Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Moscow Only G-20 Government Not Providing Direct Subsidies to Citizens – and Eight Other Pandemic Stories from Russia

Paul Goble

            Staunton, April 27 – Despite ever more Russians suffering from the pandemic and an economic crisis that experts say will be far deeper than the one in 2008-2009, the Russian Federation remains the only G-20 country whose government has not launched a program to put cash into the hands of its citizens (newizv.ru/article/general/27-04-2020/osobyy-put-rossiya-ostalas-edinstvennoy-v-g20-ne-pomogayuschaya-svoim-grazhdanam).

            In addition to that report, there were eight other pandemic-related stories from Russia that should not be missed:

1.      Rights activists have brought two suits against the Russian government arguing that its counter-pandemic measures are a violation of the law given that Moscow has not declared a state of emergency. The cases will be heard in Irkutsk and St. Petersburg tomorrow (sibreal.org/a/30578920.html).

2.      Russian Guard commanders fired one of their men in Vladikavkaz for refusing to obey orders to use force to disperse the recent anti-isolation protests (doshdu.com/v-severnoj-osetii-uvolili-sotrudnika-rosgvardii-otkazavshegosja-razgonjat-protestnyj-miting/).

3.      Soldiers and members of Putin’s registered “Cossack” organizations are engaged in disinfecting facilities in the North Caucasus (yenicag.ru/na-severnom-kavkaze-voennosluzhashhie-p/342893/ and nazaccent.ru/content/32955-kazaki-rostovskoj-oblasti-dezinficiruyut-gorodskie-ulicy.html).

4.      Two Magadan residents die from coronavirus infection, a major reason that people in the Russian Far East fear that even though they are far from Moscow, their closeness to China threatens them with more cases of the disease (govoritmagadan.ru/2-cheloveka-v-magadane-umerli-ot-covid-19-segodnya/  and eastrussia.ru/news/v-neskolkikh-regionakh-dfo-bolshe-drugikh-obespokoeny-koronavirusom/).

5.      More than 100 Criminal Websites are Offering Fake Street Passes for Sale. Specialists from the Group-IB have identified 126 sites set up by criminals who are selling fake passes to Muscovites and others subject to self-isolation unless they have official permission to move about (anti-malware.ru/news/2020-04-27-1447/32558).

6.      According to the defense ministry, more than a 1,000 of its staff and soldiers have been infected with the coronavirus, with the most serious now in hospital (dw.com/ru/хроника-пандемии-в-вооруженных-силах-рф-более-тысячи-инфицированных/a-53243957).

7.      Ever more Russian regions are requiring residents to wear masks in public places (meduza.io/news/2020/04/27/chast-rossiyskih-regionov-sdelali-obyazatelnym-noshenie-masok-v-obschestvennyh-mestah).

8.      Aeroflot and other Russian carriers have raised fares on flights originating in Moscow from 50 to 110 percent.  Now only those who have the most compelling reason for travel are likely to so do (meduza.io/news/2020/04/27/krupneyshie-aviakompanii-podnyali-stoimost-pereletov-po-rossii-na-50-110).

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