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NIght out in Moscow: few masks and many shrugs at rising coronavirus cases

That morning, Russia had announced more than 12,000 new confirmed coronavirus cases in the past day — a record increase for the country with the world’s fourth-largest number of cases. Then, on Tuesday, Russia set a record for daily deaths from the coronavirus with 244. On Wednesday, it was 239 deaths linked to the virus, and 14,200 new cases.

The autumn spike in infections in Russia had seemed inevitable. After a two-month spring lockdown with strict restrictions, there were practically no constraints over the summer. With the long Russian winter ahead, the prevailing mood in Moscow, at least, is to shrug off the coronavirus anxieties for now and take what comes.

Mask requirements exist, but they’re rarely observed or enforced. While some establishments do temperature checks at the door, there’s no social distancing inside or limits on capacity.

The question I’m asked most often when catching up with friends and

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