Experts warn: coronavirus may become more infectious and deadly

European health experts warn that rapid mutations of the coronavirus in minks could lead to a more deadly version of the disease and even render vaccines useless if humans are infected. Mink farms can support a large number of transmissions, which can lead to problematic mutations and potentially infect humans.

The EU health agency has warned that transmission of COVID-19 among mink populations could quickly mutate the virus before it enters the human body.

Daily Mail.

Such mutations carry the risk that the virus could become more infectious, more lethal, affect the risk of re-infection, or lead to abandonment of promising vaccines in development.

The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has released new guidelines to curb the spread of coronavirus between mink and humans. The number of infections that can occur on the fur farm means that “the virus can accumulate mutations faster in minks,” the ECDC experts explained.

In Denmark, 214 people were found to have contracted SARS-CoV-2 variants associated with farmed minks, 12 of which had a unique variant. This variant, dubbed “cluster 5,” is believed to have a moderately reduced sensitivity to neutralizing antibodies in both mink and humans.

It is believed that at least 216 Danish fur farms have been infected with the coronavirus, and the Danish authorities have decided to eliminate all 15 million plus animals on 1,139 farms.

It develops as the coronavirus multiplies, but to date, none of its identified mutations appear to have changed the transmissibility or lethality of COVID-19. However, as the ECDC warned, “the creation of a virus reservoir among minks could lead to problematic variants of the virus in the future.”

“Currently there is a high degree of uncertainty and further research is required regarding the nature of these mutations and their implications for issues such as vaccine efficacy, re-infections and […] the spread or severity of the virus, ”added the experts.

The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control has recommended that countries adopt a range of protective measures on mink farms, including regular testing of workers and local residents and – in the event of any COVID-19 infection – sequencing the virus to check for mutations.

The health agency has also called for regular animal testing as well as the introduction of additional precautions to limit the potential spread of the virus from mink to humans. These can include the slaughter of mink and the destruction of skins from infected farms, as well as special precautions for veterinarians, mink producers and their partners in the fur industry.

The ECDC report notes that the risk to the general population from strains of coronavirus associated with minks is likely low, but much higher for those who work with mink and for medically vulnerable people living in areas with a high concentration of fur farms. …

However, the World Health Organization is “far from making any determination” as to whether mutated strains of COVID-19 derived from mink could threaten humans, emergency team leader Michael Ryan said last week.

According to David Hayman, a global health expert at Chatham House think tank, it is unlikely that a mutant strain of coronavirus from a mink farm will change the course of the pandemic. “This virus is present in every country, and it mutates differently in every country,” added a former World Health Organization official.

“The ECDC report sees fur farms as potential virus factories capable of mutating COVID-19 and even disrupting medical progress towards reliable treatments,” said Joanna Swab, Director of Humane Society International / Europe. “The report also confirms the decision of the Danish government to respond to the public health risks associated with the fur trade.”

It should also be “a serious wake-up call for mink-growing countries that are not yet systematically testing minks to take urgent action,” she said.


Scientists explain how milk and bread will help against coronavirus

Scientists are calling for vitamin D to be added to bread and milk to fight COVID-19. This call was prompted by the fact that the recommendation that people should take the “sunshine vitamin” does not work.

Scientists have called on the UK government to add vitamin D to common foods like bread and milk to help fight the coronavirus, The Guardian reported.

According to a group convened by Dr. Gareth Davis, a medical physics researcher, up to half of the UK population is deficient in vitamin D, and government guidelines for people to take supplements don’t work.

According to some studies, low levels of vitamin D, which the human body produces in response to strong sunlight, may lead to a greater risk of contracting coronavirus or more serious consequences of infection.

Last week, researchers in Spain found that 82% of 216 hospitalized coronavirus patients had low vitamin D. However, the picture is mixed – some studies show vitamin D levels have little or no effect on COVID-19, influenza and other respiratory illnesses.

In the UK, Public Health England (PHE) and the Department of Health and Human Services have rejected calls for vitamin D fortification in foods such as milk, bread and orange juice over the past decade, as practiced in Finland, Sweden, Australia and Canada.

“In my opinion, it is clear that vitamin D may not only protect against the severity of the disease, but also against infection,” says Dr. Gareth Davis. – Food fortification will require careful planning for effective implementation, especially with people now taking supplements. Care must be taken when choosing the right enrichment products. But it is clear that current policies are not working – at least half of the population is vitamin D deficient.

