Who Paid for Russia’s Coronavirus Aid to the U.S.?

Russia sent a military plane carrying protective gear and ventilators to the United States on Wednesday to help the country battle the deadly coronavirus outbreak. Shortly after, the U.S. said it purchased the medical supplies from Russia, the State Department said Wednesday, contradicting the Kremlin’s initial description of the shipment as humanitarian aid. Who really paid…

Russians Risk Fines, Jail Time for Dodging Coronavirus Quarantine

Both houses of Russia’s parliament swiftly approved legislation Tuesday imposing severe punishments for spreading false information about the coronavirus and breaking quarantine rules as most regions have gone into lockdown to prevent the spread of the virus. President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday signed the bills — which include provisions for more accessible medication — into law,…

Russia Reserves $18B to Counter Coronavirus Crisis

Russia has earmarked almost $18 billion to battle the coronavirus pandemic, the prime minister said Wednesday as Moscow imposed a strict lockdown. The finance ministry “has reserved 1.4 trillion rubles ($17.8 billion) in all for fighting the spread of the coronavirus and carrying out anti-crisis measures,” Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin told President Vladimir Putin during…

Campaigners Urge Russia to Release Prisoners as Coronavirus Spreads

Rights campaigners are urging the Russian government to consider releasing some pre-trial detainees and prisoners held in the country’s packed jails, warning of the “devastating consequences” of the coronavirus pandemic. More than half a million people are held in Russia’s notoriously crowded prisons in what is the European continent’s largest prison population. In a letter Tuesday…

As Virus Looms, Russian Arctic Brigade Tests Chemical Weapons Defense

This week more than 80 units of military hardware rolled out of their compounds in the Kola Peninsula to participate in exercises, the Northern Fleet informs. The exercises involved motorized infantry units of the Northern Fleet’s Arctic Brigade, and included military equipment such as self-propelled Gvozdika howitzers, the Strela-10 anti-aircraft missile system, and MTLB armored transport…

Moscow Pleads for Private Clinics’ Help in Coronavirus Fight

Moscow’s mayor has asked for the Russian government’s help in getting private clinics to provide beds for coronavirus patients, the state-run RIA Novosti news agency reported Monday. Mayor Sergei Sobyanin, who sits on Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin’s coronavirus coordinating council, named hospital beds and the national healthcare system’s mobilization as top priorities in the…

Chechen Police Brandish Pipes in Coronavirus Street Patrols

Police officers armed with plastic pipes in Russia’s republic of Chechnya are patrolling the streets to observe compliance with the region’s coronavirus quarantine, Russian media reported this weekend.  The majority Muslim region enacted a strict quarantine Saturday with steep fines for venturing outside. Videos that circulated online starting late Friday showed police convoys advising residents…

Is Moscow’s Virus Lockdown Order Legal?

Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin’s announcement of an indefinite citywide quarantine to limit the spread of the coronavirus has prompted debates over whether his strict measures are legal. Sobyanin imposed restrictions on movement starting Monday and said that authorities will enforce the new self-isolation rules through “smart monitoring” and a system of special passes. The isolation…

Russia to Close Borders to Curb Coronavirus

Russia will close all border crossings on March 30, the government said on Saturday, tightening restrictions after the country reported its biggest one-day rise in new coronavirus cases. The authorities said they so far had recorded 1,264 confirmed cases, an increase of 228 in 24 hours, and ordered that all vehicle, rail and pedestrian checkpoints,…

Russia’s Aeroflot Still Flying Limited International Routes Despite Virus Grounding Order

Russia’s state carrier Aeroflot is continuing to operate a limited number of flights abroad despite the Russian government’s order to ground all international flights that took effect at midnight Friday. The government decree published Thursday orders aviation authorities to halt all regular and charter flights to and from other countries, with the exception of special…