Kremlin Fails to See Anger and Anxiety Rising in Russia

02 Jun 2020

(EDM) The Russian authorities are caught in a familiar dilemma of whether to resume economic activity or contain the coronavirus pandemic and, trying to have it both ways, are blundering the former while failing in the latter. The economic contraction for April is estimated at 12 percent, but the government’s recovery plans are based on calculations of resumed inflows of petro-revenues—a highly problematic proposition (Rosbalt, May 28). The government’s habitual doctoring of economic data continues but pales in comparison with the distorted official statistics on the scale of the COVID-19 crisis, which shows a purported stabilization in the number of infections along a high plateau of 8,500–9,000 cases per day. The authorities indignantly reject any criticism of this systematic disinformation; nevertheless, the Moscow Department of Healthcare recently provided some corrections in an attempt to explain away the significant increase in the city’s total mortality (Mosgorzdrav.ru, May 28). [...]

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