Russian x-risks newsletter spring 2020

by avturchin1 min read4th Jun 20204 comments


PoliticsExistential Risk
Personal Blog

Coronavirus is rampant in Russia, but the lockdown is easing for political and economic reasons. It was not very strict, in fact: many people were on streets, and infections per day grew 100 times during lockdown in April. The reported infection level peaked at the beginning of May. It declined since in Moscow in 2-3 times, but grew in the regions, so total daily cases are almost not changing in May. There is obvious underreporting of the number of actual cases, but the peak in Moscow seems real: my friends are reporting fewer cases in their facebook.

Voting to extend Putin's rule indefinitely via the new Constitution is scheduled for July 1, 2020, and this could be a political reason to report fewer cases.

A fakenews was officially refuted that coronavirus leaked after the explosion in Novosibirsk Vector biolab in fall 2019 and this information was prohibited for dissemination in social networks.

Vector is working on a vaccine and it is promised soon, maybe in fall 2020, but many people I asked are sceptical of its effectiveness and safety and prefer to wait for FDA approved vaccine.

Russia limited export of some grains.

Moscow is designated as a special area to test AI technology by providing easier access to collected personal data.

Russia declared that it may use nuclear weapons first if its existence is threatened by conventional weapons attack.

The Russian economy is hurt both by coronavirus lockdown and low prices of oil and low demand for natural gas.

Russia joined one more war by sending fighter jets and mercenaries in Libya to participate in the civil war but suffered defeat near Tripoli from Turkish drones.

4 comments, sorted by Highlighting new comments since Today at 1:45 PM
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I really appreciate this newsletter. I wish we had something similar from China.

There is a ChinAI Newsletter but it is mostly AI related.

Isn't the claim about using first use of nukes as defense old news? I want to say Putin made similar statements at least a year ago.

I've not looked into the details here so perhaps there has been a shift in just how they would be used.

It is now an official doctrine. But Putin did say this before.