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Russian WWII Vet Given Presidential Medal for Raising Coronavirus Funds

Zinaida Korneva raised 4.5 million rubles ($59,300) for the families of Russian medics who died from coronavirus. Youtube

President Vladimir Putin has awarded a Russian World War II veteran for raising funds to support the families of doctors who died from coronavirus, according to a government decree published Monday.

Zinaida Korneva, 98, received the Decoration “For Beneficence” for her “great contribution to charitable and public activities,” the decree said. The medal recognizes charity efforts to support medical facilities, works aimed at combating the spread of dangerous diseases and contributions to the development of healthcare, among other activities.

St. Petersburg native Korneva in April launched her fundraising effort after being inspired by 100-year-old British World War II veteran Thomas Moore, who raised more than $40 million for health care workers by walking laps around his garden.

Korneva launched a YouTube channel with daily videos recounting her experiences as a Red Army soldier.

The 4.5 million rubles ($59,300) Korneva raised in two months has been distributed among 151 families. 

Authorities say 258 Russian medical workers have died during the pandemic, though colleagues say the real number is nearly triple that figure.

More than 2.1 million Russians have been infected by coronavirus since the start of the pandemic, with a record number of deaths and cases in recent weeks.

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