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Controlled interaction Journalists ask Kremlin spokesman to explain why Putin isn’t social distancing during the pandemic

Source: Meduza
Alexey Nikolsky / Kremlin Press Service / TASS / Scanpix /LETA

During a press conference on Friday, November 27, journalists asked Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov why, in the midst of a global pandemic and spike in coronavirus cases across Russia, footage has aired of President Vladimir Putin walking around without a mask and even shaking hands with people. Here’s what Putin’s press secretary had to say.

Kommersant FM: In Russia in the past day there’s been a sharp increase in registered cases of the coronavirus, as well as an absolute record in the capital. And against the backdrop of these statistics, footage from a broadcast of Vladimir Putin’s visit to Sarov is being actively discussed. There, the president was met by people without masks who didn’t observe social distance, and Putin himself didn’t have a mask or gloves either. In addition, the President also shook hands with those he met. How can the Kremlin explain this?

Dmitry Peskov: By the fact that the necessary measures were taken to ensure the president’s epidemiological safety.

Kommersant FM: Could you disclose what measures?

Dmitry Peskov: No I couldn't.

Vladimir Putin arriving in Sarov for working visit
Pervy Kanal

Ekho Moskvy: It’s clear that the president sets an important example of behavior for citizens. How important is it, in your opinion, to demonstrate just how dangerous the situation is and the need to comply with such measures.

Dmitry Peskov: Certainly, an example is important, but in the case of the president, one shouldn’t forget that the epidemiological safety of the people who meet with him is also ensured accordingly. This isn’t just some massive, uncontrolled interaction.

Ekho Moskvy: But people who just saw it on TV, they don’t know that.

Dmitry Peskov: Well now, with our and your help, they will find out about it.

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