On April 2, Russian President Vladimir Putin again addressed the people. Unlike the previous appeal on March 25, this time the Russians did not learn too much. The President’s blank speech took place against the backdrop of the avalanche-like growth of the epidemic: 771 new cases of coronavirus over the past day — and the growing crisis in the economy. There are not enough medicines, unemployment is constantly growing, and the export price of Russian Urals oil has become negative.
The main news from Putin’s speech was the extension of the “non-working regime” until April 30 inclusively, with salaries retained. The President also mentioned that the non-working regime may be terminated earlier if the pandemic numbers go fown. Enterprises with continuous production, medical facilities, authorities, shops with essential goods will keep working. Millions of other Russians, whose employers ignore the presidential decree, will work in exactly the same way.
Putin admitted that the situation with coronavirus in Moscow has not yet been resolved. He stated that the heads of the constituent entities of the country were given additional powers; by the end of the week each of them is required to establish which regime to introduce in the subject territories, which institutions will have to put their work on hault, etc. It is expected that Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin will introduce the emergency situation status in the capital city. At this point, retail chains, telecom operators and other enterprises and organizations have started collecting data from their employees for special permits.
The President finished with the wish “to take care of yourselves and your loved ones”. However, putting this into practice is quite a challenge.
To protect yourself and loved ones, you need to be provided with medicines and personal protective equipment. Although European doctors consider the use of masks and respirators pointless, it is practically impossible to find them in pharmacies in Moscow and other Russian cities. In the same way, it is impossible to find such necessary things as antiseptics. Many municipal workers still work in contact with a large number of people without protective equipment or with minimal equipment; for example, most public transport drivers in Moscow are still not equipped with masks. There are also not enough qualified doctors, and there are not enough tests for coronavirus; the Moscow government even had to sign an agreement with private laboratories to help test patients.
In order to take care of yourself and your loved ones, you also need to be able to purchase basic necessities. However, the bankrupt business is massively getting rid of some employees and is cutting salaries for the rest. Thus, even when receiving unemployment benefits, thousands and thousands of our fellow citizens will face inevitable financial difficulty.
Finally, in order to take care of yourself and your loved ones, you need the essential goods themselves to be available for purchase. Meanwhile, Russian retail chains started experiencing problems with food supplies. The frightening word “deficit” can again become a reality.
The economy of capitalist Russia is not yet able to cope with the pandemic. If current trends continue, the country may be on the verge of a national crisis.