April 21, 2020

Putin Is Projecting Strength In the Face of Coronavirus. But the Image is Cracked

Featuring Samuel Bendett

Source: Defense One

Journalist Patrick Tucker

The Kremlin is trying to project an image of competence and power as the pandemic roils the world, and aiming to conceal a darker reality back home: an uneven healthcare system, a vulnerable military, weakening centralized control, and a largely absent authoritarian leader.

At the end of March, as the United States implemented social-distancing guidelines that put the economy into shock, the Kremlin took the easier route of just giving people the week off: a paid “holiday” that Putin then extended. But Russia’s infected numbers reached an official 47,121 on Monday, and despite some signs that the growth rate is declining, even Putin concedes that deaths will continue to climb.

Read the full article and more in Defense One.

Authors

  • Samuel Bendett

    Adjunct Senior Fellow, Technology and National Security Program

    Samuel Bendett is an Adviser with CNA's Adversary Analysis Group, where he is a member of the Russia Studies Program. He is also an Adjunct Senior Fellow at the Center for a N...