Staunton, January 7 – Today, even as the Russian death toll from the pandemic passed 60,000, Vladimir Putin, in violation of Russian Orthodox Church recommendations that those over 65 not come to church for Eastern Christmas services and Moscow’s calls for Russians to wear masks, attended a religious service without a mask (echo.msk.ru/news/2770268-echo.html
The most significant development at the government level today was a decision by the government in Buryatia to require coronavirus testing of all passengers arriving there from Moscow, Novosibirsk, Krasnoyarsk, and Khabarovsk, a step other regions may follow (regnum.ru/news/3157884.html).
The health ministry said that vaccinations would continue during the upcoming holidays (echo.msk.ru/news/2770034-echo.html). And Russian experts followed Western ones in suggesting that the coronavirus is likely to be chronic and require annual shots much as the flu does (rbc.ru/society/07/01/2021/5ff752699a79476e689f84a1).
In other vaccine developments, Budapest said it would not begin importing the Russian vaccine because Moscow lacks the productive capacity to ensure that it can supply the number of doses Hungary would require (reuters.com/article/idUSKBN295167); and the controversy over whether to buy the Russian vaccine continued in Ukraine (newssky.com.ua/uchyonye-v-rossii-uvereny-chto-razrabotchikam-sputnik-v-est-chto-skryvat/).