Support The Moscow Times!

Putin Tells Officials With Flu tо Stay at Home to Curb 'Losses'

Days after the announcement of an anti-crisis plan to beat Russia's economic malaise, President Vladimir Putin has suggested a strategy of his own to curb government spending — don't bring your flu into work.

Putin told his government officials on Wednesday to call in sick if they caught a cold, adding that the Cabinet was "sustaining losses" from the seasonal outbreak of illness.

The advice appeared prompted by the absence of a number of high ranking officials at a government meeting on Wednesday, including Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and his deputies Igor Shuvalov and Olga Golodets, RIA Novosti reported.

"Somehow the Cabinet cannot manage the flu, I think it is sustaining losses," Putin told a government meeting Wednesday, according to a transcript published on the Kremlin website.

"I'm asking that nobody comes in to work sick," he said, adding the issue was "no joke."

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

As the only remaining independent, English-language news source reporting from Russia, The Moscow Times plays a critical role in connecting Russia to the world.

Editorial decisions are made entirely by journalists in our newsroom, who adhere to the highest ethical standards. We fearlessly cover issues that are often considered off-limits or taboo in Russia, from domestic violence and LGBT issues to the climate crisis and a secretive nuclear blast that exposed unknowing doctors to radiation.

As we approach the holiday season, please consider making a one-time donation — or better still a recurring donation — to The Moscow Times to help us continue producing vital, high-quality journalism about the world’s largest country.