Russia In The Time Of Coronavirus, Part III

Authoritarian kleptocracies, it appears, also aren’t very good at dealing with a public health crisis.

Confirmed COVID-19 cases spiked in Russia in the week since our last podcast. In the past week, they have quadrupled — from just over  1,000 to 4,000 at the moment. Exponential growth, it appears, has come to Russia.

And as this pandemic gets increasingly real, Vladimir Putin and the regime he leads appear stuck between two contradictory impulses — on one hand, avoiding responsibility, retrenching, and delegating authority; and on the other, using the crisis for maximum political benefit. And this schizophrenic response is evident both at home and abroad.

Listen to the Power Vertical Podcast as Brian Whitmore, Maria Snegovaya, and Donald N. Jensen discuss the latest from Moscow.

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

Photo: “Meeting with Permanent Members of the Security Council” 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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April 3, 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.