(CEPA) Commentators were quick to predict that the pandemic would accelerate the decay of Vladimir Putin’s regime. Others expected a crackdown; public fears are often a pretext for power grabs. Examples of extraordinary powers and the suspension of normal legal protections abound in countries such as Israel, Hungary, the Philippines, and Thailand.
Yet on April 2, the Russian leader did not announce a state of emergency or impose economic regulations. Instead, he delegated the country-wide decisions to the government (led by the prime minister,) while assigning specific decisions on business closures and movement restrictions to regional leaders. […]
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