Staunton, August 9 – Rosstat’s mortality statistics for June 2020 confirm what many outside Russia already know that the Russian government’s daily claims about coronavirus infections and deaths are understatements and are leading Russians to draw the same conclusion (mk.ru/social/health/2020/08/09/statistika-smertnosti-v-rossii-pri-koronaviruse-uzhasnula.html).
Not only does that further corrode public confidence in Russian government reporting, but it highlights the increasing inability of the Kremlin to ensure that it delivers a consistent message true or otherwise. When one government agency contradicts another, that pattern inevitably sparks questions about who is in charge and their competence.
And such questions may be even more significant in their impact on the future than the differences in figures that the Putin regime is increasingly offering. If the gaps were small, they could be ignored as a reflection of differences in the way the data is gathered; but when they are large as is now the case, ever fewer people are able to do that.
Nonetheless, the daily figures continue to come out. Today, the Russian government reported that there had been 5189 new coronavirus infections in the country, brining the total to over 887,000 and 77 additional deaths, boosting that toll to just under 15,000 (14.931) (zona.media/chronicle/krnaugust).
In advance of the planned registration of Russia’s coronavirus regime tomorrow, discussions about the vaccine and its meaning are intensifying. Most Russians appear thrilled by the prospects of a cure, but some public figures are calling on Vladimir Putin to put cancel plans for mass vaccination, statements that will contribute to anti-vaccer attitudes (lenta.ru/news/2020/08/09/putin/ and svpressa.ru/world/article/272894/).
Even on a weekend, reports from across the Russian Federation show that the pandemic continues to ebb and flow with officials in many places rushing to reopen as conditions improve and officials in places where there are continuing problems or even new spikes re-closing public facilities that had been reopened earlier (regnum.ru/news/society/3028625.html).
And new details from the Center for Macro-Economic Analysis and Prediction study of the pandemic’s impact on the economy surfaced. There is a continuing pattern of revival in the production of machinery but a deepening decline in the production of construction materials (krizis-kopilka.ru/archives/78928
· Russian visitors to Russian resorts this year are unhappy both because of the restrictions they have to operate under and the failure of operators to impose them consistently, thus leading to fears that today’s vacation will lead to tomorrow’s illness (versia.ru/rossijskie-turisty-nazvali-glavnye-nedostatki-otechestvennyx-kurortov).
· And ClickDate, a Russian online dating service, says that its business is booming as Russians increasingly go online to find partners (iarex.ru/news/76887.html).