JRL NEWSWATCH: “Industry Body Calls Russian Covid-19 Vaccine a Pandora’s Box” – Bloomberg/ Ilya Arkhipov, Jake Rudnitsky

Coronavirus File Photo adapted from image at cdc.gov

“Russia’s race to allow civilian use of a … coronavirus vaccine before clinical trials are complete could put people at risk, according to a local association of multinational pharmaceutical companies[, the Association of Clinical Trials Organizations (ACTO) … represent[ing] … multinational companies with clinical trials in Russia, including Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Novartis AG]. The government plans to give a vaccine […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s race for virus vaccine raises concerns in the West” – AP/ Daria Litvinova

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

“Russia boasts … it’s about to become the first country to approve a COVID-19 vaccine, with mass vaccinations planned as early as October using shots … yet to complete clinical trials … [S]cientists worldwide are sounding the alarm …. Moscow sees a Sputnik-like propaganda victory …. But  … there’s no published scientific evidence … backing Russia’s late entry to the […]

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Clinical Trials Over, New Russian Vaccine to Be Given to Doctors and Teachers Soon, Population by October, for Free, Murashko Says

Coronavirus File Photo adapted from image at cdc.gov

… Another question, given polls showing that many Russians do not want to risk getting the vaccine at least initially, is how rapidly Moscow will ramp up what promises to be a massive propaganda campaign […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Which Countries Are Open to Russians – and Vice Versa?” – Moscow Times

Truck at Russian Border Crossing

… Russia also closed its borders to most foreign citizens, with exceptions for diplomats, relatives of deceased people, high-demand workers and other categories […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia Sets Mass Vaccination for October After Shortened Trial” – New York Times/ Andrew E. Kramer

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

“The announcement raised concerns that Russia would begin inoculations and declare victory in the race for a coronavirus vaccine without fully testing its product.” “Russia plans to launch a … vaccination campaign in October … [for] coronavirus … yet to complete clinical trials, raising international concern about the methods the country is using to compete in the global race to […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Moscow’s Watcom shopping index almost back to normal as shoppers return to Moscow’s malls” – bne Intellinews

File Photo of Cash Register with Drawer Open and Hands of Cashier

“Moscow’s Watcom shopping index has regained almost all the ground lost from a lockdown on the capital earlier this year” “[The] Watcom shopping index [tracking foot traffic at Moscow’s leading malls] has recovered almost all … ground lost during the [spring] lockdown …. [Moscow’s] infection rate … has fallen …. [T]he epidemic is far from over in Russia …. A […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Lukashenko cancels state of the nation speech as health fails” – bne Intellinews

Alyaksandr Lukeshenko file photo

“… Lukashenko cancelled his annual state of the nation speech … admitt[ing] … having the [COVID-19] coronavirus. … ‘Today you are meeting a man who managed to survive the coronavirus on his feet. … Asymptomatic. … No-one will die from coronavirus in our country[,] … my firm conviction judging by analysis not only of previous years. … Almost 97% of […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Fire and Brimstone: The Rise and Fall of Russia’s Coronavirus-Denying Rebel Priest” – Moscow Times

Coronavirus File Photo adapted from image at cdc.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Samantha Berkhead – July 29, 2020) In a forest outside Yekaterinburg, pilgrims chant and wave banners in their annual midnight procession in honor of Nicholas II, the last Tsar of Russia and a saint in the Russian Orthodox Church. But this year’s pilgrimage to the spot where the emperor and his family were executed by […]

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How Russia’s doctors are dealing with the psychological strain of COVID-19

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

For several months, Russian medics have been living with the constant stress of coronavirus. The Ministry of Health is talking about providing psychological help, but most doctors aren’t ready to talk to specialists. (Opendemocracy.net – Alla Konstantinova- July 29, 2020) Alla Konstantinova is a correspondent for MediaZona. [from original post:] This article was originally publishedby MediaZona. We translate it with […]

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Report: U.S. Officials Say Russia-Backed Websites Spread Coronavirus Disinformation

Coronavirus File Photo adapted from image at cdc.gov

U.S. officials have identified three English-language websites that they say Russia is using to spread disinformation about the coronavirus pandemic to exploit the U.S. struggle to contain the outbreak […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russian COVID-19 Vaccine Approval Imminent, Source Says” – Reuters

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

“Russia’s first potential COVID-19 vaccine [reportedly] will win local regulatory approval in the first half of August and be administered to frontline health workers soon afterwards …. [Moscow] state research facility … Gamaleya Institute [] completed early human trials of the adenovirus-based vaccine this month and expects to begin large-scale trials in August. … The speed at which Russia is […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russian Intelligence Agencies Push Disinformation on Pandemic” – New York Times/ Julian E. Barnes, David E. Sanger

