Friday, April 17, 2020

Is Someone Trying to Boost Coronavirus Infections in Moscow to Undercut Sobyanin? Golts Asks

Paul Goble

            Staunton, April 16 – The Russian authorities have reduced their credibility and authority to below zero by their actions yesterday, Aleksandr Golts says, when thousands of Muscovites stood patiently at metro entrances being checked by police and in the course of that sharing whatever infections they had.

            That foolish action, the independent security analyst says, almost certainly will lead to a new upswing in the number of coronavirus cases two weeks from now, a result the authorities must clearly have foreseen and thus one that raises the question as to whether there was a decision to do just that (

            While he says he dislikes conspiracy thinking, Golt says that in this case he is forced to suspect that this didn’t happen by chance. “It is unthinkable to imagine that those who set the police to check the passes didn’t understand what they were doing.” Perhaps one cannot exclude that it was “a crime, an intentional infection of thousands” in order to take the Moscow mayor down a peg or two.

            On the same day, the commentator continues, Sobyanin “announced the latest methods to support small and mid-sized businesses,” an action that all involved immediately took to calculating how much good it would do the mayor especially given that Vladimir Putin has been unwilling to take such steps.

            In his discussion of what to do, “Putin provided a diagnosis of the regime which he has built over 20 years. Even if he was able to take some true decision, it would never be realized in part because it would be based on the false data that he would have been offered” and in part because his understanding of the situation is defective on its own, Golts says. 

            Two days ago, for example, Putin spoke about the possibility of using “the reserves” of the military to fight the coronavirus.  “At first glance, these ‘reserves’ and ‘possibilities’ really exist.” After all, Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu regularly talks about all the medical facilities he has under his command.

            But if you think that these means will be used for civilians, “you are mistaken,” the commentator argues.  That would happen only under “extreme need.” In reality, “the defense ministry is preparing for an upsurge in infections in the armed services themselves.” And so far, they have been lying about the dangers.

            Until the ministry stopped doing so on April 4, it put out on a daily basis info-graphics suggesting how well everything was going and prepared to meet any challenge from this sector. (мультимедиа.минобороны.рф/multimedia/infographics/sanitaryconditions/gallery.htm?id=75202@cmsPhotoGallery.)

But then questions began to be raised and information appeared calling this into question ( And now the floodgates have been opened on this problem – see, e.g., and

Meanwhile, Sobyanin has been getting good notices for what he has done to fight the pandemic. What better time for someone who wants to cover his own dishonest tracks and who doesn’t have the mayor’s best interests at heart to arrange something that shows he isn’t in control of the situation either, Golts suggests. 

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