On Wednesday, March 25, President Putin addressed the Russians in connection with the coronavirus pandemic. In his address, the President declared the next week off. In addition, Putin proposed to make 5,000 ruble payments from the mother capital funds, to increase salaries by reducing payments to the social insurance fund, bringing them to the minimum wage. The President also introduced tax on interest for deposits over 1 million rubles and tax on dividends that are transferred to offshore companies. Voting on the Constitution amendments is delayed until the pandemic situation gets better.
Such measures are caused by several circumstances. Firstly, apparently the Russian authorities lost control over the spread of coronavirus in Russia, failing to ensure timely quarantine for all visitors to the country from abroad. A lot of cases are known when those who came from abroad were sent to quarantine with a significant delay. Many of them were infected with coronavirus. We see how the entire state system is powerless before the epidemic. The Ministry of Internal Affairs, the FSB, and customs services are not able to track visitors from abroad.
At the same time, the healthcare system in Russia is going through some hardship. It is unlikely that in the event of an explosive spread of the infection, there will be enough hospital beds, medicines and mechanical ventilation devices, especially in the province. That is why the whole next week is announced to be a week off.
Secondly, the authorities took advantage of the coronavirus epidemic in order to move the vote on the Constitutional amendments. Obviously, the ruble collapse that occurred as a result of the oil war, the crisis in the economy, the dissatisfaction of Russians with the nullification of Putin’s presidential terms – all this will lead to the fact that very few citizens will be willing to vote for the Amendments. The voting date is shifted to buy some time. In addition, the measures to support families, increase salaries, increase payments on sick leave were just invented in order to reduce the dissatisfaction of the citizens.
Thus, the Russian authorities are cleverly using the situation with the coronavirus epidemic for political maneuvers and flirting with the population. The working people will not benefit from all these measures proposed by the President since they will all be paid out of the pocket of the same working people. Many workers will suffer losses, as employers will find a ton of ways not to pay salaries for the announced time off.