Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (Germany): a cry for help to the authorities in Moscow

Dagestan is rarely in the center of Russian politics. In the news the Western coast of the Caspian sea were most often mentioned in the context of the fight against the Islamists or corruption. The pride of the region — successful wrestlers. But now the North Caucasus Republic with a population of more than 3 million inhabitants became the centre of the pandemic in the fashion industry in Russia. The situation is so bad that the local authorities asked for help, and connect had Vladimir Putin.

Official figures from Dagestan, which is on Tuesday, may 19, there were 3553 cases of coronavirus are considered unreliable. This is indicated by the activists, putting pressure on regional government that has no credibility. Former fighter of the mixed single combats Magomedhan of Gamzatkhanov said that the population in the regional capital Makhachkala trusts appointed by Moscow leadership. But it believes the rumors from the social networks, if the virus is not dangerous and it has led to a “catastrophic situation”.

Weddings with hundreds of guests

When many have warned of the danger of coronavirus, in Dagestan played weddings with hundreds of guests. Now the few hospitals in the region are filled. World champion in mixed martial arts lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov turned to his Instagram where he has more than 20 million subscribers to the nation, urging them to stay home. According to Nurmagomedov, some of his relatives died of coronavirus. His father is in critical condition. And the situation in Dagestan is deplorable.


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Publication of Khabib Nurmagomedov (@khabib_nurmagomedov) 18 May 2020 11:53 PDT


Tests for coronavirus is not enough. Last week the head of the Republic admitted that the number of pneumonias in Dagestan in April was one-third higher than figures for the previous month. Last weekend, when the official from the coronavirus died 29 people, the Minister of health of Dagestan in an interview with the blogger said that from the beginning of the pandemic in the Republic, died of pneumonia 657 people, including more than 40 doctors.

Pleas Makhachkala on assistance required the intervention of the Kremlin. On Monday, Putin held a videoconference with the leadership of the Republic and the mufti of Dagestan. We can say that people are to blame, declared the mufti. “But I think that the negligence of the people is not a reason to throw them in a disaster.” What the mufti was silent about is the fact that state television in March have underestimated the threat of the epidemic.

Putin wants to find the culprits

Putin pointed to the word Dagestanis, who complain that they do not always receive the necessary medical care. Experts see the most important cause of severe complications that Dagestanis later turn to doctors and long self-medicate at home. Thus laying the blame on patients themselves, Putin instructed the government to arrange for Dagestan additional medical personnel, tests for coronavirus, equipment and medicines. MOE should conduct the disinfection of public places in the region, the military — to build a hospital for the coronavirus patients.

Putin called Dagestanis celebrate home end of the Holy month of Ramadan at the end of this week. And the Republican leadership will decide to preserve the regime do isolation and quarantine or to tighten them.

In General, the Kremlin is now trying to soften the measures against the pandemic, including in order to conduct a rescheduled a referendum on constitutional reform that would allow Putin to remain as President until 2036. According to unconfirmed reports, there are plans to organize it on June 24.

Echoing these thoughts, the speaker of the Parliament of Dagestan in a conversation with Putin about heavy medical situation, said that “the people” besought him not to delay the constitutional amendments, and to accept them in a timely manner (in fact, Putin has already launched approved by Parliament the reform).

The peak achieved in Russia?

Putin with his plans in hand and the current decline in the number of new cases of coronavirus, which sounded every day. According to the news portal “Medusa”, Moscow, the epicenter of the epidemic in Russia, on Sunday crossed the upper end of the infectious wave. Russia crossed the peak on Monday, other regions should follow to the end of this week. On Tuesday, the official number of newly infected in Russia amounted to 299 941. 2837 people have died from the coronavirus, 76 130 recovered.

The latter applies to Mikhail Mishustin, Putin, who on Tuesday returned to the powers of the Prime Minister. At the end of April Mishustin reported to have contracted the coronavirus, and since then was undergoing treatment in the hospital. Even from the hospital, he said on Monday that the 27 regions with a low level of growth of infection is ready to relax restrictions. But the case of Dagestan again undermines the credibility of official figures, especially away from the capital.