“Uncle Joe” Stalin must be turning in his grave knowing that his Kremlin’s infamous propaganda machine has now turned old, decrepit, and tired after CoVid19 smothered it with its luv.
Vladimir Putin remains hidden in his exclusive, luxury, residence-bunker near Moscow revealing himself only for his virtual ZOOM-like consultations with members of his dictatorship and when he talks to Russia’s population about CoVid19.
Coronavirus cases numbers spiked again in Russia on Thursday making it the fifth highest in the world now quickly overtaking France and Germany.
Officially, the number of new coronavirus cases sprang upwards by 11,231 in the past 24 hours to 177,160 with Moscow accounting for more than half the cases.
According to the city’s mayor, Sergei Sobyanin, the official tally given as 92,676 deaths is just the tip of the proverbal iceberg since research shows the real number of cases to be more than 300,000 with the addition of a record 6,703 new cases overnight.
Meanwhile, dozens of Russian army medical personnel sent to Italy in March have returned or are on the way home to help stem the corona-virus carnage happening at home.
While Italy was desperately struggling to contain its corona-virus onslaught Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte approved Moscow’s operation dubbed “From Russia With Love” during a conversation with Vladimir Putin.
Quoting unnamed government sources an Italian newspaper, La Stampa, wrote that more than 80% of that Russian aid was useless instead, just cover for Kremlin’s GRU military intelligence operatives mixed in with the 104 Russian army medics to gather information on Italy’s NATO forces and set up future spy networks.
Despite being questioned by many Italians and others as little practical use, Russia’s deployment never-the-less was a big propaganda operation success for Putin and company.
Typical Kremlin propaganda included Moscow ministry spokesman Maria Zakharova claiming on Russian mass media that “Italians near Milan met the Russian column of trucks with applause, singing the Russian national anthem”.
Some other Russian media had West-taunting propaganda including headlines like “Thank you for extending a helping hand” and “USA and Europe should learn a lesson”.
Russia’s generous gesture followed the one to New York, USA where a large Russian aircraft delivered tons of “free” badly needed medical supplies after Putin offered the help to Trump.
Similarly, this was exploited by Kremlin controlled Russian mass media for propaganda as “aid” despite it mostly being paid for by the American government.
Back at the ranch meanwhile, the number of CoVid19 infection cases increases by several thousand each day and even Kremlin’s commissars are being caught in the tally.
Prime Minister Mikhail Mishutin was the first, then Construction minister Vladimir Yakushev, now Russian culture minister, Olga Lyubimova has been diagnosed with the deadly, contagion.
A “horror show” panic is starting to set in as hospitals are nearing capacity, and video shared on social media shows long lines of ambulances queuing to deliver patients.
Shortages of protective equipment and testing kits have produced an atmosphere of dread and unease fomenting medical and hospital staff to complain about the increasing infection and death rate affecting their medical community members.
Moscow is the worst hit epicenter however, several other regions are also in lock-down where people are only allowed if it is absolutely essential to do so.
The main problem seems to be that Russian testing kits are too few and faulty and without widespread reliable testing, nobody really knows how many people have been infected and where they are.
Hundreds of Russian healthcare workers are infected and quarantined alongside their patients moreover healthy members at several prominent hospitals resigned to protest unsafe, miserable, working conditions where PPEs are in short supply forcing reuse of existing contaminated ones.
Another very painful hit to Russia comes as a forecast that the country’s economy will contract by 5.5% this year according to independent Levada Centre and the IMF, part of this is because the price of oil has bottomed because of nasty China Origin Virus Infectious Disease 19 aka CoVid19.