The World Health Organization declared the coronavirus a pandemic on March 11. This interactive map -- updated every hour -- monitors the spread of the virus.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has called on the nation’s wealthiest businessmen to donate funds and equipment to help fight the coronavirus inside the country. Zelenskiy said he told the tycoons that the country needed 500 ambulances and as much as 13 billion hryvnya ($490 million) for medicine. Zelenskiy also announced that Jack Ma, the billionaire founder of the Chinese technology behemoth Alibaba Group, has financed the purchase of 1 million coronavirus testing kits for Ukraine at a cost of $80 million.
Moscow has suspended most direct flights from Europe to the country’s regions, requiring travelers to fly home via Moscow. At the airports, people appearing to have symptoms of the coronavirus are then screened, and then frequently transported to hospitals where overcrowding has resulted in patients suspected of having the virus are placed in common wards with those who don’t. (Russian Service)
Even as Siberia has announced the first officially registered cases of coronavirus, residents say they don’t know where or how to get tested. A worker at a children's medical clinic in Irkutsk told RFE/RL: “We were not told anything about this at the meeting. We only discussed among ourselves that the danger is exaggerated by the media. We treat it like a normal flu.” The deputy governor of Kuzbass told RFE/RL that if there is an epidemic, “our medicines will be exhausted in a few days.” (Russian Service/Siberia Realities)
The coronavirus pandemic did not deter the faithful from attending a service at the Church of Our Lady of Tikhvin in Kazan, Russia. Many of the Orthodox Christian Kryashen-Tatars attending the mass on March 15 took communion from the same spoon. Members of the congregation in Russia's Republic of Tatarstan were allowed to take communion from an individual cup if they wished.
With both Poland and Lithuania having closed their borders on March 15, the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad, a region sandwiched between them about the size of Montenegro with a population of about 1 million people, is more isolated than ever.
Belarus President Alyaksandr Lukashenka shared with local authorities his recommendations for combating the coronavirus, including more hand-washing, having meals on time, going to the sauna, and drinking vodka “to poison the virus.” The sauna is a preventive measure, he said, since “the virus dies at 60 degrees [celsius].” (in Russian, Current Time TV)
Pilgrims have been flocking to Medjugorje in Bosnia-Herzegovina since 1981 when six local teenagers claimed to have seen a vision of the Virgin Mary, but the coronavirus epidemic has reduced visitors to a handful.
Radio Farda is reporting that at least 1,300 have so far died of the coronavirus in Iran and at least 32,000 have been admitted to hospitals in 30 out of the country’s 31 provinces.
Firefighters have been deployed throughout Iran's capital to disinfect surfaces and slow the spread of the coronavirus.
One month after he was indicted in the United States for hacking-related cybercrimes, a Russian man named Nikita Kislitsin sat in a room at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow where FBI agents notified him of the charges. At the time of the meeting, in April 2014, Kislitsin was employed by Group-IB, a major Russian cybersecurity company. Prior to that, Kislitsin had been well known in Russia’s cyber underground. He was acquainted with Yevgeny Nikulin, whom he described as the “Putin” of the hacking world.
The United States has dropped its criminal case against a company controlled by Yevgeny Prigozhin, a close associate of Russian President Vladimir Putin, that allegedly funded a social-media campaign to meddle in the 2016 presidential elections. The Justice Department said it was withdrawing the indictment to avoid disclosing investigative techniques to the Russians.
Hundreds of scholars, journalists, and legal experts in Russia have warned in an open letter that the country faces a "deep constitutional crisis and an illegal, unconstitutional coup" as a result of draft amendments that could allow President Vladimir Putin to run for two additional terms.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has awarded Arkady Rotenberg, his former judo instructor, the title of “Hero of Labor” for building a controversial bridge from the nation’s southern provinces to the Russian-occupied Crimean Peninsula.
Ukrainian lawmakers have approved Iryna Venedyktova as the country's first female prosecutor-general. Venedyktova, a former deputy who is currently the acting director of the State Bureau of Investigation, has promised to beef-up reforms at what she called a "powerful institution."