Russian COVID-19 stats losing last bits of international trust

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Meanwhile, Russian diplomats, with their “pants on fire”, are forced to somehow respond to criticism.

International media coverage of the implausible Russian government statistics on coronavirus incidents and deaths seems to have deeply hurt the feelings of Russian officials.

Their pampered hearts were wounded so bad that an ad hoc commission on foreign meddling, set up in the State Duma, asked MFA Russia to take measures in relation to The New York Times and The Financial Times. After all, it was these newspapers that cast doubt in their reports on the veracity of Russian COVID-19 stats.

At the same time, Russian “advocates of truth” noted that: “The Financial Times writes coronavirus horror stories about Russia, while turning a blind eye to refrigerator trucks with bodies in London.” Quite absurd for a statement like that as neither UK authorities nor British mass media ever hid the truth about critical situation with the epidemic.

Meanwhile in Russia, (forget the complaint about NYT and FT), domestic media fall under heavy pressure I they even dare doubt official data. The Reporters Without Borders (RSF) watchdog recently appealed to the Russian government not to impede independent media coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic and to stop harassing journalists reporting on the topic.

After all, virtually all reports published in the Russian media inconsistent with official statistics fall into the category of “dissemination of false information” so hundreds of them get blocked, RSF reports.

The scale of distrust in Russian official stats has been growing, now raising inconvenient questions in the West. Seeing this as terrible headache, Russian authorities, with their “pants on fire” start shifting blame onto others. But the questions keep mounting, and to some of them, Kremlin officials will hardly be able to design plausible answers.

For example, how does the country with the second highest COVID-19 incidence rate (the official number stands at 252,245) have the lowest mortality rate of below 0.9% (officially, 2,305)?

How come a country like Russia, whose health care system is claimed to have “defeated” COVID-19 mortality, has over 190 medics who died from coronavirus, which is even more than in Italy, where the a total death toll was 31,106? Can it be that the world’s best health care system is failing to protect its own medics and nurses?

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But if this is actually the best system, then how come a plethora of video appeals have been posted on YouTube and across social networks by medics addressing the government and international audiences, where they plea help and complain about unbearable working conditions? Why have Russian medics been jumping off of windows to their death after conference calls with their chiefs? Why are the world’s best ventilators causing fires in emergency wards, burning patients alive? How come the daily infection curve went downwards as soon as President Vladimir Putin announced isolation easing?

However, perhaps the answer lies in the very mentality of the Russians. After all, they could be so well disciplined that they even fall ill within a strictly defined rate. Say, in the Krasnodar Territory, a daily increase in the number of new cases has stood at 98 for a week already … Perhaps this is precisely the secret behind such “miraculous” stats.

Alexander Kovalenko

Post Author: Intercourier

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