Tuesday, January 26, 2021

After the Pandemic Passes, Russian Urban Life and Russia’s Place in World Will Be Very Different, Experts Say

Paul Goble

            Staunton, January 24 – Some recent improvements in the epidemiological situation both in major Russian cities and in other countries are prompting Russian analysts to think what urban life in the Russian Federation will be like and what Russia’s place in the world will be after the pandemic finally ends.

            A group of architects and city planners suggests that there will be  seven major changes in Moscow, including digitalization, de-urbanization, new community spaces, a move to online retail, greater concern with ecology, new paths, and amenities planned to be within walking distance (realty.rbc.ru/news/600979b99a7947095289426c?from=column_8).

            The relations of countries, including Russia, will change not only because they will exit the pandemic and restart economic growth at different rates but because governments will be taking measures to ensure that there is no repetition of a worldwide viral outbreak. Those which escape first will do better in the short term; those which do better in the latter will do better over the longer term (svpressa.ru/blogs/article/288025/).

            Today, the Russian authorities registered 25,127 new cases of infection and 491 new deaths  from the coronavirus as the pandemic continued to ease in the capitals but continued to flare up in many other parts of  the country (t.me/COVID2019_official/2391 and regnum.ru/news/society/3170739.html).

            Despite or perhaps because of the Navalny protests, the Russian media today were filled with discussions about whether a divide will open between those who get the vaccine and those who don’t (kp.ru/daily/27230.5/4356821/). Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova said that introducing a single certificate of vaccination would be “impossible” (regnum.ru/news/3171379.html).

            In a sign that Russia now faces a problem common to many countries where vaccinations are beginning, the authorities are warning people that just because they have gotten their shots, they should not think that they can dispense with wearing masks. They will need to keep them on for a long time to come (ng.ru/moscow/2021-01-24/2_8064_msk24012021.html).

            Meanwhile and in an important development that may help ease tensions between Moscow and Western businesses, the Russian government said that the company that Vladimir Putin had directed to use a medication patented in the West to develop its own without an agreement is now considering how to pay compensation for doing so (vedomosti.ru/business/articles/2021/01/24/855238-farmasintez-covid-19).


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