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Putin Makes Kremlin Appearance As Virus Restrictions Ease

International Business Times

President Vladimir Putin made a rare recent appearance in the Kremlin on Monday as Russia prepares to ease lockdown restrictions imposed over the coronavirus pandemic. The 67-year-old has worked remotely over the past few weeks from his Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow, chairing meetings with officials by video conference. But on Monday, Putin held talks with the general director of Russian Railways, Oleg Belozerov, at the Kremlin, his office said. A spokesman said he did not know if Putin would be returning to work full time in the Kremlin. According to his official schedule, Putin was last in the Kremlin on May 9 for celebrations of the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II.


Quarantine ruling: Russia sends woman back after she escapes from hospital

The Japan Times

MOSCOW – A Russian court on Monday ordered a woman who escaped from a virus quarantine to return back to the hospital she fled and stay under quarantine for at least two more days. The ruling underlined the chaotic public health approaches being taken to stop the spread of the new coronavirus from China. Alla llyina was admitted to the hospital in the northern Russian city of St. Petersburg on Feb. 6 with a sore throat and was tested for the new virus because she had returned from China five days earlier. She broke out of the hospital the next day by disabling an electronic lock in her room after finding out she would have to spend 14 days in isolation instead of the 24 hours that doctors promised her. In an Instagram post, Ilyina said doctors told her that she tested negative for the virus but still had to remain quarantined for two weeks.


Russia spreading disinformation about coronavirus: US officials

Al Jazeera

Russian intelligence operatives are using a trio of English-language websites to spread disinformation about the coronavirus pandemic, seeking to exploit a crisis that the United States is struggling to contain ahead of the presidential election in November, US officials said Tuesday. Two Russians who have held senior roles in Moscow's military intelligence service, known as the GRU, have been identified as responsible for a disinformation effort directed at US and Western audiences, US government officials said. They spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to speak publicly. The information had previously been classified, but officials said it had been downgraded so they could more freely discuss it. Officials said they were doing so now to sound the alarm about the particular websites and to expose a connection between the sites and Russian intelligence.


Russia medical students slam 'forced labour' in coronavirus wards

Al Jazeera

Fourth-year medical student Alexandra says she wants to become an infections specialist, but when her school said students must do their required training in a coronavirus ward, she baulked. "This is not volunteering by choice. Coronavirus is dangerous, and they should give people a choice," said Alexandra, who studies at Moscow's top Sechenov medical university. Daunted by the prospect of contracting the virus in the clinics and infecting family members, or facing expulsion, aspiring medics have protested against the decision to send students in their fourth, fifth and sixth years - who can be as young as 21 - to complete their medical training in coronavirus clinics. The Ministry of Health announced on April 27 that the measure would go into effect starting May 1, and only students with "medical contraindications" can refuse.


Not a night owl or a morning lark? Scientists discover some of us are 'afternooners' or a 'nappers'

Daily Mail - Science & tech

You've probably heard of the term'night owls', who stay alert until the early hours, or'morning larks', who spring out of bed. But now a study suggests there are two more patterns of shut eye, with some people being'afternooners' and others'nappers'. Scientists discovered that while some people's energy levels peak in the mornings or evenings, others feel most'alive' between noon and evening. And some need a snooze between 11am and 3pm, according to a team of Russian researchers investigating sleep. The study was led by the Institute of Higher Nervous Activity and Neurophysiology of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow.