Coronavirus Numbers Rising Rapidly in Moscow, Major Russian Cities

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, September 27, 2020) Coronavirus infections are rising rapidly in Moscow and other major Russian cities, with the number of cases in the capital jumping from 1050 three days ago to more than 2,000 today, the result, experts say, of the start of flu season and declining caution among Russians (svpressa.ru/economy/article/276981/, kp.ru/daily/217187.5/4293934/, regnum.ru/news/3074643.html, […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “‘Nobody wants to kill business’; Moscow is experiencing a spike in coronavirus cases, but there’s no lockdown in sight” – Meduza

Coronavirus File Photo adapted from image at cdc.gov

“Moscow is experiencing a sharp increase in new coronavirus cases[,] [a]s of Friday, September 25, …record[ing] 1,560 new cases in the last day – 510 more than the day before … nearly twice as many as last week. … the highest daily increase … since June 12. … Also on September 25, Russia recorded more than 7,000 new coronavirus cases […]

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On Russia’s Far Eastern Frontier, Vast Stretches Of Free Land, But Little Interest

Siberian River, Forest, Mountain

… The Russian state has made 220 million hectares of land available under its program, double the total amount allotted under the Homestead Act. But only around 80,000 Russians have taken advantage. […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s Crumbling Power Vertical: Decreasing Disposable Income Drives Discontentment” – PONARS Eurasia

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

“Accumulating evidence points at prospects of growing destabilization at the regional level in Russia. In 2019, five consecutive years of economic stagnation ignited a wave of protests across the country. In 2020, as Russia’s economic situation worsened dramatically due to a pandemic-driven halt to economic activity combined with a fall in oil prices, support for Kremlin appointees might start crumbling […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Putin Faces Test of Voters With Poisoned Critic in Hospital” – Bloomberg/ Henry Meyer

File Photo of Vladimir Putin at Podium with United Russia Logo, Gesturing

“With his most prominent critic hit by a near-fatal poisoning that opponents and the West blame on the Kremlin … Putin faces a key test of support in regional elections ahead of a national vote next year. About a third of the electorate is eligible to vote … over three days … to choose representatives at different levels … in […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Only 31% of Russians willing to vote for ruling United Russia Party, says Levada Center” – bne Intellinews/ Ben Aris

File Photo of Dmitry Medvedev with United Russia Logos Behind Him

“With … regional elections … start[ing] … September 13 …. 31% … say they are willing to vote for the ruling United Russia Party, according to independent pollster the Levada Center. If elections to the State Duma took place this coming Sunday, 31% of Russians would vote for United Russia. … 11% … are now ready to vote for the […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s 2020 elections hotspots; A semblance of real political competition makes the upcoming vote worth following in several regions” – Meduza

Arm and Torso of Person in Brown Sweater Placing Paper Ballot into Ballot Box

“… [On Sunday,] residents of 18 regions … elect governors, another 11 regions … vote for local parliamentary deputies, and 22 regional capitals … hold city council elections. In several regions … results may not be in favor of … [ruling powers] in spite of … three-day voting rules, which can create increased opportunities for manipulating … election results. … […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russia’s Regional Elections, Explained” – Moscow Times

Russia Regions Map

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Sept. 11, 2020) Russians are heading to the polls through Sunday to elect new regional and city leadership. In a year that has seen a global pandemic, weeks of anti-Kremlin protests in the Far East and historically low approval ratings for President Vladimir Putin, the vote is set to be a key test for the […]

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Emergency situation: the slow-moving tragedy of the Russian Arctic

Map of Arctic Highlighting Permafrost, adapted from image at nasa.gov

Melting permafrost, oil spills, collapsing infrastructure, abandoned towns: Russia’s far north is heading for social, economic and ecological disaster. (opendemocracy.net – Sofia Gavrilova – August 27, 2020) Sofia Gavrilova is a geographer and works in the Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography, Leipzig. [Text with photos opendemocracy.net/en/odr/russia-arctic-monotowns/] “The asbestos factory closed last year. The crushed stone plant is closing this year. […]

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Russians Don’t Know Geography of Their Own Country or That of Others, VTsIOM Finds

Russia Regions Map

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, August 19, 2020) In Soviet times, schools devoted a great deal of attention to geography and especially to how much larger the USSR was than any other country and where its natural wealth was located. But since 1991, such instruction appears to have taken a back seat to other subjects at least […]

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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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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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Anti-Centralism Now Embraced by Both Russian and Non-Russian Radical Oppositions, Sidorov Says

Russia Regions Map

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, August 3, 2020) Russian nationalists have always been more divided than most analysts have suggested, with some committed imperialists, others devoted to a small Russia, and still others believing that their best course forward is in the elaboration of a civic national identity that would allow them to retain the loyalty of […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s electoral testing ground; Welcome to Novosibirsk, where multiple opposition parties are battling for real power and setting the stage for Russia’s nationwide elections” – Meduza

