Putin’s Posturing While Russia Burns

Surging COVID-19 cases in Russia are disproportionately hitting health workers, ABC reports.

“We are on the threshold simply of a collapse in health personnel,” says Andrey Konoval, head of an independent health workers union, Dyeistviye.

Russia is recruiting medical students to fill in the gaps, as new cases soared more than 10,000 a day most days last week—second only to the US numbers.

Confirmed cases now top 232,000, with 2,116 deaths. But there are signs that the country is vastly undercounting the virus’s reach, according to The New York Times.

Official counts put Moscow’s tally of April COVID-19 deaths at 642. Yet overall deaths surpassed a 5-year April average by more than 1,700, a city agency reports. The number of COVID-19 deaths may be 3X the official toll.

Meanwhile, a faulty ventilator may have sparked a fire this morning in a St. Petersburg ICU that killed 5 patients, according to the AP. This follows a Moscow hospital fire on Saturday that killed 1 patient.

And Putin seems to be borrowing from Trump’s playbook, passing the buck to regional authorities, David A. Andelman writes in CNN. In a Saturday speech intended to mark the country’s Victory Day, Putin told his people they were "invincible."

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