[Ed. – Notice that throughout the free world, dissidents are able to question the official figures — sometimes stupidly, as we witness daily in our own media — without being arrested. In Russia and China, not so much. North Korea still claims to have zero COVID-19 cases (a virtual impossibility given the regular flow of people between North Korea and China), but we’re not likely to find out much of anything about arrests and disappearances there until after the fact.]
Russian authorities detained the leader of an independent doctors’ union, an outspoken critic of the Kremlin who has dismissed as “lies” the country’s low official numbers for coronavirus infections.
Anastasia Vasilieva, the head of the Alliance of Doctors, was stopped by the police on Thursday and held overnight while traveling from Moscow to an impoverished rural town to deliver masks, gloves and other supplies to a local hospital, a colleague who was traveling with her said.
The detention of Dr. Vasilieva, an eye specialist who has been highly critical of Russia’s response to the pandemic, added fuel to already widespread skepticism, particularly among Kremlin critics, about the accuracy of official figures showing relatively few cases of the virus in Russia. …
Russia on Friday reported 601 new infections, down from 771 new cases reported on Thursday, bringing the total number to 4,419. This is a fourfold increase over the past week but still far fewer than the more than 245,000 cases reported in the United States and nearly 118,000 in Spain and 115,000 in Italy.