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Elkin cartoon 15 April 2020

“Sergei Semyonich! Get up!”

” We infected all of Moscow for you!”

” Honest! We did!”

” And traffic jams everywhere!”

Metro queue 15 Apr 2020

On April 15, Moscow’s new coronavirus control system of electronic passes went into effect. The design, unfortunately, did not include high-speed, electronic policemen. Result — long lines and crowding at metro entrances.

Russians on social media were quick to point out that this tended to defeat the whole purpose. In Sergei Elkin’s cartoon, we see a ring of baby-faced policemen surrounding Mayor Sergei Semyonovich Sobyanin. (Moscow police are often very young. Recruited in villages, they live in barracks in a big expensive city, where they have no family and few friends. They are poorly paid, and thus vulnerable to corruption.)

The artist’s use of point of view puts us with the Mayor, waking up to a reality which has gotten beyond his — and our — control. The comic device relies on shared fellow-feeling — pure Chekhov!

Sergei Elkin (@Sergei_Elkin) Twitter, April 16, 2020