Thursday, June 25, 2020

Victory Day Parades Super Spreader Events, Navalny Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, June 22 – The Victory Day parade to take place in three days will bring together large numbers of people who in many cases will not take protective measures and thus threatens to become a super spreader event in which the coronavirus will spread to many more Russians, opposition figure Aleksey Navalny says (

            If it were absolutely necessary, that would be one thing, but in fact, it is a cynical act designed to benefit one man, Vladimir Putin, and his campaign to ensure the constitutional amendments that will allow him to stay in power until 2036. That is “absolutely cynical and shameful,” the embattled opposition leader adds. 

            The Russian authorities celebrated the fact that the last 24 hours saw the lowest number of new cases officially recorded since the beginning of May (, buit the figures were nonetheless disturbing.

            There were 7600 new cases, pushing the cumulative total up to 592,280 ( Ninety-five of those infected died, raising that total so far to 8206.  The situation in Moscow has improved relatively and now St. Petersburg leads in the number of new cases (

            Infections in the Northern capital rose over the weekend as people ventured more often out of their homes (, but elsewhere there were spikes in the number of new cases as in the factories and hospitals of Naberezhny Chelny (

            Polls show that Russians want the country to reopen by a factor of two to one (, but in some places, new outbursts have forced officials to extend rather than end restrictions ( But most observers are judging the entire country on the basis of Moscow alone which is reopening rapidly (

            In 44 federal subjects, a majority, restrictions are still very much in place (; but Moscow officials say that all important touristic destinations in the country will be open by July (

            Many outlets focused on reports that a new vaccine against the coronavirus developed jointly by the Gamaley Center and the Defesne ministry, one said to last for two years, is now going into the testing stage before final approval (  and Moscow promises mass vaccination of Russians by fall (

            Surveys show that Russians are increasingly shifting from fears about the virus to fears about their economic prospects (  One interesting aspect of this: regions relatively well-off before the pandemic have been hit harder than those that weren’t, Natalya Zubarevich says (

            Unemployment and personal indebtedness are both rising, with officials and experts expressing concern that there will be more psychological problems and bankruptcies ahead (,  and

            More election workers are refusing to supervise the polls on July 1 because of fears about the virus, however (; and ever more commentators are suggesting that restrictions imposed during the pandemic will be retained to give the government greater control (

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