Coronavirus

Erica Marat 13 Apr 2020
(RFE/RL) Around the world, governments are implementing new rules to counter the spread of the coronavirus. In some cases, there are questions as to whether some of these measures are helping governments gain further control over their populations. In Central Asia, for example, restrictions on movement in towns and cities has left journalists in a situation where special permission is...
PONARS Eurasia 07 Apr 2020
(VOX) If many people get infected in Moscow, Russia’s showpiece capital, it could ruin the myth of Putin as the country’s protector.  The coronavirus has yet to hit Russia hard. But when it does, as many experts soon expect, it could prove a huge challenge to Russian President Vladimir Putin during a fragile time for his rule. [...] Those heavy-handed measures may do some good,...
PONARS Eurasia 03 Apr 2020
(RFE/RL) There he was, riding down the escalator at one of Russia's leading infectious disease hospitals alongside Vladimir Putin as the president toured the facility and its preparations for the coronavirus epidemic. There he was, announcing sweeping new restrictions for Russia's capital on March 30, catching Moscow's 12 million residents off-guard and sending them scrambling to run...
PONARS Eurasia 02 Apr 2020
(NPR) The Central Asian country of Turkmenistan claims it has no coronavirus cases. But if you happen to utter the word "coronavirus" while waiting, say, for the bus in the white-marbled capital Ashgabat, there's a good chance you'll be arrested. That's because the Turkmen government, run since 2006 by the flamboyant dentist-rapper strongman Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov,...
PONARS Eurasia 30 Mar 2020
(The Globe & Mail) Russia and China have launched what experts say are disinformation campaigns against the West, seeking to change the global narrative about where the coronavirus pandemic originated, and which countries are leading the fight against it. The subplot to the stories Moscow and Beijing are selling is one of Western societies in decline, with authoritarian systems proving...
Regina Smyth 24 Mar 2020
(Globe Post) Russian President Vladimir Putin took advantage of the coronavirus outbreak to announce his support for a proposal that allows him to evade constitutional term limits for a second time. Under this constitutional “reset,” Putin would be eligible to remain in office until 2036. The proposed changes would preserve the two-term limit in the constitution but...
PONARS Eurasia 19 Mar 2020
(FP) Moscow—As the coronavirus pandemic has spread, bringing nations to a halt and killing over 8,000 people in recent weeks around the globe, Russia emerged as a rare spot of calm—or perhaps indifference.  Daily life largely continued as normal, with shops, workplaces, and schools still operating, while the authorities exuded confidence, pointing to only 147 confirmed cases and...
Scott Radnitz 04 Mar 2020
(The Guardian) Did the virus originate in a US weapons lab, or is it a plot to destabilise Iran? The ‘infection’ of social media by these stories is a deliberate strategy. As coronavirus continues to spread and scientists project how many people are likely to be infected, there has been much talk of contagion. It is easy to imagine red streaks that trace the path of illness extending across...

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