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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RUSSIALINK: “Which Coronavirus Restrictions Is Moscow Lifting?” – Moscow Times

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

Moscow officials announced plans to lift coronavirus restrictions starting Tuesday despite the Russian capital continuing to see about 2,000 new infections each day. […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Heat, sun unlikely to have strong effect on coronavirus – academy member” – Interfax

Coronavirus File Photo adapted from image at cdc.gov

The activity of the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 is unlikely to decrease due to hot summer weather, head of the Department of Microbiology, Virology, and Immunology at the Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University Vitaly Zverev said. […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russian labs race to find a covid-19 vaccine by fall, but concerns raised about fast-track methods” – Washington Post/ Isabelle Khurshudyan

Coronavirus File Photo adapted from image at cdc.gov

“… [Russia’s] researchers have tested formulas on themselves, members of the military have been selected for trials and some officials are claiming that a breakthrough could be just months away. But Russia’s rush to be first – and claim the global bragging rights for … Putin’s government – is prompting some in the country to raise warnings about possibly cutting […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia Gets More U.S. Ventilators as Coronavirus Cases Climb” – Reuters

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

“A planeload of 150 ventilators arrived in Russia from the United States on Thursday, Washington’s embassy in Moscow said, to help fight the novel coronavirus in further medical aid collaboration between the two politically-estranged nations. Russia’s case tally, the world’s third highest, rose to 441,108 on Thursday after 8,831 new infections were reported, and 169 more people died in the […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russia’s Coronavirus ‘Patient Zero’ Emerged in January, Moscow Official Says” – Moscow Times

Coronavirus File Photo adapted from image at cdc.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – June 3, 2020) Russia saw its first coronavirus infection in mid-to-late January, a Moscow city official has said, contradicting official reports which say that Russia’s “patient zero” appearing in March. The statement comes amid reports that China, the country where the pandemic originated, withheld critical information about the new coronavirus from the World Health Organization […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russian government presents National Recovery Plan to President Putin” – bne Intellinews

Cash, Calculator, Pen

“… Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin has presented the National Recovery Plan to … Putin … [with] a launch at the beginning of July. … [T]he government has rolled out two economic support packages, worth RUB3.1 trillion ($42.1bn), or 2.8% of GDP. The RUB7.3 trillion final recovery plan was cut from the previously reported RUB8 trillion plan … includ[ing] the two […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russians Are Angry, but Putin’s Foes Struggle to Seize the Moment” – New York Times/ Anton Troianovski

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

“The main opposition leader, Aleksei A. Navalny, has seen his YouTube audience triple during the coronavirus crisis. But street protest, his most potent weapon, is off the table.” “… Many Russians are enraged with the Kremlin over its botched handling of the coronavirus pandemic. … Putin’s approval rating … is at its lowest ebb since 1999, when he was a […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russia Says Only ‘Coronavirus Immune’ Troops Will March at Victory Day Parade” – Moscow Times

Kremlin and River

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – June 2, 2020) The Russian military will march asymptomatic troops and those who have developed immunity to coronavirus at its landmark parade marking the 75th anniversary of the Soviet victory in World War II later this month, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Tuesday. President Vladimir Putin ordered the military to hold the previously postponed Victory […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russia Prices Economic Recovery Plan at $70Bln” – Moscow Times

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

Russia will launch a 5 trillion ruble ($73 billion) recovery plan next month to offset economic damage from the coronavirus pandemic, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said in a televised meeting with President Vladimir Putin […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “City of Moscow Revises Up Its Coronavirus Death Toll for April After Criticism” – Reuters

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

“… Moscow … issued a revised version of its coronavirus death toll for April after criticism of its initial figures, more than doubling the original tally by using what it said was an alternative counting method. … Russia has reported the third highest number of coronavirus cases in the world after the United States and Brazil. … Data published this […]

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The Indispensable Mr. Kadyrov? Questions About Chechen Leader’s Health Prompt New Questions About Region’s Future

Caucasus Map of Chechnya and Caucasus Environs

… Last week, Kadyrov, 43, reportedly was hospitalized in a Moscow clinic to be treated for COVID-19 …. Five days of anonymously sourced reports, denials by his allies, and silence from Kadyrov himself added to the mystery. […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Moscow’s First Steps Out of Coronavirus Lockdown, Explained” – Moscow Times

Sergei Sobyanin file photo

Starting Monday, Muscovites will be allowed to walk outside for the first time in two months – with a number of restrictions still in place […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russians’ Confidence in Government Down, Self-Reliance Up During Virus Outbreak – Poll” – Moscow Times

