‘A death sentence’: Russia’s most vulnerable prepare for coronavirus assault

Life has just got a whole lot scarier for those at the bottom of Russia’s pile, Oliver Carroll reports from Moscow

Thursday 02 April 2020 15:46

hirty-six year old Ilya is a recovering heroin addict with an unenviable cocktail of adversaries: HIV; hepatitis B; hepatitis C; suspicious bank managers; prejudiced employers. Now he finds himself facing an unexpected new opponent — coronavirus — and it, he says, is the thing he fears most.

“Neither the government nor society gives a damn about us or our illnesses,” says Ilya, who asked for his surname to be withheld. “This virus gives them the perfect opportunity to get rid once and for all.”

Ilya is not alone in predicting Covid-19 will be left to spread quickly through Russia’s least resistant populations: the poor, infirm, homeless and disabled.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments