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‘Stop waiting for Putin’: Russian president takes backseat in crisis

Putin is working remotely and mainly focusing on cushioning blow to Russian economy

Analysts have noted that Putin’s approach mirrored some other countries, where local officials are tasked with enforcing tough regulations and the central government delivers economic stimulus. The approach would limit Putin’s exposure to unpopular decisions and preserve his public support.

There was another possibility, wrote Tatiana Stanovaya, a Russian political analyst and head of the R.Politik analysis firm: Putin simply does not see tackling the virus as his job. Unfortunately, she added, the state machinery “has forgotten how to act independently”.

“The president expects efficiency from his subordinates, but they have gotten used to merely implementing decisions made by others, and have now forgotten how to generate their own,” she wrote in a piece published by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

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