Kremlin and River

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – May 26, 2020) Russians’ trust in state institutions has fallen during the coronavirus outbreak while their sense of self-reliance is up, according to poll results cited by the RBC news website Tuesday. The results were published nine weeks into a nationwide lockdown to slow the spread of Covid-19 that has caused significant damage to an […]

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Coronavirus Spreads More Rapidly than HIV/AIDS, Justifying Harsh Measures, Demographer Says

Coronavirus File Photo adapted from image at cdc.gov

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, May 23, 2020) The coronavirus pandemic has hit Russia hard, Anatoly Vishnevsky says, but what is especially important is the way in which the government has responded. But on the whole, the demographer says, its actions have been harsh but correct because the coronavirus is so infectious, far more so than HIV/AIDS. […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Moscow to Start Easing Coronavirus Restrictions After Flattening Curve” – Moscow Times

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – May 27, 2020) Moscow is ready to open non-food shops and certain service-sector businesses as well as begin allowing walks outside starting next Monday, Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said Wednesday at a videoconference with President Vladimir Putin. Sobyanin had extended the Russian capital’s strict lockdown – including its controversial digital pass system – until May 31 […]

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Pandemic has Destroyed Putin’s ‘Sacred’ Standing in the Eyes of Russians, Tsipko Says

Putin at Desk

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, May 21, 2020) Before our eyes and in a remarkably short time, Aleksandr Tsipko says, the coronavirus pandemic has destroyed the hitherto widely held belief among Russians that the fate of their country and the fate of Vladimir Putin were ineluctably intertwined and even one and the same thing. The senior Moscow […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s small businesses left out in the cold by Covid-19” – Financial Times/ Henry Foy

Cash, Calculator, Pen

“Local service-sector enterprises flounder in an economy dominated by large industrial groups.” “… the Kremlin … [must] demand two seemingly opposing outcomes: maintain restrictions to smother the world’s second-largest number of Covid-19 infections and lift a lockdown [that is shrinking GDP] …. [with] [s]mall and medium-sized businesses … trapped in … between. … forced by … Putin to pay salaries […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Coronavirus mortality rate to keep on growing in Russia – Rospotrebnadzor head” – Interfax

Coronavirus File Photo adapted from image at cdc.gov

… According to scientists, the time gap between phases one and two in lifting quarantine restrictions could roughly amount to two weeks, Popova said. […]

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Many Russians Expect to Lose Jobs, Take Pay Cuts in Wake of Pandemic

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

Almost half of Russians expect layoffs within their household in the coming months and almost one-third have already had someone in their household recently fired, according to a poll conducted April 26-28 […]

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‘Rage Is Brewing’: Navalny Warns Of Public Anger Over Russia’s COVID-19 Response

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

Russian citizens are expressing greater protest sentiment as the spread of the coronavirus and the state’s fight against it has left many people dissatisfied, including doctors and small-business owners, said one of the nation’s most influential opposition activists. […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s Economy Suffers Double Hit From Oil Slump and Coronavirus” – Wall Street Journal/ Thomas Grove, Georgi Kantchev

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

“As infections grow, Russia finds a shortfall in oil revenue hurts its ability to offer the kind of emergency support provided in the West.” “… [Russia’s] slump … began … when coronavirus lockdowns in China and elsewhere pushed oil prices lower. … Putin’s hesitance in joining … big producers to curtail output compounded the problem, driving oil to its lowest […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Putin Wants Russia to Get Back to Normal. New Outbreaks Show It May Be Too Early.” – Moscow Times

Russia Regions Map

Budget deficits are driving regions to lift quarantine restrictions. But poor data could be hiding a second coronavirus wave. (Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Evan Gershkovich – May 21, 2020) Before 136 employees of the distribution center for the popular Krasnoe & Beloe discount liquor chain in central Russia’s Sverdlovsk region tested positive for the coronavirus on Monday, the region […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s GDP shrinks by 20% in April, but government maintains a triple surplus” – bne Intellinews

Cash, Calculator, Pen

“… Russia’s nominal GDP shrank … 28%, of which two-thirds was due to the nation-wide lockdown … another third … due to … oil prices, the Ministry of Finance said …. The real contraction of the economy in April could be 20%, according to the Ministry …. [T]he government has reported … surplus[es] [for] the trade balance, currency account and […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Anatomy of lies; Russia’s covid-19 outbreak is far worse than the Kremlin admits” – The Economist

Kremlin and River

“Like its Soviet predecessor, Vladimir Putin’s system is steeped in falsehoods.” “… official numbers reveal less about covid-19 than they do about Russia’s political system … like its Soviet predecessor, … saturated with lies. Russian elections throw up similarly strange graphics. Many Russian athletes … took performance-enhancing drugs … their cheating … covered up … with official connivance. … [One […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia Says Many Coronavirus Patients Died of Other Causes. Some Disagree” – Reuters

