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In First Address to Nation on the Coronavirus, Putin Holds Back From Stringent Measures

The Russian leader also delayed a vote on constitutional changes that could see him remain in power until 2036.

The Russian president also said that all interest and dividend payments leaving Russia will incur a 15% tax — up from the current 2%.

Tatiana Stanovaya, founder of the political analysis project R.Politik, said that the form and substance of Putin’s address stayed true to his history as a populist leader.

“In Russia, the authorities have always been scared to look weak and to instill panic in society,” she said. “They are trying to inspire confidence in the people and to make it look like the situation is under control.”

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