Russia In The Time Of Coronavirus, Part II

This was the week when COVID-19 got real in Russia. Confirmed cases surpassed 1,000—which is still suspiciously low.

In a nationally televised speech, Vladimir Putin postponed the April 22 constitutional amendment. And Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin was placed in charge of the national response.

So what happens when an authoritarian kleptocracy that has relied on subterfuge, smoke and mirrors, kabuki theater, and dramaturgy has to deal with a global health crisis that doesn’t care about propaganda?

Listen to episode 65 of the Power Vertical Podcast as Brian Whitmore, Maria Snegovaya, and Donald N. Jensen explore what happens when Putinism meets a pandemic.

Intro Audio Clip: “Message from the President to the Federal Assembly” via the Kremlin under CC BY 4.0. 

Photo: “Inspection of a hospital in Kommunarka” by the Kremlin under CC BY-SA 4.0.

WP Post Author

Brian Whitmore

Brian Whitmore is Director of the Russia Program at the Center for European Policy Analysis. Before joining CEPA he was Senior Russia Analyst at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. He also worked as a foreign correspondent for The Boston Globe in Moscow and Prague; as a graduate instructor in the Department of Government and International Studies at the University of South Carolina; and as a visiting lecturer in the History Faculty at Mechnikov National University in Odessa, Ukraine and the International Relations Faculty at St. Petersburg State University.

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March 27, 2020

The Power Vertical is a CEPA podcast covering the Kremlin for Kremlin watchers. All opinions are those of the guests and do not necessarily represent the position or views of the institutions they represent or the Center for European Policy Analysis.