Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Coverage of Pandemic in Russia Falls Sharply Even Though Infections and Deaths Don’t

Paul Goble

            Staunton, April 25 – Even during the worst periods of the pandemic, Russian media coverage of the coronavirus situation declined on weekends. But this weekend, despite the fact that cases have only plateaued and more restrictions are being put in place, coverage of this story fell to a new low.

            One measure of that is provided by the Regnum news agency which not only did not list its compilation of coronavirus stories among its headline articles but provided the smallest number of such stories since the start of the pandemic despite acknowledging that the situation was far from perfect (regnum.ru/news/society/3250801.html).

            This suggests that the Russian media may be under some pressure to be more upbeat about the pandemic, thus bringing it into line with Vladimir Putin who especially in recent times has been consistently more optimistic about the future than are Russia’s epidemiologists and other specialists in public health.

            Today, Russian officials reported registering 8780 new cases of infection and 332 new deaths from the coronavirus, even as reports from Moscow, St. Petersburg, and numerous regions suggest that the situation for many parts of Russia is at best plateauing and at worst deteriorating (t.me/COVID2019_official/2835, regnum.ru/news/3252610.html,

sobyanin.ru/million-prizov-dlya-starshego-pokoleniya  and regnum.ru/news/3252560.html).

            The only unambiguously “positive” news today was that flights between Moscow and the Estonian capital of Tallinn have resumed (ria.ru/20210425/aviasoobschenie-1729886068.html).

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