File Image of Laptop Computer, Tables and Mobile Device, adapted from image at energy.gov

“Declassified U.S. intelligence accuses Moscow of pushing propaganda through alternative websites as Russia refines techniques used in 2016.” “… Russian military intelligence, … the G.R.U., has used … ties with … Russian government information center[] InfoRos[] and other websites to push out English-language disinformation and propaganda about the pandemic, such as amplifying false Chinese arguments that the virus was created […]

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Russians Don’t Believe Kremlin about Coronavirus or the Economy, New Surveys Show

File Photo of Kremlin Tower, St. Basil's, Red Square at Night

Two new surveys show the collapse of public trust in the powers that be …. [T]he level of trust in Russia today is lower than it has been in 15 years […]

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RUSSIALINK: “First Russian Covid-19 vaccine proves efficacious, safe – Health Minister Murashko

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

MOSCOW. July 22 (Interfax) – While the first Russian coronavirus vaccine has proven to be an efficacious and safe medication judging by the clinical trials that have been conducted, the Health Ministry will continue to collect information on its tolerability even after its registration, Russian Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said. “We see there is efficacy, and its safety has also […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia races for vaccine as Covid-19 nonchalance spreads” – Financial Times/ Henry Foy

Coronavirus File Photo adapted from image at cdc.gov

“Vladimir Putin suggests country has weathered worst of pandemic, but virus not yet in retreat” “… Having rapidly manufactured a sense of calm to hold … Putin’s vote … grant[ing] him the right to remain in office … 12 years longer than previously[,] the Kremlin … now pin[s] … hopes on a fast-tracked coronavirus vaccine … to stop the virus […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Medvedev notes importance of simultaneous global coronavirus vaccination” – Interfax

Dmitri Medvedev file photo

MOSCOW. July 14 (Interfax) – Coronavirus vaccinations should be performed simultaneously all over the world, or else it will not be efficient, Russian Security Council Deputy Chairman Dmitry Medvedev said. “There’s no fully tested vaccine so far, most countries are working on it, and it’s clear that a vaccine will become available in the near future. I should say that, […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russia registers 6,248 new Covid-19 cases, 175 deaths in past 24 hours – HQ” – Interfax

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

MOSCOW. July 14 (Interfax) – Russia registered 6,248 new Covid-19 cases and 175 deaths in the past 24 hours, the coronavirus response headquarters said in a statement on Tuesday. “Over the past day, 6,248 new Covid-19 cases were confirmed in 83 regions of Russia, including 1,531 active asymptomatic cases (24.5%),” the headquarters said. The cumulative number of coronavirus cases has […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “White House fills top Russia job previously occupied by two impeachment witnesses” – CNN/ Zachary Cohen, Vivian Salama, Kylie Atwood

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

“The White House [reportedly] has tapped Ryan Tully to be the top official on Europe and Russia at the National Security Council … the fifth person to occupy that job in … three and a half years …. Tully currently serves … as [NSC] senior adviser for arms control and deputy senior director for … [its] directorate on [WMD] …. […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Putin delays $360bn spending plan as Covid-19 batters economy” – Financial Times/ Henry Foy

File Photo of Kremlin Tower, St. Basil's, Red Square at Night

“Volte-face comes shortly after vote that allows Russian president to extend his rule for another 16 years.” “… Putin has delayed his flagship … national investment plan by six years as the coronavirus pandemic pitches Russia into recession and leaves a hole in the federal budget. … Putin unveiled the so-called National Projects two years ago as a much-needed Rbs25.7tn […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Coronavirus mortality rate way lower in Russia than it is in many other countries, recovery numbers on the rise – Putin” – Interfax

Putin Descending a Staircase

MOSCOW. July 13 (Interfax) – The coronavirus mortality rate is way lower in Russia than it is in European countries with developed public healthcare systems, and the daily increase in new cases remains stable, Russian President Vladimir Putin said. “I should say that we are doing fairly well by one of our performance indicators which I view as key, i.e. […]

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VIDEO JRL NEWSWATCH: “Virtual Event: Russian Civil Society in the Time of COVID-19 proceedings” – The Harriman Institute at Columbia University

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

“… Russia’s restrictions of movement and extensive use of surveillance technologies during the coronavirus pandemic have raised concerns about possible damage to civil society and community organizing. Has the coronavirus pandemic disrupted civil society development in Russia, or has this peculiar time drawn more attention to the need for citizen-run efforts to better life in the country?  … [The] panel […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Moscow Lifts Outdoor Mask Requirements as New Coronavirus Cases Slow” – Moscow Times

Coronavirus File Photo adapted from image at cdc.gov

Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin announced Thursday that wearing masks will no longer be required outdoors from July 13 […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Where Can I Travel in Russia This Summer?” – Moscow Times

