As of March 30, at least three Russian soldiers had tested positive for COVID-19, an unnamed source in Russia’s armed forces told the newspaper Kommersant. The three cases from two weeks ago included a command sergeant major, a colonel, and a warrant officer. Kommersant’s source says at least 133 other soldiers who came into contact with these individuals were placed under observation.
Defense Ministry officials have not confirmed an outbreak of coronavirus in the military. On April 3, the ministry’s official television network, Zvezda, reported that more than 4,500 soldiers had been tested for COVID-19 without any positive results.
In late March, according to Kommersant, Russia’s Defense Ministry warned the federal government that the epidemiological situation inside the military was “unstable.” Earlier this week, the Defense Ministry reportedly told the Kremlin that it’s prepared 32 military hospitals equipped with more than 4,800 beds.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Defense Ministry previously delayed Russia’s next wave of military conscription. Officials say all new conscripts will be tested for coronavirus and quarantined for 14 days.