Adrian Martino, a professor of respiratory infections at Queen Mary University in London, who is not part of the Davis group, is leading clinical trials to investigate whether vitamin D can reduce the risk or severity of Covid-19.

“The government recommends that the entire population takes vitamin D supplements during the winter months, and people in high-risk groups take vitamin D supplements all year round,” says Professor Martino. “But we know that people just don’t do it in significant numbers. Even I sometimes forget to take supplements, and I live and breathe this topic. Fortification is a really good way to close the deficit. ”

Our bodies produce vitamin D in response to strong sunlight. In the UK, this means people need to rely on other sources from October to March: fatty fish, eggs, and nutritional supplements.

Certain foods, like breakfast cereals and mushrooms, are fortified with vitamin D, and low-income Brits are eligible for free multivitamins. White flour in the UK is already fortified with vitamins B1 (thiamine) and B3 (niacin), and last year the government began consultations on the addition of vitamin B9 (folic acid) to prevent spina bifida and other birth defects of the brain and spine.

A 2019 study at the University of Birmingham led by Magda Aguiar, a health economist, found that there will be at least 25% fewer cases of vitamin D deficiency in the next 90 years if flour fortification is adopted, saving about 65 million pounds.

In 2017, Professor Louis Levy, head of PHE’s nutritional division, responded to calls for fortification, saying there was insufficient evidence that vitamin D could reduce the risk of respiratory infections.

Recently, a new study was published according to which deficiencies in sunlight are four times more common among hospitalized patients. Experts from the University of Cantabria in Santander examined 216 patients with COVID-19 at the Valdecilla Hospital in northern Spain. Eighty-two percent of the people surveyed were vitamin D deficient, while only 18 percent had adequate levels of the nutrient. The researchers found that those with lower amounts of the “sunshine vitamin” were more likely to have high blood pressure and heart disease.

Most of the patients in the study group also had comorbidities or were overweight, factors that weaken the immune system and make it difficult for the body to produce vitamin D.

The researchers analyzed the vitamin D levels of the observed patients on admission and compared them with a control group randomly selected from the population. Out of 216 hospitalized patients, deficiency of the “sunshine vitamin” was found in 82.2% of cases, compared with 47.2% of healthy people. At the same time, 44 patients with a deficiency were transferred to the intensive care unit, because their disease worsened, and 37 needed mechanical ventilation, but their vitamin D level was not lower than that of the rest of the group.

Read also: Scientists have identified a factor that reduces the risk of COVID infection by five times


The head of the Rostov Ministry of Health leaves after the scandal with the death of patients

The Minister of Health of the Rostov Region, Tatyana Bykovskaya, left the civil service in connection with her retirement. According to the regional government, the governor of the Rostov region Vasily Golubev signed a relevant decree. She reportedly left of her own accord.

Meanwhile, the head of the health department of Rostov-on-Don, Nadezhda Levitskaya, was dismissed from her post, a representative of the city administration told reporters.

Earlier, a scandal erupted in connection with the death of several patients of the city hospital №20. They allegedly suffocated during a long pause in the supply of medical oxygen. However, the city authorities denied this information. However, the regional Roszdravnadzor and the city health department started checking anyway.

Read also “The situation with the coronavirus in Rostov, where the head doctor died, was called hellish”


Lukashenka has an offensive plan for Russia

Experts explained the new strategy of the President of Belarus

Recently, Lukashenko arranged a meeting with the top of the Belarusian authorities, which took place at the Palace of Independence in Minsk. The meeting was attended by the prime minister, heads of both chambers of parliament, the Supreme Court, heads of law enforcement agencies, governors and so on. There was no official information about the results of the meeting – but it was leaked to the media from sources in the presidential administration. And judging by these data, not only the opposition, but also Russia should not expect anything good from Lukashenka’s plans.

First, according to Belarusian sources, the protesters will be deprived of social benefits, dismissed, and the criminal prosecution against them will be toughened up to the death penalty. The stake will be placed on targeted attacks by the KGB. According to Lukashenka, no one should escape punishment for protesting against the regime.

Second, it is expected that the European Union will lose interest in the protests in Belarus by the spring, and then Minsk will be able to begin to establish a dialogue with the West. In this context, trading with Russia on energy prices will resume. If an agreement fails, Moscow may forget about deeper integration into the Union State.

