Saturday, May 30, 2020

A Third of Russians Don’t Believe Coronavirus is Dangerous and Nearly a Quarter Think It was Invented to Threaten Their Country

Paul Goble

            Staunton, May 28 – On the day when even Moscow said the number of those infected by the coronavirus had passed 380,000 and the number of deaths from it had risen to 4142 (, a third of Russians told Higher School of Economics sociologists it wasn’t dangerous and nearly a quarter said it was a weapon enemies of Russia had come up with (

            Cntrversies still swirl around statistics about the pandemic in Russia, but the Kremlin is taking steps to ensure that at least its officials will all give out the same numbers. Rosstat, the health ministry and the Federal Tax Service have agreed to coordinate their numbers (

            Moscow is opening many stores n June 1, but Mayor Sergey Sobyanin says that self-isolation and pass rules will continue until June 14 and that some restrictions will remain in place until there is a vaccine (, and St. Petersburg is following a similar course (

            The economic consequences of the pandemic and the struggle against it are becoming ever more dire: businessmen are angry at the government, layoffs are increasing, and firms having lost markets may not recover them because of backwardness and lack of investment in the past (,, and

            Moreover, scholars at Moscow’s Finance University say that Russia has suffered a bigger decline in consumer spending in percentage terms than any other major country as a result of the pandemic (

            Meanwhile, other pandemic-related news from Russia includes:

·         The Supreme Court has ruled that the pandemic and the measures taken against it can be invoked as a reason for abrogating contracts, a ruling that may further disorder the economy even after the pandemic ends (

·         Moscow has offered the World Health Organization samples of eight anti-coronavirus medications it has developed (

·         Psychiatric hospitals in Russia have become major hotspots for the spread of the pandemic (

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