Truck at Russian Border Crossing

Russia opened its domestic tourist season … as it continues to grapple with the deadly coronavirus pandemic … the world’s third-highest number of infections […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russia reports 6,693 new Covid-19 cases, 154 deaths in past 24 hours – HQ” – Interfax

Coronavirus File Photo adapted from image at cdc.gov

MOSCOW. June 30 (Interfax) – Russia has recorded 6,693 new Covid-19 cases and 154 coronavirus-related deaths in the past 24 hours, the coronavirus response headquarters said in a statement on Tuesday. “Over the past day, 6,693 cases of the Covid-19 novel coronavirus infection were confirmed in 84 regions of Russia, including 2,019 active asymptomatic cases (30.2%),” the headquarters said. The […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Coronavirus Crisis Strains Russia’s Soviet-Era Regional Health System” – Wall Street Journal/ Ann M. Simmons

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

“Doctors, equipment and basic supplies run short as cases climb; some facilities lack running water.” “… The episode at Karabanovo hospital offers a glimpse into the dysfunction and inefficiency that plagues Russia’s health-care system as the country fights the new coronavirus … the world’s third-highest caseload after the U.S. and Brazil. Many front-line medical workers in Russia say their safety […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russia’s Coronavirus Cases Surpass 640K” – Moscow Times

Coronavirus File Photo adapted from image at cdc.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – June 29, 2020) Russia confirmed 6,719 new coronavirus infections Monday, bringing the country’s official number of cases to 641,156. The country’s one-day increases in new cases have fallen to their lowest levels since April. Over the past 24 hours 93 people have died, bringing the total toll to 9,166 – a rate considerably lower than […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russians Rushing Back to Work as Pre-Virus Life Returns; Most workers are back in the office, while traffic data shows Moscow is one of the busiest cities in the world again.” – Moscow Times

File Photo of Empty Chair and Desk with Computer, adapted from image at osha.gov

The majority of Russians have stopped working from home and almost immediately returned to offices and workplaces across the country following the relaxation of quarantine measures […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Putin Puts His Post-Covid Comeback to a Vote; Buffeted by things he can’t control, Russia’s president turns to a tried and true method for affirming his power” – Bloomberg/ Clara Ferreira Marques

Putin at Desk

“[Putin] has not had a good pandemic. [b]ut … is staging a comeback, with a touch of foreign-policy grandstanding, a dash of military theater and a plebiscite on constitutional reforms that could allow him to stay in power until 2036. The vote will confirm changes already approved by parliament in March[] and … didn’t have to happen now. Even so, […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “One in three Russians would ignore a coronavirus vaccine even if one were available” – bne Intellinews

Coronavirus File Photo adapted from image at cdc.gov

“… 37%[] [of] Russians would refuse to take a vaccine against … COVID-19[] even if … available, according to a survey … by Russia’s Higher School of Economics. … 24.2%[] generally consider vaccinations to be ‘harmful’ or ‘rather harmful’ …. 58.7% … believe vaccinations are helpful and effective. … Russia has had a problem convincing part of its population that […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Moscow Cultural Life Is Slowly Reawakening; First to open their doors – carefully – are museums” – Moscow Times/ Daniil Galaydov

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

… In almost every museum, visitors will only be able to buy electronic tickets, and everyone, including guests and exhibition staffers, are required to wear masks and practice social distancing. […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russia’s Coronavirus Death Spike Explained by Methodology, Statistics Chief Says” – Moscow Times

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

… Rosstat, more than doubled April’s death toll to 2,712 earlier this month after including cases where Covid-19 may not have directly caused the deaths […]

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RUSSIALINK: “St. Petersburg Leads Russia’s Coronavirus Mortality – Analysis” – Moscow Times

Coronavirus File Photo adapted from image at cdc.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – June 16, 2020) Russia’s second-largest city St. Petersburg had the highest coronavirus mortality rate among all Russian cities in the month of April, according to a new analysis of official data. St. Petersburg recorded 200 deaths where Covid-19 was a direct cause or “had a significant impact” on the person’s death in April, state statistics […]

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How Bad are Things in Russia? For First Time in 15 Years, Moscow Doesn’t Publish Monthly GDP Figures

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, June 13, 2020) For the first time since 2005, the Russian finance ministry did not issue monthly GDP data for May, an indication of just how bad the figures almost certainly would have been and a sign that not publishing data may become a trend in Putin’s Russia (finanz.ru/novosti/aktsii/minfin-zasekretil-dannye-po-vvp-rossii-za-may-1029303651 and rbc.ru/economics/12/06/2020/5ee268459a79476bd86bbda3). Among […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Putin Criticizes U.S. Coronavirus Response, Condemns ‘Mayhem and Rioting’ at Anti-Racism Protests” – Moscow Times

