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The Coronavirus Death Toll In Russia Keeps On Climbing, But Putin’s Had Enough Of It

Vladimir Putin wants his regional governors to take responsibility for handling the coronavirus.

Posted on May 11, 2020

Some experts believe that Monday’s announcement was Putin’s attempt to move away from crisis management, something that isn’t his strong suit. (Just look at his handling of the Kursk submarine disaster.) Tatiana Stanovaya, head of the R.Politik think tank, told BuzzFeed News that his handling of the coronavirus outbreak “didn’t really work” and that he prefers focusing on the economy and getting back to the business of strengthening his hold on power.

Putin has appeared perhaps equally angry at, stumped by, and bored with the coronavirus, Stanovaya and other experts have noted. And he has reasons to be.

Stanovaya said that Putin is presenting the decision to lift the nationwide lockdown as something that “will help people” and the economy.

“In fact, the Kremlin would really like to get rid of the [coronavirus] restrictions in order to restart preparations for the referendum on constitutional amendments,” which will pave the way for Putin to rule until at least 2036, she said. A vote for that was supposed to be held in April, but was suspended.

Meanwhile, Stanovaya said she fears the public health situation is likely to remain “really bad.”

“[Putin] is lifting restrictions at the same time we see the numbers [of coronavirus infections] spiking, and we see contradictory statements from officials. They don’t understand” how much damage they are doing, Stanovaya said of Russia’s leaders.

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