COVID-19 Update; Kiev & Donbas Exchange Prisoners; Video Series: Putin Answers Questions on 20 Topics for 20th Anniversary of His Governance of Russia – Part V

Russia’s COVID-19 cases continue to climb as there are now reported cases in all 85 regions of the country. There were just under 28,000 cases with 232 deaths as of yesterday. Here are some thoughts on how the virus is affecting Russia by Canadian Russia expert Patrick Armstrong:

This raises the question of why the death rate in Russia appears to be lower. One theory is that the widespread Soviet-era tuberculosis vaccinations (BCG vaccine) may have had an effect – just how or why is unclear, but there seems to be a statistical relationshipA test of its effectiveness is beginning in Australia. Over half the cases are in Moscow but every region except one reports cases [the last holdout of Altai reported its first case yesterday – NB]: most of Sunday’s infections in Shanghai came from a flight from Russia the day before. A pass system was introduced in Moscow yesterday but not very successfully (and many standing in line waiting to be checked). The new hospital in Moscow Region is up and running. A vaccine prototype is undergoing human testing (including by the developer)The Victory Parade is postponed. Meanwhile Russian military specialists are working away in Italy. (This, by the way, is why NBCW units were sent – not to spy, or for “gaining access to Italy’s health and military system, which is part of a larger NATO structure“, or to create “A hybrid lie. Or a hybrid truth” or be useless or whatever else NATO flacks imagine).

St. Petersburg is among the top three regions affected and is expecting a significant increase in cases in the coming week, according to the head of the official task force in the area who predicted a possible scenario of 6,000 severe cases. But he said the area’s medical facilities will be ready for it.

Meanwhile, another small exchange of prisoners took place yesterday between the Kiev government and the Donbas rebels in Ukraine. The OSCE reported the following:

TIRANA / VIENNA, 16 April 2020 – The OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Prime Minister and Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs of Albania, Edi Rama, and OSCE Secretary General Thomas Greminger welcomed today’s mutual release and exchange of detainees in eastern Ukraine.

“Today’s mutual release and exchange of detainees is an important step taken before the Orthodox Easter. The sides demonstrated political will and humanitarian action. This day has been long awaited by both the detainees and their relatives and friends,” Rama said.

Below is a link to Part 5 of the TASS news agency’s interview with Vladimir Putin on 20 topics. Unfortunately, I’m unable to embed the videos.

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