Arm and Torso of Person in Brown Sweater Placing Paper Ballot into Ballot Box

“In … Novosibirsk[,] … not one but two opposition groups are building … a serious challenge to the ruling party. … [T]he Communist Party (KPRF) … part of … the systemic opposition … recognized by the Russian government and permitted to hold elected seats across the country. … currently controls Novosibirsk City Hall[;] Communist Mayor Anatoly Lokot … push[ing] for […]

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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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Degtyarov First of New Generation of Regional Leaders in Putin System, Ivanov Says

Far Eastern Russia and Environs, with Khabarovsk Pinpointed, adapted from image at cdc.gov

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, Aug. 2 , 2020) Despite the travails of his first days in office, Mikhail Degtyarov, Moscow’s appointee as new head of Khabarovsk Kray, represents the harbinger of a new generation of regional leaders, one very different than their predecessors and likely to have unexpected consequences for both Moscow and the regions, Andrey […]

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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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RUSSIALINK: “Nearly Half of Russians Support Anti-Kremlin Protests in Far East – Poll” – Moscow Times

Far Eastern Russia and Environs, with Khabarovsk Pinpointed, adapted from image at cdc.gov

Nearly half of Russians say they approve of … anti-Kremlin protests in the Far East … [breaking] out … after the arrest of the Khabarovsk region’s popular governor … and his replacement with a Putin-appointed lawmaker …. People have taken to the streets of Khabarovsk near the Chinese border … 18 days in a row … an unprecedented show of opposition to the Kremlin in the region […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “In Russia’s Far East, a New Face of Resistance to Putin’s Reign” – New York Times/ Anton Troianovski

Far Eastern Russia and Environs, with Khabarovsk Pinpointed, adapted from image at cdc.gov

“As the protests swell in the city of Khabarovsk, 4,000 miles from Moscow, residents who had never before found a public outlet for anger are becoming activists.” “… [P]rotests in Khabarovsk reached well into the tens of thousands … establishing this distant city – some 4,000 miles from Moscow – as the site of the biggest popular challenge to … […]

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RUSSIALINK: “‘Russia, Wake up’: Far East Protesters Seek to Set Example for Entire Country; Some local Khabarovsk activists and experts, however, wonder if the protest movement can be sustained.” – Moscow Times

Far Eastern Russia and Environs, with Khabarovsk Pinpointed, adapted from image at cdc.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Evan Gershkovich – Khabarovsk, July 27, 2020) As they have for nearly three weeks, the first protesters started to gather at Lenin Square in the city of Khabarovsk in Russia’s Far East at 7 pm on a recent weekday evening. They were soon joined by independent Russian journalists and a small army of YouTube bloggers, […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Man of steel; ‘Novaya Gazeta’ reports on the backroom business schemes that maybe ruined a Russian governor” – Meduza

Cash, Calculator, Pen

“… [T]here’s a convoluted story of cutthroat competition for a steelworks. … Sergey Furgal, until recently … duly elected governor of Khabarovsk, is now suspected of involvement in four murders committed in 2004 and 2005. While many observers have assumed openly that the allegations are plausible, given the rough and tumble of the Far East’s business world at the time, […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “How is Putin able to remove popularly elected governors?” – Meduza

Russia Regions Map

“… Putin and … Medvedev (… [as] president) have dismissed … 11 governors prior to Furgal. Article 19 of the federal law ‘On the general principles of organization of legislative (representative) and executive bodies of state power’ gives the head of state this right. … in particular situations … [for] inadequate performance of duties and loss of confidence. While the […]

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Corruption, No Confidence, Poor Communication: How Governors Behaving Badly Will Impact Russia’s Regional Elections (excerpt)

Russia Regions Map

(PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo – Emily Ferrs – July 2020) Emily Ferris is a Research Fellow, Russia and Eurasia, at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), United Kingdom. [Full text: ponarseurasia.org/memo/corruption-no-confidence-poor-communication-how-governors-behaving-badly] Russia’s regional administrations tend to be overlooked as a toothless part of the system, lacking any real responsibility or power. While Moscow has certainly curbed governors’ autonomy under President […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russia’s Khabarovsk Region Tasted Democracy. Now Voters Feel It Was Ripped Away.” – Moscow Times

Far Eastern Russia and Environs, with Khabarovsk Pinpointed, adapted from image at cdc.gov

Protesters told The Moscow Times they will continue rallying until their governor’s murder trial is held in Khabarovsk. (Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Evan Gershkovich – July 15, 2020) For as long as Valery Nechayev could remember, the ruling United Russia party had been in charge of his home region of Khabarovsk in Russia’s Far East. And, for a while, […]

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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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Protesters in Khabarovsk Now Talking about Independent Far Eastern Republic of the 1920s

Far Eastern Russia and Environs, with Khabarovsk Pinpointed, adapted from image at cdc.gov

