Staunton, May 24 – Eleven percent of all Russians, a new Public Opinion Foundation poll finds, have not yet been affected by the recent revival of the economy after the pandemic either because of their health or the disappearance of jobs as a result of declining exports and domestic sales (ng.ru/economics/2021-05-24/1_8155_economics1.html).
While experts expect that percentage to decline over time, the impact of the pandemic on the economy and hence on the economic well-being of Russians is thus likely to last for months, even years, after the pandemic ends, something not yet in prospect because up to now so few Russians have received their shots or even said they want to.
Indeed, the pandemic is continuing in Russia with ever more people talking about a third wave and various foreign countries, including Israel and the European Union, labelling it “an epidemically dangerous country,” restricting travel to and from and further depressing the Russian economy by costing it tourist spending (ng.ru/economics/2021-05-24/1_8155_russia.html).
Those losses come on top of export declines in raw materials, the demand for which has fallen in many countries because of pandemic-driven economic recessions. Some Russian tourist operations are increasing prices to try to recoup but that is having the effect of hitting domestic tourism and hurting the branch even more.
Today, Russian officials reported registering 8406 new cases of infection and 319 new deaths from the coronavirus over the last 24 hours (t.me/COVID2019_official/2972). They also said that 10 million Russians have now had both shots of the vaccine, about seven percent of the population (regnum.ru/news/3277590.html).
The pandemic continued to ebb and flow across the country, with the situation in St. Petersburg deteriorating on many measures although there have been slight improvements in the surrounding Leningrad Oblast (regnum.ru/news/3278077.html). Officials in the northern capital, however, refused to cancel the Euro-2020 games or to commit to giving those who get vaccinated special prizes (regnum.ru/news/3277949.html and regnum.ru/news/3277859.html).
Online debate about Dmitry Medvedev’s call for making the vaccine obligatory continued. One participant angrily said that if the government did that, “God forbid that the people will get guns” because in that event, they would use them against the powers that be (regnum.ru/news/3277019.html).