(TIME) March is usually an important month for Alexandra Gerasimova’s business, Fitmost, which offers subscription fitness classes across Russia. People want to shape up after the long winter, and revenue from that month helps to cover the income loss during the quieter seasons of spring and summer.
But by mid-March, after weeks of slowing business, her company shut down fully as millions of Russians confined themselves to their homes in a lockdown against the coronavirus. With revenue already down by 90%, Gerisamova says her only goal is to survive. To avoid cutting any of her 30 employees, she decreased salaries across the board. [...]
Putin’s lackluster response so far has “zeroed his political capital,” says Petrov, of the Chatham house think tank. “No more he can count on – what many Russians see as – achievements like the annexation of Crimea. He needs to prove he’s effective in power now. But he’s completely out of touch.”
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