Support The Moscow Times!

Russian Pranksters Scare Population with Coronavirus Pranks

As the coronavirus epidemic continues its rapid spread worldwide, Russian pranksters have been staging coronavirus scares in public places, pretending to have virus-induced seizures and even dressing up in hazmat suits to detain 'sick' people.

One man caused panic on the Moscow metro on Feb. 2 when he collapsed on the floor of a metro car and faked a seizure, prompting police to later detain him.

He now faces up to five years in jail.

While there have only been two reported cases of the coronavirus in Russia so far, public anxiety is high, with many people wearing medical masks as a precaution.

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.

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.