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As COVID surges in Russia, AP wins access to Moscow ICU

Medical personnel in protective gear discuss a case as they treat a patient with COVID-19 in an ICU at the Moscow City Clinical Hospital 52 in Moscow, Oct. 19, 2021. Russia was hitting almost daily records for coronavirus cases and deaths, the rapidly surging infection rates stressing the country’s health care system. and prompted the government to suggest declaring a nonworking week.(AP Photo / Alexander Zemlianichenko)

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A determined AP Moscow team used months of strong contact-building in Moscow’s hospitals to get first access to an intensive care unit — several days ahead of the competition — at a time when Russia is facing almost daily records for both COVID infections and deaths.

Video journalist Kostya Manenkov and chief photographer Alexander Zemlianichenko won permission to work inside the ”Red Zone” at Moscow City Clinical Hospital 52,where the staff is facing the crush of the country’s COVID-19 crisis. The pair gave AP writer Vladimir Isachenkov perfect material to explore the lagging pace of vaccination across the country,a source of despair among the front line doctors and nurses. And their visuals gave AP customers an array of powerful images telling the story of COVID in Russia.

The broadcast video was AP’s top European video during last week, receiving truly international attention from major clients.

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