Jill Dougherty, former CNN’s Moscow Bureau Chief and current Centennial Fellow at Georgetown, moderated a panel of two Russian experts: Judyth Twigg, international health expert and adjunct professor at Georgetown and Dr. Angela Stent, Director of CERES.
To watch the discussion in full, access the video on YouTube.
A brief summary of the discussion is written below:
Professor Twigg outlined the medical side of the virus’ impact in Russia. The virus initially hit Moscow hard and has evolved into an issue for the regions. While the strain on Russia’s overall healthcare system has been a concern since the beginning of the outbreak, the hospitals in the regions are even more unequipped to meet the challenges presented by Covid-19. Currently, there is great concern surrounding hospital capacity, as patients seeking treatment are turned away, desperate to find available hospital beds. Despite public health officials’ warnings, Russia is working towards reopening to strengthen its economy, similar to other countries following this path.
Pivoting to address Putin’s approach to handling the virus and his rather hands-off method, even pushing the responsibility onto governors of the regions, Dr. Stent explained, “Covid is a kind of crisis that Putin really doesn’t like. There is no visible enemy, no tangible enemy that you can immediately take steps against.” Without being able to fight by traditional military might, as he is used to, shows that this is a different enemy for Putin altogether.
To learn more, watch here.
The Russia Bootcamp series is generously sponsored by the Carnegie Corporation.