Saturday, May 2, 2020

Pandemic Restrictions Helped FSB in Yekaterinburg, Sparking Fears Moscow will Want More Such Restrictions in the Future

Paul Goble

            Staunton, May 1 – The FSB’s success in liquidating three terrorists in Yekaterinburg at least in part relied on the quarantine that is in place there (, something that has sparked concerns that Moscow might view pandemics as useful and declare more of them in the future (

            Meanwhile, there were ten other developments in Russia related to the pandemic and economic crisis:

1.      The pandemic has spread to Russia’s atomic energy sector, with Rosatom saying that it poses “a direct threat for our nuclear cities” (

2.      Many had expected the isolation regime to spark a baby boom, but Russian demographers say that instead, it is likely to lead to a dramatic upsurge in abortions and divorces and thus leave Russia in a still deeper demographic “hole” (

3.      The health ministry has issued guidelines on how Russians can avoid going mad while locked up at home (, an apparent response to reports of more family violence since the pandemic began (

4.      Official claims notwithstanding, Russia still faces massive shortages of masks and other items needed to fight the pandemic (

5.      Sparsely populated regions of Russia will likely use what officials are calling “the Sakhalin model” to fight the pandemic, relying less on self-isolation than on testing and tracking contacts of those identified as infected (

6.      Faced with a shortage of medical personnel, Russian officials are pushing advanced medical students in universities to go to work in hospitals to fight the pandemic; but many of them, reports say, are anything but enthusiastic about exposing themselves to infection (

7.      Transparency International says that the pandemic has made corruption even more widespread in Russia than it was before (

8.      Moscow, after winning a propaganda victory for providing medical assistance to Italy to help that country fight the pandemic, has now presented Rome with a bill for its services (

9.      Because no place in Russia is likely to acquire the herd immunity necessary to prevent a return of the coronavirus, many are now worrying about how Moscow will cope with what may be an even more deadly wave of the coronavirus (

10.  But there is one thing Russians don’t need to worry about, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov says. The authorities are protecting the health of Vladimir Putin to the maximum extent possible (

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