Distorted Data and Fanciful Beliefs Inform Russia’s Crisis Mismanagement

19 May 2020

(EDM) Russia is rightfully held responsible for and often caught red-handed spreading disinformation around the globe; but its own policymaking is, in fact, informed by similarly false assessments, which are “improved” (exacerbated) many times while traveling up the bureaucratic pyramid. For months, President Vladimir Putin has been aloofly presiding over Russia’s poorly coordinated efforts at managing the complex crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has betrayed his poor understanding of the scale and consequences of this unexpected disaster (Znak.com, May 15). It is difficult to judge whether the Kremlin leader actually wants to know the real picture, but it is increasingly clear that the few courtiers who still have access to his tightly isolated residence are careful not to upset him with bad news, all while promoting their own parochial agendas (Meduza, May 15). Operating in this distorted reality, Moscow has no problem with the Chinese manipulations of crucial information. And recently, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov once again described the United States’ criticism of China’s behavior as allegedly ungrounded and unfair (RBC, May 15). [...]

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