Saturday, March 6, 2021

Russia’s Success in Developing Vaccine Carried with It Usual Collateral Damage of Moscow Projects, Gelman Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, March 4 – One of the things Russians have always been proud of is the ability of their rulers to mobilize resources in order to achieve remarkable things, only to discover that the commitment to the achievement of these breakthrough successes has a significant negative impact on other sectors from which these resources are pulled.

            Because the decisions to mobilize resources for a specific success are never widely discussed and because the Russian regime is so interested in talking only about its successes, this collateral damage is seldom given much attention until long after the fact and even then seldom recognized as a systemic problem.

            In the course of the pandemic, some attention has been given to the ways in which the focus on the coronavirus has had a negative impact on the availability of treatments for cancer patients, but now, in a breakthrough article, Vladimir Gelman of the European University is focusing on the systemic consequences of the Kremlin’s drive for a vaccine.

            His article on the Riddle  portal discusses in useful detail the way in which leadership decisions to pursue a particular goal without regard to the impact of that decision on other sectors is endemic to Russian policy making and is thus one of the reasons why almost every success carries within itself seeds of  failures (

            As the pandemic continues to ebb and flow across Russia, with numbers up slightly in the last 24 hours for the country as a whole, Moscow officials reported 11,385 new cases of infection and 475 new deaths from the coronavirus ( and

            Now that the pandemic is entering into its second full year, Russians like many others are suffering from coronavirus fatigue and desperately want the restrictions imposed to defeat the virus to be removed and none to be restored regardless of statistics. A new poll finds that 54 percent of Russians have only negative feelings about their experiences with self-isolation (

            Russian state media have carried so many articles about the delivery of the Sputnik-5 vaccine to foreign countries even when not all Russians have received the shots that the Kremlin has been forced to stress that its primary focus is to satisfy domestic needs ( and

            And officials have stressed that they plan to produce more than 50 million doses of the vaccine by May so that there will be enough for Russians and for export sales (

            Meanwhile, in other pandemic-related developments in Russia today,

·         A monument to medical workers in St. Petersburg who have died during the pandemic finally was dedicated, but that event was marked by controversy over just how many doctors were being honored and how appropriate the monument itself is ( and

·         As discussions intensify about whether Russia will face a third wave of the pandemic, a leading Russian epidemiologist says the most important characteristic of the coronavirus is its unpredictability. Aa a result, almost all predictions, Aleksandr Myasnikov says, have proved wrong (

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