020) For the past five years, nurse Svetlana Shchedrina has been stowing away protective masks and latex gloves. Right now she has two large boxes of each. Shchedrina, 37, told The Moscow Times she […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Coronavirus in Russia: The Latest News | March 20”- Moscow Times

Medical Symbol with Pole, Serpents, Wings, adapted from image at lanl.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – March 20, 2020) As the new coronavirus that has killed more than 10,000 people continues to spread around the world, Russia has stepped up its measures to tackle the pandemic and prevent its spread within the country. There have been 199 cases of coronavirus infections reported in Russia so far and one death. Below are […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russia Says It Has Very Few Coronavirus Cases. The Numbers Don’t Tell the Full Story. Experts say Russia’s testing procedures have been hampered by bureaucracy.” – Moscow Times

Medical Symbol with Pole, Serpents, Wings, adapted from image at lanl.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Evan Gershkovich, Pjotr Sauer – March 18, 2020) Russia’s official statistics indicate that the country has virtually no coronavirus within its borders. With 116,000 tests for the coronavirus carried out and 114 returning positive, Russia’s ratio of tests to positive cases is 0.09%, the lowest among all of the countries infected by the coronavirus. The […]

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COVID- 19: The View from Siberia

Coronavirus File Photo adapted from image at cdc.gov

Subject: COVID-19: The View From Siberia Date: Wed, 18 Mar 2020 From: Sarah Lindemann-Komarova <echosiberia@gmail.com> COVID- 19: The View from Siberia By Sarah Lindemann-Komarova [Sarah Lindemann-Komarova has been a community development activist in Siberia since 1992.] With pictures: medium.com/@ECHOSiberia/covid-19-the-view-from-siberia-fd04bfa38db5 I did not do any special reporting for this piece. It is a chronology of consciousness and events in relation to […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Almost 110,000 coronavirus tests carried out in Russia” – Interfax

Coronavirus File Photo adapted from image at cdc.gov

MOSCOW. March 16 (Interfax) – Some 110,000 lab tests for the new coronavirus infection Covid-19 have been carried out on the territory of Russia, Russian Federal Service for Health and Consumer Rights (Rospotrebnadzor) said. “As of March 15, 109,939 lab tests for the new coronavirus have been performed by Rospotrebnadzor hygiene and epidemiology centers in the regions of the Russian […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Coronavirus in Russia: The Latest News” – Moscow Times

Coronavirus File Photo adapted from image at cdc.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – March 15, 2020) As the new coronavirus that has killed more than 5,000 people continues to spread around the world, Russia has stepped up measures to tackle the pandemic, including closing most entry points along its 4,200-kilometer border with China, ordering people returning from high-risk areas to self-quarantine and temporarily banning Chinese citizens from entering […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia to disinfect parliament chamber after lawmaker broke quarantine to hear Putin” – Reuters

Coronavirus File Photo adapted from image at cdc.gov

“Russia is disinfecting its parliament chamber after a lawmaker ignored coronavirus quarantine to attend assembly sessions, including one where … Putin gave a speech. Sergei Katasonov, a member of the nationalist LDPR party, told Reuters he had ignored a requirement by Moscow authorities to self-isolate for 14 days after returning from France because he did not fully understand the risks. […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Space crew to go to ISS on April 9 to skip some traditional pre-launch procedures because of coronavirus” – Interfax

International Space Station file photo

ZVYOZDNY GORODOK, Moscow region. March 12 (Interfax) – The members of a space crew scheduled to travel to the International Space Station (ISS) on April 9 will have to skip a number of traditional pre-launch events as a measure to minimize the coronavirus spread risk, Pavel Vlasov, the chief of the Cosmonaut Training Center, told journalists on Thursday. To avoid […]

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COVID-19 Travel Restrictions Update

Coronavirus File Photo adapted from image at cdc.gov

Subject: COVID-19 Travel Restrictions Update Date: Tue, 10 Mar 2020 From: Josh Wilson <jwilson@sras.org> COVID-19 Travel Restrictions Update SRAS.org SRAS Updates on COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update as of March 10, 2020 Russia, including the city Moscow where elevated precautions are being taken, has not yet applied any restrictions to US citizens traveling to Russia. US citizens arriving to Moscow or any […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Coronavirus Could Rock Russia’s ‘Stable and Isolated’ Economy” – Moscow Times

Coronavirus File Photo adapted from image at cdc.gov

As markets tumble and a flagship business forum is canceled, experts are questioning the strength of Moscow’s finances. (Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Jake Cordell – March 6, 2020) The coronavirus outbreak is shaping up to be the first serious test of Russia’s stability-first economic policy introduced in the wake of the economic and geopolitical turmoil of 2014. However, economists […]

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RUSSIALINK: “OECD Slashes Russia Growth Forecast in Stark Coronavirus Warning” – Moscow Times

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

Even if the spread slows, the economic effects of coronavirus will last throughout 2020, new report says. (Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – March 2, 2020) The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has drastically cut its forecast for the Russian economy in a bleak report warning of the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. The OECD now expects Russia’s annual […]

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Coronavirus in Russia: The Latest News | Feb. 27

Coronavirus File Photo adapted from image at cdc.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – February 27, 2020) As the new coronavirus that has killed more than 2,800 people continues to spread around the world, Russia has stepped up measures to tackle the health risk, including closing most entry points along its 4,200-kilometer border with China and temporarily banning Chinese citizens from entering the country. Russia reported its first two […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Golikova calls on Russians not to go abroad without extreme need, says it’s calmer at home” – Interfax

File Photo of Airplane Approaching Runway About to Land

MOSCOW. Feb 26 (Interfax) – Russian Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova has called on Russian citizens not to travel to countries where cases of Covid-19 infection have been registered. “We strongly urge you not to travel to those countries that currently have cases of the new coronavirus infection without extreme need. As you understand, special risks are posed by China […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Coronavirus in Russia: The Latest News | Feb. 20” – Moscow Times

Coronavirus File Photo adapted from image at cdc.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – February 20, 2020) As the new coronavirus that has killed more than 2,000 people continues to spread around the world, Russia has stepped up measures to tackle the health risk, including closing most entry points along its 4,200-kilometer border with China and temporarily banning Chinese citizens from entering the country. Russia reported its first two […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Kudrin doubts 1.9% economic growth forecast due to coronavirus” – Interfax

Coronavirus File Photo adapted from image at cdc.gov

MOSCOW. Feb 18 (Interfax) – Alexei Kudrin, the chairman of the Russian Accounts Chamber, said he was doubtful about the government’s 1.9% economic growth forecast and that adverse factors like the coronavirus needed to be taken into account. “The measures in fulfillment of the [president’s] address will produce an additional effect on economic growth. Right now I hesitate to say […]

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How Is Russia Preparing for the Coronavirus?

Coronavirus File Photo adapted from image at cdc.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Jan. 29, 2020) As the coronavirus outbreak spreads around the world and the number of cases rises, Russia has stepped up measures to prevent the deadly virus from crossing its borders. Russia has not had any confirmed cases of the new virus, which has killed 132 people mostly in China and infected more than 6,000 […]

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