Staunton, July 4 – Russia will lag behind the West during recovery from the pandemic, see income inequality at home grow, and risk having these two economic problems become invested with ethnic meaning by the majority and minorities alike, economist Vladislav Inozemtsev says (transforma1.ru/tpost/1rm2jmd8ej-vladislav-inozemtsev-eto-budet-vremya-ot).
Inozemtsev’s predictions, while dire, are far less so than the often apocalyptic predictions on offer, and it is clear that the daily deluge of bad economic figures coming on top of less than encouraging coronavirus numbers is having an impact not only on analysts and commentators but also on the Russian government.
The Russian government, faced with both the pandemic and a worsening economic crisis has announced that it will ignore existing limits on its spending in the coming two years but get most of the additional funds it needs from borrowing rather than dipping into the various strategic funds (kommersant.ru/doc/4399880).
This new willingness to spend more is a welcome sign as are new plans to provide funds to some 500,000 small firms to help them cope with the pandemic and retain employees rather than laying them off. But both are far smaller contributions than other governments are making. (versia.ru/mishustin-utverdil-vydachu-subsidij-dlya-biznesa-dlya-profilaktiki-covid-19
Today’s official figures on the coronavirus were not encouraging either. There were 8986 new cases, according to the Russian government count, pushing the cumulative total of infections to 674,000, and 168 more deaths, raising the cumulative mortality figure to 10,027 (rbc.ru/society/04/07/2020/5e2fe9459a79479d102bada6
Meanwhile, in other pandemic-related news from Russia,
· Because of the pandemic, the unified state examination for secondary school graduates, scheduled this year to take place between July 3 and July 23 is being handled in different places in different ways depending on the level of the coronavirus threat (rbc.ru/photoreport/03/07/2020/5efee0d99a794705bcbcf926?from=column_13).
· Ever more Russian parents are angry about the possibility that their children will receive some instruction online and at home, adding to their burdens if as is normally the case both parents work (https://www.rosbalt.ru/moscow/2020/07/03/1852010.html).
· And one Russian epidemiologist, Academician Feliks Yershov, says that the coronavirus epidemic does not yet meet all the characteristics that are typically associated with a pandemic (mk.ru/science/2020/07/04/pandemiya-kotoroy-ne-bylo-pochemu-stareyshiy-virusolog-rossii-v-nee-ne-verit.html).