Support The Moscow Times!

Russian Mayor Urges Kicking Maskless Passengers Off Public Transit

Face masks are required on public transportation in many Russian cities. Mikhail Metzel / TASS

Public transport passengers “can and should” kick out fellow passengers who don’t wear masks, the mayor of Russia’s fourth-largest city of Yekaterinburg said Tuesday. 

The Sverdlovsk region, where Yekaterinburg is the administrative center, is Russia’s fifth most-affected federal subject by the coronavirus pandemic. It has confirmed a total of 33,425 Covid-19 cases and 718 deaths since the start of the outbreak.

Yekaterinburg Mayor Alexander Vysokinsky said in an interview with the city’s news website that passengers “can and should” kick off fellow riders who aren't wearing masks to prevent the spread of Covid-19. 

“We’ll have to reinstate restrictions if we don’t follow simple rules and [infections] increase,” Vysokinsky said.

His spokesman later accused the media of taking the mayor’s words out of context, saying Vysokinsky “asked everyone to behave responsibly.” reported Wednesday that passengers’ resistance to wearing masks when boarding buses has severely delayed schedules and in several cases led to mass altercations. Similar standoffs have been reported in Moscow, where authorities stepped up the enforcement of mask and glove mandates in the metro and on buses.

Meanwhile, reports citing unnamed medical sources said rising numbers of Covid-19 cases have brought Yekaterinburg’s hospitals to full capacity. 

Russia has seen a record-breaking surge in Covid-19 infections and deaths in recent weeks but has opted toward targeted restrictions instead of reintroducing strict lockdown measures.

Russia’s official number of Covid-19 cases stands at more than 1.4 million, the fourth-highest in the world, with daily figures rising by 14,000 to 16,000 in the past week.

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more