Staunton, Sept. 10 – As the date of the Duma elections approaches, Moscow political analyst Aleksey Roshchin says, Russian government reporting on the coronavirus has been cutback and become ever less plausible, seriously reducing Moscow’s credibility and its ability to influence the population to combat covid (publizist.ru/blogs/113970/40746/-).
The number of articles in the central media about the pandemic has fallen even though the threat hasn’t been reduced, and the figures the government does release raise doubts, he says. For example, the number of covid deaths reported each day has stayed within a very narrow range, far narrower than one would expect if the figures were real.
Russians are noticing that, Roshchin says; and they are fearful as a result. Many think as he does that truly disturbing numbers will be released after the voting and that the government will take draconian actions as a result, actions that it will justify by the equally unreliable figures it will likely release at that time.
Today, Russian officials reported registering 18,341 new cases of infection and 799 new deaths from the coronavirus over the last 24 hours. Both figures are within the narrow range Roshchin points to, as the pandemic continues to ebb and flow across the country (t.me/COVID2019_official/3537 and regnum.ru/news/society/3361504.html).
Among the small number of coronavirus stories released today, two are worthy of note: The Russian mint has announced plans to issue special memorial coins to honor medical personnel who’ve been fighting the pandemic (regnum.ru/news/3366845.html). And Kommersant reports Moscow funeral services saw their incomes rise by 25 percent during the pandemic year of 2020 (kommersant.ru/doc/4978106).