Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 33 n° 335

The Economist: Vladimir Putin’s next move

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 24 aprile 2021

We have two covers this week. In most of the world we report on Vladimir Putin’s next move. His main domestic opponent, Alexei Navalny, is in prison, on hunger strike and in danger of dying. Living standards in Russia are sliding, and with them support for Mr Putin’s party. Mr Navalny’s videos exposing corruption at the top, and offering a guided tour of a gaudy palace that Mr Putin denies owning, have struck a chord. To distract public attention and fire up patriotic voters, Mr Putin is once again menacing his neighbours. In recent weeks he has massed more than 100,000 Russian troops on the border with Ukraine, a country he has already partly dismembered. Then, on April 22nd, his defence minister said they were pulling back again. Whether they will all pull back remains unclear. Also unclear is whether this massive show of force was just for show, or to intimidate Ukraine into making more concessions. President Joe Biden faces a test. America and its allies must find ways to deter Mr Putin from aggression abroad and oppression at home. It will not be easy, for Russia has built a siege economy, stagnant but unusually resistant to sanctions. Fortunately, unlike his predecessor, Mr Biden has no illusions about the strongman in the Kremlin. Our cover in Asia describes India’s alarming second wave of covid-19. On April 21st the country recorded 315,000 new infections in a single day—the highest tally of any country at any point in the pandemic. Experts suspect that even this is a massive undercount. Makeshift pyres are being erected on pavements outside crematoriums to deal with the influx of bodies. The government of Narendra Modi grew complacent after India’s earlier, milder wave. Instead of focusing on public health, it has poured its energies into partisan politics, holding huge and largely maskless campaign rallies in West Bengal. Although India is a big vaccine-maker, it has failed to secure enough doses, and production is now threatened by American export controls on vital kit. The government should adopt strict curbs on large gatherings, even religious ones, and scramble to help vaccine-makers ramp up their output. Unless India’s covid surge is brought under control, the entire world will suffer. Zanny Minton Beddoes Editor-In-Chief The Economist.

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