Thirdly, Lukashenka is not going to rush into the new Constitution. He is ready to vote for her only in 2021. At the same time, one should not harbor any illusions regarding the updated Basic Law. Because Lukashenko believes that he will not become a compromise and will not lead to a resolution of the conflict.

In short, Lukashenka’s communication with his inner circle can be reduced to assurances that the clouds will soon disperse and the ruling elite will heal as before. The West will lose interest in the protests, the opposition will flee, and Lukashenka and his friends will be able to continue to rule the country as they have been for the past 26 years. In the end, he simply cannot offer anything else to his electorate. And if he could, then perhaps the protests could have been avoided.

Nevertheless, experts interviewed by MK believe that it was not by chance that Lukashenko gathered his retinue on the eve of the expiration of the ultimatum of Svetlana Tikhanovskaya.

Dmitry Bolkunets, Belarusian political scientist: “On the eve of the expiration of the ultimatum of Tikhanov’s passions are heating up. Lukashenka decided to assemble the government to prove that the situation is under control and there is nothing to worry about. August 9.

The fact that the situation is difficult, in particular, is evidenced by the fact that after the visit of the head of the Foreign Intelligence Service Sergei Naryshkin to Belarus, Lukashenko canceled a rally in Minsk, which had been scheduled for the weekend. About 300 thousand people from all over the country were supposed to come there. It was expected to be a counterweight to opposition protests. Apparently, Naryshkin recommended not to exacerbate the situation once again, so as not to lead to a civil war, but to start a dialogue. In addition, Lukashenka could have been informed that the regime already lacks the strength for a 300,000 rally.

Lukashenka, most likely, really hopes that the protest will dissipate by itself, and then everything will return to normal. He will negotiate with the West, trade with Russia, and so on. However, he is mistaken. The West is not interested in Lukashenko staying in power. This makes it impossible for him to maneuver in negotiations with Russia. “

Andrey Suzdaltsev, political scientist: “Lukashenka is lying to Russia when he says that he broke all contracts with the West. In reality, there is nothing of the kind. There was no promised closure of the borders with Lithuania and Poland. Previous supplies are in progress, including contraband. diplomatic contacts are maintained with the United States and the European Union. Lukashenko was promised to be included in the sanctions lists, but this did not happen. This is due to the fact that the West needs Lukashenko. He does an excellent job of discrediting integration in the post-Soviet space. And Russia pays for his work.

At the same time, Lukashenka blames the West for the political crisis, because he himself is not going to go anywhere. All the participants in his dialogue on the new Constitution are oppositionists imprisoned in jail and people who helped him steal votes in the presidential elections. Naturally, this does not lead to any settlement of the conflict. On the contrary, this is the path to its escalation. But if he manages to survive, he will continue to pump money from Russia, motivating his demands by the fact that he protected Moscow from the “color revolution”.


The State Duma revealed the absurdity of the pension system

“Everything that is has already broken down”

The State Duma, with a sigh, voted for United Russia, adopted in the first reading a bill on freezing pension savings until the end of 2023. The funds received on personal savings accounts of citizens are transferred to the general piggy bank of the Pension Fund since 2014, but the future of the funded part of the pension is still in a fog …

The personal savings account in different years received from 2 to 6% of insurance premiums, which the employer pays from the employee’s salary. But for 6 years now, the entire amount of contributions has been completely at the disposal of the Pension Fund and is depersonalized. This is called “freezing” pension savings: nothing is added to the money received before 2014.

Government spokesman, deputy finance minister and former head of the Pension Fund Anton Drozdov told the deputies that the extension of the freeze until the end of 2023 “will provide sources of funding from the federal budget for the indexation of pensions for non-working pensioners at a rate higher than the inflation rate.” The cash desk of the Pension Fund will be replenished by 669.3 billion rubles, and the transfer from the federal budget to the budget of the Pension Fund will be reduced by the same amount. Savings, then.

The representative of the Duma Committee on Labor and Social Policy Svetlana Bessarab (“United Russia”) proposed the government’s initiative “to support, taking into account the comments.” The “freeze” was needed to figure out what to do with the funded part of the pension, the committee said. For several years now, the Ministry of Finance, together with the Central Bank, first developed the concept of “individual pension capital”, then “guaranteed pension product” and “guaranteed pension plan” , but so far the corresponding bill has not been submitted to the State Duma. “Further delay in solving the problem,” the deputies believe, may call into question the possibility of the effective operation of the new funded system when it finally appears, because the constant prolongation of the “freeze” “negatively affected the level citizens’ confidence in any changes in pension legislation ”.