Coronavirus File Photo adapted from image at cdc.gov

“… [There have been] thousands of Russians infected with the novel coronavirus whose deaths have been put down to other causes. Russia has registered the second highest number of infections globally, at 299,941 total cases, and 2,837 deaths. … a death rate of 1.88 per 100,000 …. The equivalent U.S. figure is 27.61 per 100,000 …. 52.45 in Britain. … […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Ukraine’s Overburdened Doctors in Desperate Virus Fight” – AP

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

“… [The] … broken or substandard equipment, a lack of drugs, low wages [] reflect[] the meltdown of Ukraine’s health care system … quickly overwhelmed by the coronavirus pandemic even with the country’s relatively low number of cases. Ukraine’s corruption-plagued economy has been weakened by six years of war with Russia-backed separatists in the east. … Zelenskiy’s year-old administration inherited […]

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RUSSIALINK: “As the Coronavirus Contagion Grows in Russia, Putin’s Strongman Image Weakens” – Moscow Times

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

With an economic crisis heaving into view, the Russian president ‘looks like an old, sick wolf.’ (Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Evan Gershkovich – May 14, 2020) If you were taking your cues from Russia’s longtime leader Vladimir Putin this week, you would have been left thinking that the country’s worst struggles with the coronavirus pandemic were over. “Starting tomorrow, […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russia reports almost 10,600 new Covid-19 cases (+4.2%), 113 deaths in past 24 hours – HQ” – Interfax

Coronavirus File Photo adapted from image at cdc.gov

MOSCOW. May 15 (Interfax) – Russia detected 10,598 new Covid-19 cases in the past 24 hours [9,974 cases in 84 regions the day before], the coronavirus response headquarters said in a statement on Friday. “Over the past day, 10,598 Covid-19 cases were confirmed in 85 regions of Russia, including 4,504 active asymptomatic cases (42.5%),” the statement said. The cumulative number […]

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WHO Representative Downplays Doubts About Russian Coronavirus Figures

Medical Symbol with Pole, Serpents, Wings

(Article text ©2020 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – May 14, 2020 – article text also appeared at rferl.org/a/who-representative-downplays-doubts-about-russian-coronavirus-figures/30611973.html) The World Health Organization’s representative in Russia has downplayed doubts about the country’s coronavirus statistics even as new public data suggests authorities may be undercounting the death toll from the pandemic. The comments from Melita Vujnovic, in an […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Moscow shifts to new Covid-19 testing level, ELISA tests – Sobyanin” – Interfax

Sergei Sobyanin file photo

MOSCOW. May 14 (Interfax) – The enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, also known as ELISA, will increase the daily number of coronavirus tests carried out in Moscow to 100,000, or even 200,000, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said on Thursday. “We have a new objective today: we need to achieve a new level of quality and quantity of testing using ELISA systems. Moscow […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Coronavirus crisis leaves Russian government rudderless” – Financial Times/ Henry Foy, Max Seddon

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

Prime ministerial stand-in faces task of managing pandemic while getting economy moving again ….

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “What’s preventing a respite from the broken U.S.-Russia relationship?” – Defense News/ Steven Keil

“… In addition to a rare joint statement … Trump and … Putin connected numerous times over the past several weeks according to public reports. These developments stand out … [T]ies between Moscow and Washington have long been frozen in place. [Recent developments are] even more surprising given the Kremlin’s continued actions in places like Syria and Ukraine. The dual […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Putin Eases Nationwide Virus Lockdown as Russia Becomes 3rd Most-Infected Country” – Moscow Times

Coronavirus File Photo adapted from image at cdc.gov

… Putin has eased Russia’s “non-working” period imposed to slow the spread of coronavirus even as Russia emerges as Europe’s new coronavirus hotspot. …

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RUSSIALINK: “Russia Is Boasting About Low Coronavirus Deaths. The Numbers Are Deceiving.” – Moscow Times

Coronavirus File Photo adapted from image at cdc.gov

Suspicions are growing that Russia is undercounting its coronavirus death toll. Although the country has the second fastest growing outbreak in the world after the United States, its mortality rate falls far below other countries.

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Kto-Kogo: Putin vs. COVID-19

Vladimir Putin file photo with VOA logo; screen shot from video still

“… the situation could evolve in a bleaker direction, eroding Putin’s authority and enticing elites to consider alternatives, such as blocking Putin’s bid for reelection in 2024. But, for the past twenty years, Putin has been a skillful and a lucky leader. That has kept him at the top of the system. This year will tell whether his skill or his luck – or both – have run out.”

