President Putin conducted today a meeting with the heads of the Federal subjects on countering the spread of the Coronavirus infection. The full transcript of the meeting is published at the official site of The President of the Russian Federation.
What I found especiall enligtening is the last portion, where the President makes an address to the Russian people. This address underlines important Russian values and social contracts, as well as historical roots. It touches upon the concerns with the postponement of the 75th anniversary celebrations of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War.
Below is the video of the address from NTV and my speed-translation of the transcript.
I appeal to all citizens of Russia.
For each of us, the most important thing is life, health of the loved ones, safety of the parents and children. We now feel this especially acutely, we worry about our families and friends, and we strive to protect them from a cruel threat.
At the same time, it may – and does – seem to some that nothing terrible is happening. Many people don’t see the threat, they simply don’t feel it. After all, even in Moscow, where there are most sick – 48 thousand people – it is only 0.4 percent of the capital’s population. However, first of all, it is the lives and health of specific people, and there are many of them. And secondly, the risk of further, wider, spreading of the disease has not passed. It is still very large.
Among our relatives, colleagues, and people we know well, there are more and more people who were directly affected by the disease, who were found to have the infection, and who ended up in hospital with complications. Dear friends, I am deeply sorry for all those who have suffered the irreplaceable loss of their loved ones.
I understand how difficult it is: the bitterness of losses, and the burden of fatigue, anxiety, and uncertainty. This, of course, is exhausting, psychologically draining people. Material, financial, and everyday problems accumulate. And each of us wants to exhale and say: everything is finally over, everything is behind us.