“Isn’t it time to put an end to it, that is, to cancel the funded part of the pension altogether – maybe then the Finance Ministry and the Pension Fund will figure out what to do?” Asked Dmitry Skrivanov (United Russia). Ms. Bessarab admitted: in the form in which the funded part of the pension is frozen, it should be canceled, “because if the car has not been driven for 6 years, it will hardly drive normally, everything in it has already broken down.” And Mr. Drozdov said that the bill on “exclusively voluntary entry into the funded system” is now undergoing interagency coordination. “I hope that next year it will be presented to the government and then to the State Duma,” the official said.

The Ministry of Finance has been promising to submit the bill “next year” to the State Duma for several years already.

Mr. Drozdov also said that now “more than half” of retiring Russians receive the entire amount accumulated in their personal accounts at once by submitting a corresponding application – this right is given by the law to those who have a funded part of no more than 5% of their insurance pension. But from 2022, when women born in 1967 receive the right to receive a funded pension, the share of recipients of monthly payments will increase, the official said.

Only United Russia members voted for.

The head of the Committee on Labor and Social Policy, Yaroslav Nilov (LDPR), said that the introduction of the funded part of the Russian pension system in the early 2000s was a mistake. And the freezing of savings accounts “is to some extent beneficial to the recipients of small salaries,” because the frozen savings are recalculated into points, on the number of which the size of the insurance pension depends. Now, the deputy reminded, annually about 70 thousand Russians, having reached retirement age, do not receive the right to an insurance pension – because they do not have enough points …

Oleg Shein (“SR”) said that a funded pension is generally impossible “in a country with a Balkan system of labor relations, where up to 40% of workers are driven into shadow employment, and the rest have such negligible wages that there can be no significant savings.”

On average, during his life, a Russian accumulates about 60 thousand rubles in a pension account, the deputy noted that when distributed over months, he gives about 300 rubles an increase to his insurance pension. By the way, the duration of the “survival period”, that is, the number of months that a Russian is expected to live on average from the moment of retirement to death and during which he will receive the funded part of his pension, at the suggestion of the government, increases annually by 6 months, and in 2021 it will be 264 months. To find out the amount of your accumulative markup, you need to divide the amount indicated on your personal accumulation account by this number.

Published in the newspaper “Moskovsky Komsomolets” No. 28397 of October 23, 2020

Newspaper headline:
Permafrost of funded pension


Flu vaccines named after which 28 Koreans died

Seven new deaths were recorded in South Korea on Wednesday alone. One of those vaccinated died just two and a half hours after being vaccinated against the flu. On Thursday morning, there are seven more deaths, and the number continues to rise.

Medical experts investigating these deaths say they do not believe there is a link between the vaccine and deaths. But credibility in the vaccination program has been eroded, and the Korean Medical Association has called for a halt until it is safe.

A free flu vaccination program for the 19 million eligible people was launched in South Korea in September amid attempts by the authorities to avoid a massive flu outbreak that would overlap with the COVID-19 pandemic, because of the danger of overlapping two of these diseases authoritative scientists warn. To date, about 13 million people in South Korea have already received a flu shot.

Flu vaccine-related deaths are not the first scandal to undermine the credibility of South Korea’s vaccination program. She was previously stopped for three weeks after it was revealed that about five million doses, which need to be kept frozen, were exposed to room temperature during transport to a medical facility.

Over the past month, Korea has withdrawn more than 1 million doses of influenza vaccine for various reasons. The government authorized the remaining 4.9 million doses, which were exposed to heat in various ranges, and an additional 4 million doses in syringes (believed to cause suspicious residues) after samples tested showed they were all are still safe and effective.

Health experts say this year’s flu vaccine series of failures is unprecedented.

The news of the death of the first victim, a 17-year-old boy, who died two days after being vaccinated against the flu, was a wake-up call for Koreans. The previously unhealthy teenager passed away at home in Incheon, near Seoul on October 16. The vaccine he received was produced by the pharmaceutical company Shinsung, which was previously accused of violating the temperature regime when handling products, according to the South Korean publication The Korea Herald.

“The cause of his death must be determined first, since no specific side effects were reported after the injection and he passed away after a certain time,” said Jung Eun Kyung, director of the Korea Agency for Disease Control and Prevention, on the teenager’s death.

