The coronavirus pandemic is another opportunity that Moscow is using to engage Washington in an attempt to break through the logjams in their relationship.
The fight against the new coronavirus in Russia is being led not by politicians oriented on the public mood, but by managers serving their boss. This is why the authorities’ actions appear first insufficient, then excessive; first belated, then premature.
Putin’s move to extend his rule beyond its expected end in 2024 has worked against the president. Meanwhile, the new coronavirus and falling ruble have proved more effective than any action by the opposition aimed at damaging Putin’s ratings.
EU moves to coordinate efforts against the new coronavirus, relax regulatory enforcement, and demonstrate solidarity can help to show that the European Union can provide added value to individual EU countries, and that it remains a force to be reckoned with.
In Ukraine, the chaos caused by the coronavirus pandemic combined with the country’s existing political problems could sharpen the appetite for authoritarianism in Ukrainian society.
Having closed the border, even for six weeks, Russia has taken yet another psychologically important step in the process of its estrangement from Belarus.
As of March 23, Russia had reported 438 cases of coronavirus and one disputed death. But there is growing speculation in the West over whether official figures can be trusted and whether the Kremlin might be making use of the pandemic to further its own ends.
As the Kremlin prepares to manage the public health emergency and an economic slowdown, it’s coming to view the global disarray as affirmation of its ideology.
The current economic turbulence resembles a fire at an explosives warehouse during a flood and an earthquake, all at the same time.
The outbreak of coronavirus in China has exposed the weak spots of the country’s Big Brother system. It turns out that China’s extensive network of facial recognition cameras is useless in the face of a simple surgical mask.
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