Because of Pandemic, Moscow This Year Spent More on Economy than on Defense

Covid-19 Coronavirus file photo, adapted from image at cdc.gov

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, September 19, 2020) The pandemic has introduced major changes in Russian government policy but perhaps not one greater than this: for the first time in a very long time, the Russian government has spent more on promoting the economy than on maintaining and developing its military (sobkorr.org/news/5F6610F248362.html). The number of new cases […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russian schools open with classroom, cafeteria precautions” – AP

Covid-19 Coronavirus file photo, adapted from image at cdc.gov

“Russian children have returned to schools …. [T]eachers underwent mandatory virus tests …. Temperature checks are conducted each morning … [S]chool schedules were amended to reduce the number … attending at the same time. Authorities also limited … school cafeterias and recreation areas …. Masks in schools are not mandatory for all of Russia’s 85 regions ….” If a child […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russia registers 5,363 new coronavirus cases, 128 deaths in past 24 hours – HQ” – Interfax

Covid-19 Coronavirus file photo, adapted from image at cdc.gov

MOSCOW. Sept 10 (Interfax) – Russia registered 5,363 new coronavirus cases and 128 coronavirus-related deaths in the past 24 hours, the operative headquarters said on Thursday. “Over the past day, 5,363 Covid-19 cases were confirmed in 84 regions of Russia, including 1,302 active asymptomatic cases (24.3%),” the headquarters said. The daily growth in new coronavirus cases is on the rise. […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia Publishes Virus Vaccine Results, Weeks After Approval” – AP

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

“Russian scientists have belatedly published first results from early trials into the experimental Sputnik V vaccine, which received government approval last month but drew considerable criticism from experts, as the shots had only been tested on several dozen people before being more widely administered. In a [Lancet] report … [vaccine] developers … said it appeared to be safe and to […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Results of Sputnik V vaccine trials published in The Lancet” – Interfax

File Photo of Blue-Gloved Hand Holding Syringe and Injecting Arm, adapted from image at nih.gov

[Lancet: thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)31866-3/fulltext] MOSCOW. Sept 4 (Interfax) – One of the world’s most reputable medical journals, The Lancet, has published the results of the Phase 1 and Phase 2 clinical trials of the Russian coronavirus vaccine Sputnik V, developed by the Gamaleya Institute. “The research being published in The Lancet proves the high level of safety and efficacy of the Russian […]

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Russia Officially Passes One Million Coronavirus Infections Mark – An Understatement or a Marginal One?

Covid-19 Coronavirus file photo, adapted from image at cdc.gov

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, September 1, 2020) Russian officials reported registering 4729 new cases of coronavirus infection over the last 24 hours, bringing the total since the start of the pandemic to 1,000,048. They also said the number of new deaths equaled 123, bringing that toll to 17,299 (t.me/COVID2019_official/1403). Passing a million officially registered cases has […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russia Predicts Highest Population Decline Since 2006 Amid Pandemic”- Moscow Times

File Photo of Crowd in Russia Including Person Waving Russian Flag with Eagle

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Sept. 2, 2020) Russia’s population could see its biggest decline in 14 years in 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic has raised the country’s death rate amid falling birth rates, according to government forecasts reported by the RBC news website Tuesday. The Covid-19 outbreak will also push Russia’s poverty rate up from 12.3% in 2019 to […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Elderly Coronavirus Vaccine Recipients ‘Healthy,’ Russian Developer Says” – Moscow Times

File Photo of Blue-Gloved Hand Holding Syringe and Injecting Arm, adapted from image at nih.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Sept. 2, 2020) Elderly scientists who helped develop Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine have not reported adverse effects after being injected, the head of the research institute behind the inoculation told the state-run RIA Novosti news agency Wednesday. Sputnik V’s registration last month as the world’s first coronavirus vaccine before large-scale clinical trials has sparked […]

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‘No More than 10’ Russian Regions Now Providing Accurate Coronavirus Data, Mathematical Analysis Shows

Covid-19 Coronavirus file photo, adapted from image at cdc.gov

Over the last month, regions including Moscow are reporting figures that reflect what their leaders have promised but that are improbable when subjected to mathematical analysis […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russia sees 4,696 new Covid-19 cases, 120 deaths in past 24 hours – HQ” – Interfax

Coronavirus File Photo adapted from image at cdc.gov

MOSCOW. Aug 25 (Interfax) – Russia registered 4,696 new Covid-19 cases and 120 coronavirus-related deaths in the past 24 hours, the coronavirus response headquarters said on Tuesday. “Over the past day, 4,696 new Covid-19 cases were confirmed in 84 regions of Russia, including 1,253 active asymptomatic cases (26.7%),” the headquarters said. Russia has reported record low numbers of new Covid-19 […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Coronavirus Pandemic Rebalances Russia’s Corporate Landscape” – Moscow Times