The death of a healthy teenager after vaccination was described by pulmonologist Dr. Chun Eun-mi of the Ewha Women’s University Medical Center in western Seoul as “extremely rare” and “unheard of.” But, according to the doctor, given the concerns of parents, it is possible to postpone the vaccination of healthy children until the results of a government investigation are received.

The Korea Herald, meanwhile, cites the mother of a 16-year-old tenth grader in Seoul who said it was harder to get a flu shot this year than it was last year, on the growing public concern over the flu vaccine following the news of the teen’s death. – due to lack of vaccine. But now she wonders if her daughter should be vaccinated at all: “The neighboring clinics said there was no vaccine available. I was going to go out of town with my child to give her an injection, but now I’m a little worried. She’s about the same age. “

Except for the first victim, almost all of the other recorded deaths were elderly people – many of them in their 70s or 80s with underlying medical conditions.

A 79-year-old woman passed away on Thursday, October 22, after she was given a flu shot in Daejeon. On the same day, several more people between the ages of 70 and 80 died in various parts of South Korea, according to the South Korean newspaper Choson Ilbo.

An elderly woman who died in Daejeon received a Korean-made vaccine at a clinic on October 19. In the evening, the patient’s temperature rose and vomiting began. The next day, during lunch, she passed out due to shortness of breath and was transferred to the hospital, where she died in intensive care. Before getting the flu vaccine, the woman had no underlying medical conditions such as blood pressure and diabetes.

Also in Daejeon, an 80-year-old man was found dead at home on October 20 after receiving a flu shot at a local clinic the day before. The authorities are conducting an epidemiological investigation.

In Gyeongnam province, four people died in two days, all between the ages of 78 and 79. They got the flu shot. At the same time, one of the victims suffered from high blood pressure. Another deceased also had hyperotnia, as well as diabetes and heart disease. The other two were known to have been taking medications for blood pressure and diabetes.

All vaccines given to those who died in Gyeongnam were quadrivalent vaccines based on SK Bioscience’s SkyCellflu cells, Joseon Ilbo writes. This drug was provided by the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as a free vaccine for the elderly. Vaccines that may have been exposed to room temperature during distribution or contained foreign particles were not found.

According to Joseon Ilbo, others who died after being vaccinated were injected with vaccines from Boryeong, GC Pharma, Korea Vaccine and SK Bioscience.

However, one 53-year-old woman died after being vaccinated by the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) came under fire for hiding the name of the vaccine manufacturer from the public with information about the first death of a young man. … More than 82,000 people received the same flu vaccine as this unfortunate young man, and three of them developed allergic reactions.

And yet, according to experts, it is too early to conclude that the deaths of people who have been vaccinated were due to vaccinations.

Most deaths after vaccination are caused by anaphylaxis (severe allergic shock) or Guillain-Barré syndrome, a rare neurological disorder in which the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks the peripheral nervous system.

“Anaphylaxis caused by vaccines usually occurs within 15 to 30 minutes after injection and rarely every other day,” says Ma Sang-hyuk of the South Gyeongsang Medical Association. On the other hand, Guillain-Barré Syndrome most often occurs one to three weeks after vaccination, says Kim Woo Joo of Korea University’s Guro Hospital: “There have been very few cases where this happened two days after vaccination.”

The head of the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Korea, Park Nung-hoo, expressed understanding of the concerns of citizens in connection with vaccination, but confirmed that the free program will continue.

Professor Kim Jun Kon, who leads a team investigating what is believed to be a vaccine damage, is trying to convince South Koreans of the safety of the vaccination program. In the meantime, pathoanatomical studies are being carried out on the dead, including on COVID-19.


The Ministry of Finance lists incomes subject to an increase in personal income tax up to 15%

The State Duma approved the change in the rate of personal income tax (personal income tax) to 15%

The Ministry of Finance, following a discussion with the parliament and the regions, specified the list of incomes subject to tax at 15%, the ministry said in a statement.

As noted, the increased rate will not apply to income from the sale of any personal property of citizens (except for securities), as well as insurance payments. Such amendments were submitted to the government for the second reading. The State Duma on Wednesday adopted in the first reading a draft increase in personal income tax to 15% for income exceeding 5 million rubles a year.

