Staunton, May 27 – The Kremlin reiterated Vladimir Putin’s promise that vaccination against the coronavirus will not be compulsory (regnum.ru/news/3281344.html), but ever more residents of Russia are being put in a position in which they have no choice but to get the vaccine if they want to retain their jobs.
As one legal expert put it, it is illegal to remove someone from a position because of his or her refusal to get the vaccine, but it is possible to make having the vaccine a condition for employment among those seeking work (regnum.ru/news/3280896.html and capost.media/views/uvolit-cheloveka-za-otkaz-ot-vaktsinatsii-nelzya-ne-dopustit-k-rabote-mozhno/).
In some places in Russia, officials are arguing that the ban on compulsory vaccination doesn’t extend to immigrant workers or foreign students and that as a result, the government can insist that they get vaccinated as a condition of remaining in the Russian Federation (nazaccent.ru/content/35809-astrahanskie-rabotodateli-gotovy-oplatit-vakcinaciyu-migrantov.html).
And in other locations, such as Chechnya, leaders are saying that those who don’t get vaccinated should be treated last if they get sick, a kind of pressure that is clearly not in the spirit of existing Russian law but that reflects the pressures regional leaders feel to improve their numbers (nakanune.ru/news/2021/5/27/22602739/).
Russian officials reported registering 9039 new cases of infection and 402 new deaths from the coronavirus over the last 24 hours. The latter figure pushed the official death toll from the pandemic in Russia to over 120,000. Much of the increase came from the two capitals and their environs and is being blamed on the extended May holidays (t.me/COVID2019_official/2984, regnum.ru/news/society/3277253.html, regnum.ru/news/3281592.html, regnum.ru/news/3280942.html and regnum.ru/news/3281109.html).
The Russian health ministry reported that 17 million Russians have received at least one dose of the vaccine and about 10 million have received both doses (regnum.ru/news/3281127.html). Meanwhile, a poll found that 55 percent of Muscovites oppose Mayor Sergey Sobyanin’s call for setting up special sections in restaurants for those who have been vaccinated (regnum.ru/news/3281390.html).
And a survey of major businesses around the world found that 65 percent of them plan to spend less on office space after the pandemic passes. While the survey did not break out Russia, it is likely that there will be a similar decline in spending on commercial real estate, limiting the recovery still further (regnum.ru/news/3280948.html).