Men Sitting Around Long Oval Boardroom Table, File Photo of FIFA Officials Meeting with Vladmir Putin

Earnings season shows tech companies setting record-high share prices, and closing the gap on Russia’s energy giants. (Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Jake Cordell – Aug. 20, 2020) Russia’s younger technology companies have weathered the coronavirus pandemic significantly better than the country’s heavyweight energy and commodities giants, corporate results released during the summer earnings season has shown. While tech empires […]

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Pandemic-Driven Pessimism Greater in Moscow and Major Cities than Elsewhere, Poll Finds

Coronavirus File Photo adapted from image at cdc.gov

A survey of 5,000 Russians … finds the level of pessimism about the future is greater in Moscow and other major cities than elsewhere … [T]hese cities were hit harder by the pandemic than anywhere else […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Surreal scenes inside Russia’s battle against the pandemic” – National Geographic/ Nanna Heitmann

Covid-19 Coronavirus file photo, adapted from image at cdc.gov

“Patients continue to fill hospitals as rumours and cynicism spread about a vaccine.” “… [A]ll these [Moscow] hospitals [are now COVID-19 centres,] devoted to one disease that didn’t exist … months ago[] … shocking inside the hospitals. From the moment you’re in the elevator you’re in a ‘red zone’ … considered contaminated[,] [e]verywhere … a red zone[,] … nurses prepar[ing] […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Covid-19 mass vaccination in Russia may start in Dec.-Jan. – Gamaleya Center director” – Interfax

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

A Covid-19 mass vaccination campaign may start in Russia in December-January, Alexander Gintsburg, director of the Gamaleya National Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology of the Russian Health Ministry, said […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia Registers World’s First Covid-19 Vaccine Despite Safety Concerns” – Wall Street Journal/ Thomas Grove

Coronavirus File Photo adapted from image at cdc.gov

“Officials in Russia and the West express alarm at the speed the vaccine was developed.” “[With Putin’s blessing,] Russia registered the world’s first Covid-19 vaccine … amid [anticipation, skepticism and ] safety concerns …. Moscow’s [state-run] Gamaleya Institute for Epidemiology and Microbiology developed the vaccine … [with] military testing, accelerated clinical evaluations and shortened trial times …. Russia [plans] … […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Six Months into the Coronavirus Outbreak, Russia’s Statistics Still Provide More Questions than Answers” – Moscow Times

Russia Regions Map

Analysis of excess fatalities show regions may be underreporting deaths from Covid-19 […]

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RUSSIALINK: “‘World’s First’ Coronavirus Vaccine: What We Know So Far About Russian Injection” – Moscow Times

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

Russia has become the first country to approve a vaccine against the coronavirus … Putin said … despite widespread concerns about its safety. Russia … has the world’s fourth-highest coronavirus caseload […]

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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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Russia Could Be First Country to Produce a Coronavirus Vaccine, Moscow Official Says

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

Senior Russian officials continued to be upbeat in claiming that Russia has passed the peak of the epidemic, but some analysts dispute that given rising rates of infection in several places around the country […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s Putin sets new 2030 goals as National Projects scaled back” – bne Intellinews

Kremlin and River

“… Putin has signed a ‘July Decree’ … outlin[ing] … national development goals up to 2030 …. risk[ing] … [failure to] fulfill[] … [his] previous economic platform due to the … COVID-19[] crisis. … [with] deadlines for [the] National Projects spending spree … being pushed from 2024 to 2030. [The new platform] outline[s] five development goals: 1) maintaining the population, […]

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Comment re: Times (UK) article on Russian Healthcare (JRL 2020-126)[, “Russia’s Health System is Dying on Its Feet”]

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

Subject: Comment re: Times (UK) article on Russian Healthcare (JRL 2020-126) Date: Wed, 15 Jul 2020 From: Rudra Sil <rudysil@gmail.com> Yesterday’s JRL (2020-#126) included Mark Bennetts’ article, “Russia’s Health System is Dying on Its Feet,” originally published in The Times (UK) on February 6, 2020. I missed this article when it first came out, so I am very glad to […]

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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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Former Russian Finance Minister Says Economy ‘In Stagnation,’ Needs More Government Spending

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

A respected former Russian finance minister said the nation’s economy is stagnating and the government needs to invest more in education and health in order to drive growth […]

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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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