The Ministry of Finance called the application of such an approach justified, when personal income tax is increased for periodic payments. Otherwise, even citizens with low earnings would have to pay the increased tax, which generally contradicts the idea of ​​introducing a new tax rate and the principle of social justice.

According to representatives of the department, when determining the parameters for raising the rate, they proceeded from the fact that this measure concerned only a small part of the population with high incomes and did not contribute to the outflow of tax residents. The Ministry of Finance stressed that in comparison with other countries, the Russian personal income tax rate remains more attractive, even after the increase.

The ministry is confident that the innovation will not cause an increase in the administrative burden on citizens, since the tax authorities will independently calculate the amount of tax that will need to be paid in addition to the results of the tax period.

As it became known, additional receipts in the amount of 190 billion rubles from the increase in personal income tax over three years (from 2021 to 2023) will be directed to the treatment of children with rare serious diseases. The ministry concluded that the government is currently working on a mechanism for the targeted use of these funds.

Earlier, the State Duma approved a change in the personal income tax (PIT) rate to 15%. For incomes up to 5 million rubles, the rate will remain 13%.

Read also: “Russia has money – but not about our honor.”


Expert predicted the emergence of a “second front” of the Karabakh conflict

Azerbaijan army continues offensive

Military actions in the Nagorno-Karabakh region may spread to other regions of Azerbaijan and Armenia. According to the official statement of the Ministry of Defense of Azerbaijan, the territory of the Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic – an enclave that is separated from the main territory of the country – came under rocket fire. Officials in Armenia deny the fact of shelling, however, as “MK” managed to find out in a conversation with experts, the very fact of accusations may become a prologue for the conflict to reach a new level. And in the near future, Armenia will have to fight on two fronts.

The conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh continues to gain momentum. Despite the ceasefire concluded in Moscow, both sides did not stop hostilities. After stubborn battles, the Azerbaijani army occupied the strategically important city of Hadrut and continues to develop the offensive. Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev stated that the offensive will continue until the city of Shusha, a key settlement that opens the road to the capital of the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, the city of Stepanakert, is repulsed.

Also, according to the Ministry of Defense of Azerbaijan, the hostilities partially spread to the territory of the Nakhichevan enclave – an autonomous republic within Azerbaijan, which is separated from the main territory of the country and borders on Armenia and Turkey. As noted in Baku, the territory of the enclave came under rocket fire from the Armenian side.

“The Armenian armed forces launched a missile strike on the territory of the Ordubad region,” the press service of the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry said.

Officials in the Armenian government refute this information. However, as military expert Alexander Mikhailovsky noted in a conversation with MK, such statements, regardless of their authenticity, indicate the transition of the conflict to a potentially new level.

– As I said earlier, the global offensive plan, drawn up with the participation of Turkish military advisers, provides for several stages. The first is to occupy the southern part of Nagorno-Karabakh. That is, along the border with Iran. The Azerbaijani troops have successfully completed this. The second stage, most likely, is to shake the situation in the Nakhichevan region in order to strike also along the Iranian border towards the troops advancing from the main territory of Azerbaijan.

-What will the successful completion of this operation mean for Azerbaijan?

-Strategic success across the region. If Nakhichevan joins Baku with a continuous corridor, it will be a huge victory. Azerbaijan will receive a direct connection with Turkey, which is extremely beneficial from the point of view of economic integration of the two countries. So the risk is justified here.

-What exactly is the risk?

-A group that will move along the border runs the risk of being cut off from the main forces and taken into encirclement. Something similar happened to the Ukrainian army in the summer of 2014. Then the Ukrainian military from the encirclement fled to Russian territory across the border. I think that both Baku and their partners take this experience into account and will act smarter. They successfully repulsed one attempt to encircle. Plus, the risk is that the advancing group is not increasing. If they get involved in hostilities according to the enemy’s scenario, the losses may be too great and even without a de jure defeat, in fact there will be simply no one to attack and nothing.

-The President of Azerbaijan says that the target of the offensive is the city of Shusha. What is the reason for this?

– With the memory of Azerbaijanis about their main military defeat in the last Karabakh war. Then the Armenians managed to defeat the Azerbaijani troops in the city as a result of a decisive offensive. Azerbaijan considers this city an extremely important historical and cultural center for its country, so its capture will be perceived by the people as a historical victory. But it should be noted that Shusha is surrounded by mountains from all sides, the only road goes to Stepanakert. How they plan to attack in this case is unclear.


