Staunton, January 21 – The pandemic has increased authoritarianism in Russia not only by providing a justification for tighter control but by causing those in power to make greater use of technologies that help them in this effort, according to Moscow economist Sergey Zuyev (rosbalt.ru/moscow/2021/01/21/1883307.html
Moscow decided to ease numerous restrictions on visitors to museums and sports activities, while St. Petersburg did not, saying that the situation in the northern capital doesn’t allow that. Elsewhere, the situation was equally variegated making claims about a general improvement or deterioration meaningless (regnum.ru/news/3169002.html, regnum.ru/news/3169046.html and novayagazeta.ru/articles/2021/01/21/88798-zigzagi-sputnika-v-kak-vaktsiniruyutsya-regiony).
The Russian military has in fact launched a broad program of immunizing its personnel, with the vaccine now being administered even in Russian bases outside of the Russian Federation (regnum.ru/news/3169288.html and ng.ru/armies/2021-01-18/8_8059_vaccination.html).
Making distribution easier is the fact that the health ministry now says that the Sputnik-5 vaccine needs to be stored between plus two and plus eight degrees centigrade far warmer than before and far warmer than other vaccines (regnum.ru/news/3169088.html). Also today, Hungary became the first European country to approve use of the Russian vaccine (kp.ru/daily/27229/4355699/