Against the backdrop of the official decline in COVID-19 daily incidence, Vladimir Putin's personal security measures are only strengthening.
Russians are seeing some good news recently. Indeed, for the second day in a row the number of new active cases remains below 8,000. As of June 18 it was 7,790 new cases against 7,843 reported yesterday... What a nice-looking and finely-tailored plateau we're observing, especially given that on June 14, a total of 8,835 new cases were reported.
Even if this is not a plateau, but a gradual decline, I wouldn't be surprised if by June 22 the figure will be down to 6,800, by June 26 – to 5,800, and by June 30 – to 4,800 ... That’s all to make sure people believe that it's safe as never before to go to the polls to vote for constitutional amendments!
At the same time, something is weirdly standing out amid such a steady corona decline.
A mere 1,040 cases were reported in Moscow, but, despite a striking drop against the time when the Russian capital was the COVID-19 hotbed, the Russian president is for some reason in no hurry to return to his Kremlin office. Instead, he remains in complete isolation in his Novo-Ogaryovo bunker. Moreover, unprecedented measures are being taken to rule out any external threat of infection at the site.
Let me remind you that, fearing to contract the COVID-19, the Russian leader even skipped the grand opening of the oh-so-significant main temple of the armed forces.
I wonder what's behind such anxiety. Is it a knowledge of the actual situation in Moscow or pure cowardice? I'll repeat here what I've mentioned several times before: even when Nazi bombers raided Moscow during WW2 and when advance units of the Nazis approached the outskirts of the capital city, Soviet leadership never fled the city.
I wonder what Putin and his entourage would be doing if, say, NATO and Ukrainian spearhead forces were approaching Moscow? He would probably be off to his Pyongyang mansion, I suppose.
But that's not the point, actually. While Putin is being massively protected from the virus, Victory Day parade guests – veterans and international delegations consisting of some state leaders and representatives of unrecognized projects of Russian expansion – will have no luxury of being protected that heavily. That's not to mention the Russian population, who immediately after the parade will be urged to cast their vote for constitutional changes.
So much for this paradox and absurd Russian realities: lies and hypocrisy, a spineless leader, and 140 million lemmings on the altar of political immortality of a rather mediocre figure.