Alexander Strelyukhin leaves the post of the chairman of the government of the Saratov region

Alexander Strelyukhin leaves the post of chairman of the government of the Saratov region. This “MK in Saratov” was informed by the press service of the region’s governor Valery Radaev. Radaev announced his desire to change the second person in the province in an interview with the Saratov 24 TV channel.

“I will ask the deputies of the regional duma to approve Roman Viktorovich Busargin for the post of chairman of the regional government. He is a young specialist, he went through an excellent municipal school in Engels, Saratov, Saratov district. In the regional government, he leads the most responsible block of infrastructure and investment projects with high quality, good works with the federal center, “Radaev said.

As for Strelyukhin, the press service said, he will be sent to head a new body – the Directorate under the regional government for the development of the Saratov agglomeration.

“The volume of work there is colossal, so an extra-level specialist is needed. Valery Vasilyevich held negotiations with Alexander Mikhailovich Strelyukhin and offered him this position. After the creation of the Directorate, Strelyukhin will head it.


The mortgage market could collapse: what borrowers should prepare for

Experts told when the housing bubble bursts

The mortgage crisis may cover the Russian financial system in the coming years, when the risks of non-payments become maximum, and the volume of overdue payments will increase. Aleksey Moiseev, Deputy Finance Minister of Russia, warned about the risks of a dangerous “bubble” in the housing market. The Kremlin is confident that the Cabinet will not allow the emergence of a mortgage collapse. Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov stressed that the government, if necessary, will help both people with the purchase of housing and the construction business, which risks not surviving the impending crisis. So is there a risk of a mortgage collapse?

Alexander Danilov, Director of the Banking Supervision Department of the Central Bank, warned that if the Russian government decides to extend the program of preferential mortgages at a rate of 6.5% for the purchase of housing in new buildings and to increase its limit, risks of “overheating” may arise in the market, followed by full-fledged crisis in the housing lending market.

Note that the mortgage crisis is the inability of most mortgages to pay off the loan. Against the background of a decrease in the income of the population, the danger does exist. The collapse can also be facilitated by a sharp rise in the cost of housing and uncontrolled issuance of loans by banks to clients who can potentially be unable to pay off the loan.

“The growth in the mortgage market is serious and it is clear why: low mortgage rates, a preferential program at 6.5%, devaluation of the ruble (citizens are trying to save their savings). But at the same time, the assessment of borrowers by banks is very serious. There are no analogies in Russia now with the mortgage crisis in the USA in 2008. But at the same time, there is a danger of an increase in the share of delinquencies and non-payments, because the incomes of citizens are not growing, ”says Artem Deev, head of the analytical department at AMarkets.

If the program of preferential mortgages is extended, some more citizens can take loans, the source said. At the same time, according to him, incomes of the population are the limiting factor for the emergence of a “bubble” – everyone who could and wanted to take advantage of the best conditions for a mortgage has already done so.

The crisis of non-payments may come within six months, especially with the introduction of a repeated self-isolation regime and the shutdown of the economy, which small and medium-sized businesses risk not survive, says Alexei Krichevsky, real estate market expert at the Academy of Finance and Investment Management. “The end of the preferential mortgage program will raise rates on new buildings by 2-2.5% at once,” he predicts.

According to the chief analyst of TeleTrade Petr Pushkarev, the risks of overheating of the mortgage market have now significantly increased. In August 2020 alone, the volume of mortgage loans issued amounted to 375 billion rubles. At the same time, for the entire 2019, the volume of mortgage loans issued amounted to 2.8 trillion rubles. That is, in August of this year, mortgage loans were issued by 61% more than the average monthly in 2019. In general, August set a record for the volume of mortgages issued in the entire history of the market.

Meanwhile, the incomes of Russian citizens are falling amid the coronavirus crisis. Even according to the official data of Rosstat in the second quarter of 2020, they decreased by 8% compared to the level of 2019. At the same time, HSE experts estimated the fall in real incomes at 18%, and taking into account the trends in the world economy in 2021, the situation may worsen even further. Consequently, the problems of the population losing income with the payment of the mortgage are almost inevitable. How does this threaten the home lending market?

“I would not expect a full-fledged mortgage crisis next year,” says Pushkarev. “However, given the possible rise in interest rates, unemployment, falling incomes of the population, negative external background, such a bubble may“ burst ”as early as 2022-2023.”

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