When I started tapping these keys for Russian Defense Policy 3,792 days (two or maybe three computers) ago, I couldn’t have guessed my 1,000th post would be about an infectious disease bedeviling our planet (Russia included). But it is about that.
And despite COVID-19, I’m taking a moment to congratulate myself for that nice, round 1,000 number.
The posts don’t come as frequently right now, so who’s to say if or when there’ll be a 2,000th. Even harder to imagine, what would or will it be about?
But enough of that . . . . COVID-19. The RF MOD issued another bulletin today on the spread of the novel coronavirus infection. Let’s track the numbers as long as they last. Can’t help suspecting they’ll be less than forthcoming eventually (or disappear altogether). Here’s a link to an inelegant spreadsheet.
The Russian military is giving numbers for servicemen, VVUZ (higher military, i.e. commissioning, school) cadets, pre-military (Suvorov, Nakhimov, etc.) students, and MOD civilian workers.
Highlighted in red on the spreadsheet are significant day-to-day jumps. The Russian military school population is getting hit pretty hard. VVUZy cadets testing positive went up by 262, and, sadly, young pre-military school patients went up 85.
The Suvorov and Nakhimov schools seem like a pretty good deal for many Russian parents, but perhaps not so much now.
Today Defense Minister Shoygu ordered the obvious. The conscript cohort demobbing this spring must be released into the reserve while protecting them against contracting the virus as they make their way home. The trick of course is how. No specifics.
Yesterday, belatedly, he ordered that the academic year in VVUZy and pre-military schools will end early, on April 30. Why not immediately one wonders.