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Seminar looks at how former Soviet states have tackled Covid-19 threat

Secrecy, denial and increasing authoritarianism in former Soviet states tackling the coronavirus pandemic were the focus of an online event hosted by the King’s Russia Institute.

The seminar looked at Russian reaction to the pandemic as well as the actions of former Soviet states.

An audience of more than 60 logged in on 6 April to hear Marlene Laruelle and Madeline McCann, of George Washington University, discuss Post-Soviet State Responses to Covid-19: Making or Breaking Authoritarianism.

The pair spoke about the similarities and differences in the actions of governments in post-Soviet states to the pandemic, and how those actions may affect economies and inter-governmental relations in the region, with a special focus on Russia.

Dr McCann spoke about the situation across various states, including the early and decisive actions of the government in Georgia, juxtaposed with the minimisation of the Covid-19 virus in Belarus, while Dr Laruelle shared her observations on examples of increasing authoritarianism and the shift in focus from the West to the East in terms of governmental models.

The pair also took questions from audience members, with Sam Greene, director of King’s Russia Institute, acting as host.

You can watch the event again here:

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Samuel Greene

Samuel Greene

Director of King's Russia Institute & Reader in Russian Politics