Shamil Zhumatov/Reuters

After months of denials, Russia is facing a new reality with respect to the rapid spread of the coronavirus in the country. Friday’s statistics officially acknowledge 1,036 diagnosed cases of COVID-19, including four deaths. The real numbers are undoubtedly much higher, as testing for the potentially deadly disease is only starting to pick up steam and some coronavirus deaths are being attributed to other causes.

The highly contagious virus has already penetrated the walls of the Kremlin. Russian media reported that two Kremlin officials may have tested positive for the coronavirus. President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov confirmed he was aware of one of those cases, but claimed no knowledge of the second. State media outlet TASS speculated that one of the infected persons may have been a staffer responsible for awards, who traveled to Spain and later attended Putin’s presidential awards ceremony in occupied Crimea.

Putin’s own spokesman couldn’t avoid…

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