… What began as protests against the removal of their governor, Khabarovsk residents have transformed into something more and attracted the attention of others across the Russian Far East …. [B]y talking about a possible restoration of the Far Eastern Republic, they beyond doubt have attracted the attention or and possibly repressive actions by the Russian authorities in the capital […]

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Siberia’s ‘Poles Of Cold’ Are Obliterating Heat Records, And Alarming Climate Scientists

Cartoon Sun and Thermometer, adapted from cdc.gov

.. The rapid pace of warming has stunned climate scientists, despite years of gradually rising temperatures. […]

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Protesters In Russia’s Far East Demand Release Of Regional Governor Charged With Murders

File Photos of Law Books and Gavel, adapted from image at fjc.gov

Demonstrators have continued to peacefully protest in Russia’s Far Eastern city of Khabarovsk, demanding the release of the region’s governor Sergei Furgal of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR) […]

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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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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russian Arctic sets ‘fantastical’ heat records: weather chief” – AFP

Cartoon Sun and Thermometer, adapted from cdc.gov

“The Russian Arctic set record temperatures in June that sparked abnormal tundra fires … Russia’s weather service [director] said … blaming climate change for … ‘fantastical’ anomalies. Russia’s northern territories, including parts of Yakutia region which borders the Arctic ocean, have faced a heat wave … with some districts declaring a state of emergency. … He noted one record in […]

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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: “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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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: “Coronavirus Is Just Getting Started in Some Russian Regions” – Moscow Times

Coronavirus File Photo adapted from image at cdc.gov

Their WWII Parades Are Going Ahead. Meanwhile, 20 cities have canceled or delayed the June 24 parades because of the pandemic. (Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Pjotr Sauer, Evan Gershkovich – June 17, 2020) [photo caption in original post: After military cadets were infected with the coronavirus during parade training sessions in April, the Defense Ministry has enforced stricter measures.Defense […]

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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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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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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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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Suing Russia’s president; An ‘ultra-Putinist’ ex-governor has made history with a lawsuit challenging his dismissal. Here’s his story.” – Meduza

File Photos of Law Books and Gavel, adapted from image at fjc.gov

“Mikhail Ignatiev … lost his job as the head of Chuvashia in January … after two scandals: … he advocated ‘wiping out’ bloggers and journalists who praise Western countries … then … humiliated a fireman by forcing him to jump for the keys to a new fire engine. Ignatiev is now … the first public official in Russia to contest […]

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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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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: “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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Global Cities Versus Russian Rustbelt Realities

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

… According to Kudrin, Moscow and St. Petersburg are Russia’s only “global cities” and the rest of Russia’s cities are “barely noticeable on the map of the world.” …

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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: “Daily growth in Covid-19 cases dips to 1,370 in Moscow” – Interfax

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

MOSCOW. April 16 (Interfax) – Moscow has detected 1,370 new cases of Covid-19 in the past 24 hours; this is the first decline in the number of Covid-19 cases seen in the city since April 11, the Moscow coronavirus response headquarters said in a statement on Thursday. “Moscow has identified 1,370 new Covid-19 cases in the past 24 hours, bringing […]

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Part Two: COVID-19 Siberia: Life in the Village: March 29- April 4 “Non-work Week #1” in Manjerok, Altai Republic

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

Subject: Part Two Date: Sat, 11 Apr 2020 From: Sarah Lindemann-Komarova <echosiberia@gmail.com> Part Two COVID-19 Siberia: Life in the Village March 29- April 4 “Non-work Week #1” in Manjerok, Altai Republic By Sarah Lindemann-Komarova [Sarah Lindemann-Komarova has been a community development activist in Siberia since 1992. Currently she is focusing on research and writing about civil society in Russia.] With […]

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RUSSIALINK: “How Do Moscow’s Coronavirus Lockdown Passes Work?” – Moscow Times

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – April 13, 2020) Moscow is tightening its lockdown with digital passes this week as the Russian capital’s coronavirus count surpassed 10,000 cases and officials warned of a continued influx of patients. Here’s an overview of what the citywide pass system means for Muscovites’ everyday life: When does it start? Digital passes will become mandatory this […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s Confusing COVID-19 Response” – Foreign Policy Research Institute/ Fabrice Deprez

Kremlin and River

“The Moscow lockdown … is an unprecedented event in Russia’s post-Soviet history, as are the similar measures introduced across the country to slow the spread of COVID-19. Yet, the way that Russia has responded to the outbreak so far has followed an unusual pattern: early, swift action was followed by several weeks of uneasy lethargy, and then, as the number […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Muscovites flee coronavirus shutdown, bringing trouble to Russia’s regions” – Reuters/ Katya Golubkova, Polina Nikolskaya

Russia Regions Map

“[On one day] … about 730,000 cars … perhaps 10% of Moscow’s 12.7 million population, left the capital, centre of Russia’s epidemic, for the countryside, according to Moscow’s transport department. … rais[ing] fears that the virus is being carelessly spread … anger[ing] … residents of outlying regions who had thought themselves at least relatively protected. … [S]ome locals are accusing […]

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