Last last week, multiple news agencies reported on an interview with Sergey Sobyanin recorded by the state TV network Pervyi Kanal, where the Moscow mayor argued against cash stimulus handouts to the public during Russia’s coronavirus lockdown. Memorably, according to reports by the news agencies TASS and RIA Novosti, Sobyanin said, “The budgets are cracking — they won’t even be able to cover the healthcare system and so on.” When the interview finally aired and was published on YouTube and Pervyi Kanal’s website, however, this controversial remark was not included. The news outlet Open Russia was the first to notice this.
One source at the television network told Open Media that TASS and RIA Novosti may have mistakenly reported comments Sobyanin made at a media scrum after the interview.
To curb the spread of coronavirus, Moscow residents have been forced to self-isolate since late March. Only grocery stores, pharmacies, and a few other essential businesses remain open. On April 2, President Putin extended Russia’s nationwide self-isolation measures to the end of the month.