Putin Exploits Coronavirus to Justify Centralized Russian Power

MOSCOW—The coronavirus pandemic has offered Russian President Vladimir Putin a clean chance to drive dwelling for anxious Russians a recurring concept of his extensive reign: Western liberal democracies are weak, globalism is fragile and the Russian design of centralizing electric power in a sturdy leader is remarkable in situations of crisis.

Through substantially of the pandemic, the Kremlin leader has sought to project toughness and tranquil, assuring his individuals that the unfold of the new coronavirus is under control in Russia, even as it has killed 14,000 and…