Over the past day, Russia reported 8,831 new COVID-19 cases. This number is even higher than the daily increase in incidence on May 1, when the notorious Victory parade on Red Square in Moscow had already been canceled, while the whole country was put in an undeclared quarantine, shyly concealed under the guise of "self-isolation" regime. But this doesn't bother anyone because shortly, these numbers can change dramatically.
The reason for Russia's sharp withdrawal from the state of the "coronavirus plateau" will be the need to hold the rescheduled Victory parade, as well as to get people to vote on the crucial amendments to the Constitution.
Both the Victory parade and the popular vote are, in fact, the two links of the same chain. The first is needed to convince people of how "safe" such mass events have once again become, while the latter is required to ultimately bring satisfaction to Mr Putin, who seems to be seriously annoyed by this Corona thing that messed up his initial plans and schedules.
I should recall that previous preparations to the parade that was initially set to be held on May 9 before being called off by Vladimir Putin, a massive tide of coronavirus cases hit the Russian army. Being forced to ignore social distancing rules, amid poor health care services and the lack of proper tests, thousands of Russian soldiers fell ill during and following large-scale rehearsals, from rank-and-file servicemen to senior commanders!
On June 24, the Parade will involve 64,000 troops, including cadets and the so-called Youth Army kids. These soldiers and teenagers, who are all pretty much fodder meat in the face of the merciless pandemic, will march the central streets in nine "WW2 hero-cities" and another 19 cities that host headquarters of military districts, fleets, and armies. On Red Square, the parade will involve 14,000 troops, including 800 cadets and non-military youths.
However, amid such an apocalyptic picture, corona stats for Russia are beginning to change dramatically. As I mentioned, the official figures on the daily incidence rate, which no one believes even in Russia, show 1,998 new cases in Moscow.
This is a rather strange number. Indeed, since the outbreak of the epidemic, it was Moscow that's been the main epicenter of the COVID-19 spread. This was primarily due to the fact that the majority of Russians living in Moscow can afford taking a test and get qualified treatment rather than be admitted to some distant local hospital with "pneumonia" and pass away within three days somewhere in the clinic's drying room or a closet, rather than in a professional emergency room equipped with ventilators.
For example, exactly a month ago, Russia reported 10,102 new COVID-19 cases, of which only 5,712 were in Moscow alone, which is more than 50% of all incidence across country. But what about today? Out of 8,831, Moscow has only 1,998 cases… I wonder how come people started falling ill so sharply throughout Russia while situation in Moscow keeps getting better?
This is a vivid example of numbers manipulation on the eve of Moscow's parade. And then, within the two-week COVID-19 incubation period, there will come the vote on Constitutional amendments... while everyone rejoices over the parade praising victory over Nazism (although Russia has been stubbornly calling it fascism for 75 years already) and over the coronavirus. And after that, pneumonia, acute respiratory viral infections, and other diseases, including chronic ones, will once again flood Russia's daily stats.
But, who will care once the deal is done and Putin ultimately wins this battle with the coronavirus, even if – as it's usually happened in Russian history – it's done at the cost of thousands and even tens of thousands of lives?