Pavel Chikov: On legal regulations related to the pandemic and the Russian government’s financial obligations towards its citizens

27 April 2020

Pavel Chikov, head of the Agora International Human Rights Group

Source: Moscow Helsinki Group [original source: Echo Moscow]

The Russian government says citizens are entitled to financial aid as a result of the Coronavirus, but only if an emergency situation is declared. 

In order to continue the discussion of the judicial and legal system during the pandemic and the Russian government’s financial obligations to the residents of Russia, I quote the following document.

On 28 December 2019, when the epidemic was already starting to spread in China and the virus had been assigned the name COVID-19, the Russian Prime Minister at the time, Dmitry Medvedev, signed Decree N1928. It came into force on the first of January, 2020.

The decree provided for monetary transfers to financially support any measures to ease emergency situations of a federal, interregional and regional nature.

On 1 April, 2020 the Coronavirus pandemic evolved into an emergency, owing to the rate of infection and the danger it posed to the population. 

The idea behind these monetary transfers was:

  • To provide one-time financial assistance to citizens, at 10,000 roubles per person;
  • Payment of lump sum allowances: 
  • Family members (spouse, children, parents and dependent persons) of any citizens who die as a result of the pandemic situation will receive one million roubles for each deceased person, to be shared equally among each family member;
  • Citizens who have suffered damage to their health as a result of the pandemic will receive a sum dependent upon the severity of the damage (severe to moderately severe damage – 400,000 roubles per person; light or moderate damage – 200,000 roubles per person) 

In Russia, as of today, 80,949 have been infected and 771 have died. The only thing standing between victims and their families and these state payments is the fact that Coronavirus has not been recognised as a national emergency. 

Incidentally, at least in two cities a municipal emergency was introduced. In Abakan on 18 March, and in Elista on 29 March.

Now it’s even clearer why some characters repeat the mantra that a state of emergency is evil.

Translated by Alice Lee

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