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RUSSIALINK: “Russia’s Economic Woes Continue to Mount During Coronavirus Outbreak” – Moscow Times

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

As the Kremlin resists pressure to spend, official statistics show economic activity down by a third and tax revenues crashing. (Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Jake Cordell – May 6, 2020) Jake Cordell covers business & economics for The Moscow Times. A third of the Russian economy has ground to a halt because of the coronavirus lockdown, the Russian government […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Putin, Trump discuss anti-coronavirus efforts, situation on global oil market – Kremlin” – Interfax

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

MOSCOW. May 7 (Interfax) – Russian President Vladimir Putin and United States President Donald Trump discussed efforts to counter the coronavirus pandemic and the situation on the global oil market in a telephone call on Thursday, the Kremlin press service said. “The heads of state exchanged greetings on the 75th anniversary of the victory over Nazism. They emphasized a historic […]

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Luis Alcalá: “Re: ‘Three Russian doctors fall from hospital windows'”

Medical Symbol with Pole, Serpents, Wings

Subject: [UTExpertsDiscGrp] Re: “Three Russian doctors fall from hospital windows” Date: Thu, 7 May 2020 From: Luis Alcalá <luismalcala@gmail.com> It is a waste of time to comment on these news. In England and the USA, medical personnel commit suicide and nobody says it is the fault of Trump or Boris, but in the news about Russian suicides or accidents they […]

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Andrei Liakhov: “Re: [UTExpertsDiscGrp] ‘Three Russian doctors fall from hospital windows'”

Medical Symbol with Pole, Serpents, Wings

Subject: Re: [UTExpertsDiscGrp] “Three Russian doctors fall from hospital windows” Date: Tue, 5 May 2020 0 From: ‘Andrei Liakhov’ via “Untimely Thoughts” – An Expert Discussion Group on Russia <untimely_thoughts_an_expert_discussion_group_on_russia@googlegroups.com> I do not know about the gents, but I have relatives who work and live in Star City where everyone knows everyone else. The doctor in Star city has not […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “As coronavirus hits record numbers in Russia, this is a dangerous moment for Putin” – CNN/ Nathan Hodge

Coronavirus File Photo adapted from image at cdc.gov

“Russia hit a grim milestone … officially recording the highest number of coronavirus cases the country has seen in a 24-hour period, with 10,633 people testing positive. … [T]he economic pain is worsening … Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said on state television … ‘I don’t recall anything like this,’ … adding that plummeting global oil prices — a primary source […]

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Russia To Adjust Spending On Putin’s ‘National Projects’ As Economy Hit By Coronavirus

Kremlin and River

(Article text ©2020 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – May 3, 2020 – article text also appeared at rferl.org/a/russia-to-adjust-spending-on-putin-s-national-projects-as-economy-hit-by-coronavirus/30590575.html) Russia may alter spending plans for a series of national goals promoted by President Vladimir Putin two years ago as the spread of the coronavirus slashes budget revenues. Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on May 3 that the […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Putin, Russia’s Man of Action, Is Passive, Even Bored, in the Coronavirus Era” – New York Times/ Andrew Higgins

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

“The pandemic has derailed Vladimir V. Putin’s plans for a big military parade and a referendum extending his rule – and now knocked out his prime minister – as the Russian leader struggles to find his stride.” “This was supposed to be a moment of triumph for … Putin, a celebration of his grand successes … restoring the Russian state […]

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Russia’s Health Care System, Demographics Present Unique Advantages, Disadvantages in Fighting COVID-19

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

(Russia Matters – russiamatters.org – Alexandra Vacroux – April 30, 2020) Alexandra Vacroux is executive director of the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies and a lecturer on government at Harvard University.  The coronavirus hit Russia late, but is now gathering steam. This week, identified cases have been increasing by around 6,000 daily. As elsewhere, we can assume that […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Putin’s Business Tsar Attacks Economic Lockdown; Poverty and starvation are as much a problem as the coronavirus, said Boris Titov” – Moscow Times

Cash, Calculator, Pen

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – April 27, 2020) President Vladimir Putin’s “business tsar” has called for the government to end the economic lockdown and reopen the economy. Boris Titov, the president’s business ombudsman, announced Monday he will organize an online protest Friday calling for businesses to be reopened, as frustration at the government’s economic response to the coronavirus grows throughout […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Kremlin Using Virus Outbreak to Push Through Putin’s Reforms: Proekt” – Moscow Times

Kremlin and River

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – April 29, 2020) The Kremlin is attempting to take advantage of Russia’s coronavirus outbreak to maintain President Vladimir Putin’s popularity and ensure that the public votes for his constitutional reforms, the Proekt investigative outlet reported Wednesday, citing unnamed federal officials. The reforms would potentially allow Putin, 67, to extend his 20-year rule into 2036. Putin […]

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