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Window on Eurasia — New Series: Moscow Commentator Predicts Pandemic Will Only ‘End with a Major War’


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Paul Goble

            Staunton, October 18 – The pandemic, because of the heavy economic costs it has imposed on so many countries and the new debt load of most, is likely to “end with a major war” given that governments will decide that such a conflict will allow them to rebuild their economies and home and gain conquests abroad, Anatoly Vasserman says.

            He is not the only Russian analyst who has suggested this, but he is perhaps the most explicit among those with good ties to the Putin regime. Consequently, his words and their timing likely deserve more attention than has been extended to others similarly inclined (versia.ru/pandemiya-kovida-vyzvala-spad-yekonomiki-lechit-kotoryj-budut-krovyu).

            The pandemic numbers continued to be dire. According to official statistics, the regime has registered 15,099 new cases of infection in the last 24 hours, bringing that total to 1,399,334, and 185 new deaths, upping that toll to 24,187 (ura.news/news/1052454637).

            But perhaps the most concerning number is this: In only one of the federal subjects of the Russian Federation is the coefficient of distribution below 1.0. That is in the Khanty-Mansiisk Autonomous District. Everywhere else, each new infected person is spreading the disease to more than one additional individual (ng.ru/news/692736.html).

            The pandemic continues to spread with closings and restrictions increasingly the order of the day (regnum.ru/news/society/3088420.htmland regnum.ru/news/3092563.html). Ever more classes have gone to distant learning, but Moscow officials say there are no plans for a wholesale transfer away from in-person instruction (regnum.ru/news/3092494.html).

            Vladimir Zhirinovsky, the flamboyant LDPR leader, says that reopening Russia’s external borders was premature and that those who took the decision to do so should be punished (regnum.ru/news/3092545.html).

            On the vaccine front, epidemiologists say that 20 percent of those who recover from the coronavirus have anti-bodies for at least two months (znak.com/2020-10-18/do_20_perebolevshih_covid_19_teryayut_antitela_k_nemu_cherez_dva_mesyaca). Others note that those who contact both the flu and the coronavirus are six times more likely to die from the latter than those who don’t (rusmonitor.com/gripp-povyshaet-veroyatnost-smerti-ot-koronavirusa-v-6-raz.html).

            And although education officials say no teacher will be disciplined for not getting the vaccine, other officials say there will be “a number of consequences” for those who refuse to take this still-completely voluntary step (ura.news/news/1052454615and regnum.ru/news/3092489.html).

            The pandemic has depressed the number of immigrant workers in Moscow by almost 40 percent, the city says (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=5F8C119226C91). Even more seriously, it is now making it more difficult for people to move around within the country even though no city or regional borders have been closed (ura.news/news/1052454638).

            And business leaders warn that if the government doesn’t make allowances for the difficulties in shifting its tax regime, many small and mid-sized businesses are likely to fail before the end of the pandemic (krizis-kopilka.ru/archives/80935).

Window on Eurasia — New Series