Staunton, January 31 – Many parts of the Russian Federation do not yet have any coronavirus vaccine or have amounts so far below demand that reports Moscow is sending the medication abroad is infuriating many people in that country, especially when the media play up such deliveries.
The latest case involves shipment to the Russian-occupied portions of Ukraine, the so-called Donetsk Peoples Republic and Luhansk Peoples Republic, whose residents are reportedly thrilled to get the vaccine but about deliveries to them Russians are expressing their anger online (kp.ru/daily/27233.5/4360353/ and regnum.ru/news/3177950.html).
Today, Russian officials reported registering 18,359 new cases of infection and 485 new deaths, as the pandemic continued to ebb in the major cities but continue in much of the rest of the country (t.me/COVID2019_official/2422 and regnum.ru/news/society/3176513.html).
But the situation in the Northern capital shows how difficult it is to speak about improvements even there. Over the last week, hospitalizations for covid infections fell by nine percent, but the share of those with the most serious infections increased (regnum.ru/news/3177955.html) as overall infections fell (regnum.ru/news/3177825.html).
Outside of the capitals, per capita rates remained very high in places like Karelia, a fact that allowed some of them to report very low rates of increase because their numbers were already high (rbc.ru/society/31/01/2021/5e2fe9459a79479d102bada6?from=from_main_10 and
Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin reported that 300,000 Muscovites have been immunized already and that 500,000 more residents of the capital have signed up to get their shots (regnum.ru/news/3177815.html and rbc.ru/society/31/01/2021/60163e9b9a79474f203ad278?from=from_main_8).
But in the North Caucasus where immunization rates remain minimal, not a single head of a republic has been inoculated, apparently following Vladimir Putin who has not yet chosen to get the vaccine either (doshdu.com/nikto-iz-glav-respublik-severnogo-kavkaza-ne-privilsja-ot-koronavirusa/).
On the economic front, the debt of federal subjects rose 18 percent over the last pandemic year. Much of that is owed to the central government, a pattern that means they are more dependent on the center than 12 months ago and thus have less ability to operate independently of Moscow (krizis-kopilka.ru/archives/83381).
Meanwhile, in other pandemic-related developments in Russia today,
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has promised to support EU certification of the Russian vaccine (rubaltic.ru/article/politika-i-obshchestvo/20210131-rossiya-pobedila-v-informatsionnoy-voyne-vaktsin/
Russian Orthodox groups are now saying that agitation against the vaccine is unacceptable especially given the country’s demographic crisis (ruskline.ru/news_rl/2021/01/30/nadezhda_tolko_na_vakcinaciyu