Coronavirus takes a serious turn in Russia, and Putin no longer radiates confidence
Analysis by Nathan Hodge, CNN
Updated 0805 GMT (1605 HKT) April 15, 2020
In a recent essay, Tatiana Stanovaya of the Carnegie Moscow Center said the coronavirus pandemic had underscored Putin’s isolation from ordinary Russians.
“One of the main topics today is why Putin is almost imperceptible in the coronavirus situation,” she wrote. “He only addressed the nation briefly twice and went to the [coronavirus] hospital in Kommunarka, but he neither gave his own assessments of the crisis nor proposed a plan of action, but limited himself to scattered measures and general words. No drama, empathy or attempts to mobilize.”
Putin, Stanovaya argued, does not wish to be associated with harsh or unpopular measures, leaving such chores to local subordinates. In the case of the coronavirus, the task of rolling out some of the most heavy-handed restrictions has fallen to Sergey Sobyanin, the mayor of Moscow.