For Vladimir Poutine, the year 2020 should be the year of refocusing on domestic priorities, before the legislative elections of 2021 and the presidential election of 2024. The Covid-19 pandemic has reshuffled the cards, forcing the Kremlin to adapt – in postponing the constitutional referendum by two months, to the 1is July, and facing a severe economic downturn.
]Once again this summer, in official circles, we congratulated ourselves on having succeeded in meeting the challenge with greater success than in the West. Alas, while the latest statistics show that the economy was slowing down in August and September, the number of ‘infections started sharply on the rise: 13,000 more patients each day, more than the peak of last May, including 4,500 in Moscow (46% more than last week).
But above all, these hazards occur at the moment when the fire has taken in Russia’s “near abroad”, these steps of the former empire on which Moscow intends to keep, if not the upper hand,