Military Capabilities

Covid-19: Russian MoD details efforts to fight virus

23 March 2020

The Russian Ministry of Defence (MoD) is ramping up its efforts to fight Covid-19, Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu announced during a teleconference on 20 March.

“On 12 March we established a response team headed by First Deputy Defence Minister Ruslan Tsalikov to prevent the emergence and spread of Covid-19. A stockpile of medical items, individual protection gear, and pharmaceuticals has been established,” said Shoigu.

He reported that on 18-19 March the Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) Protection Troops, together with the Main Military-Medical Department, Aerospace Forces (VKS), and military police, “practised reception and evacuation of civilians, cleaning aircraft and air cargoes, quarantining, and disinfection of a military unit’s facilities at Chkalovskiy airbase”.

“Thirty-two [military] hospitals have prepared separate wards to treat infected persons,” he added.

Shoigu claimed that as of 20 March, “No [Covid-19] sickness cases have been registered in the armed forces,” adding, “MoD visits abroad and hosting of foreign delegations have been cancelled.”

All conscripts drafted this spring will be quarantined and tested for Covid-19, according to Shoigu.

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