Vladirmir Putin and Donald Trump Sitting in Chairs with Flags Behind, adapted from image at whitehouse.gov

In a major interview, Vladimir Putin discussed anti-racism protests in the U.S. and Europe (Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – June 14, 2020) Russian President Vladimir Putin said Sunday that the U.S. anti-racism protests were a sign of deep crises in the country, criticizing the protests for sparking violence, and raising questions over Donald Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. The […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Hit Hard by Coronavirus, Russia Joins Global Race for a Vaccine” – Wall Street Journal/ Georgi Kantchev, Drew Hinshaw

Coronavirus File Photo adapted from image at cdc.gov

“Being first would provide Putin more economic and political leverage as ‘vaccine nationalism’ spreads” “… The global pursuit of a vaccine against … Covid-19 has been likened to the 1960s space race …. Russia has employed the armed forces, shortened trial approval times and sped up clinical evaluations … [in a context where a vaccine also could] provide economic and […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russia Starts to Dig Its Way Out of a Coronavirus Economic Hole” – Moscow Times

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

The Russian economy is set to emerge from the coronavirus crisis on the same slow and steady trajectory it had settled on heading into it, economists believe.

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Moscow, Center of Russia’s Coronavirus Crisis, Emerges From Lockdown” – Wall Street Journal/ Ann M. Simmons

Coronavirus File Photo adapted from image at cdc.gov

“Infections remain high as city authorities begin reopening and Putin prepares for parade, referendum” “… Moscow has been at the center of Russia’s novel coronavirus pandemic, with 40% of the country’s nearly half million infections. … Russia is recording about 9,000 new cases a day. On Tuesday, Moscow reported just over 1,500 new cases … [down] from … nearly 2,000 […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s ‘miraculous’ coronavirus death statistics face scepticism” – The Times (UK)

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

“… [Its] mayor surprised [Moscow] … lifting the vast majority of coronavirus curbs …. even as the city registered more than 3,500 new cases and 110 deaths in the past 48 hours. … Since … suspected patient zero arrived in Moscow from Milan in February, the health ministry has recorded over 485,000 confirmed cases … third highest in the world […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Did Russia pass the coronavirus test? Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov responds” – CNN/ Matthew Chance, Zahra Ullah, Nathan Hodge

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

“Russia has been one of the countries hardest hit by … [Covid-19] coronavirus … behind only the United States and Brazil in … [T]he government’s response has received heavy criticism at home and abroad. Russian doctors have described critical shortages of equipment, which hospital administrators and local governments deny. Observers have questioned whether Russia is under-reporting mortality figures …. But […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s consumer orientated business takes the brunt of the coronacrisis blow, basic sectors down 10% in April” – bne Intellinews

Cash, Calculator, Pen

“Russia’s basic sector output was down 9.9% year on year in April … [with] the effects of the coronacrisis …. Over the first four months … Russia’s basic sector output fell 0.9% y/y, versus 2.3% growth in 1Q20. … [Only] [a]griculture … show[ed] growth. All … other subsectors contracted in April. Retail, services, manufacturing and wholesale suffered the most …. […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Pandemic Upends Putin’s Plans to Raise Russia’s Dwindling Birthrate” – Wall Street Journal/ Ann M. Simmons

File Photo of Russian Crowd, with Russian Flag Being Waved

“President Vladimir Putin has been trying for years to push Russia’s birthrate higher, but the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic is undermining his efforts” “… The Kremlin has been trying for years to encourage Russians to have more children. … Putin sees replenishing … population as … key to expanding Russia’s economic and political power. But … falling incomes […]

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RUSSIALINK: “‘A Political Decision’: Russia Declares Victory Over Coronavirus Even as Cases Rise” – Moscow Times

Coronavirus File Photo adapted from image at cdc.gov

Although coronavirus cases are still growing by the thousands, Moscow announced Monday it would lift lockdown restrictions […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Putin’s Global Ambitions Are Upended by Coronavirus’s Heavy Toll in Russia” – Wall Street Journal/ Yaroslav Trofimov, Thomas Grove

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

Russian president’s efforts to showcase the country’s strength abroad backfired amid virus troubles at home […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russia’s Shops Reopen Their Doors, But Customers Only Trickle In” – Moscow Times

File Photo of Cash Register with Drawer Open and Hands of Cashier

Tills are starting to ring as Russia’s lockdown eases, but business owners expect revenues to stay lower for longer. (Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Jake Cordell – June 8, 2020) Last week Oleg Voronin opened the doors of his four I AM Studio upmarket women’s boutiques in Moscow for the first time in two months. After a few days spent […]

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