Staunton, June 22 – Many Russians believe that the authorities are acting in an illegal way by discriminating against those who have not gotten their vaccines, but Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov says that such discrimination is inevitable because society must protect itself against the pandemic (regnum.ru/news/3302669.html).
Peskov also said that the Kremlin fully backs the tough measures that Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin has introduced, another sign that Moscow city is to be the approved model for other regions in the Russian Federation (regnum.ru/news/3302972.html).
And as far as compelling people to get vaccinated, Federation Council speaker Valentina Matviyenko says that “there must be freedom of choice and there is, but it is worth remembering the observation of the classic philosopher that ‘freedom is the recognition of necessity” (regnum.ru/news/3302497.html).
According to Rosbalt commentator Sergey Shelin, the Russian authorities have “finally understood that they have lost control over the epidemic” but can’t correct their errors, turning instead to their preferred methods of duplicity and force to try to conceal what has happened (rosbalt.ru/blogs/2021/06/22/1907857.html).
Russian officials today reported registering 16,715 new cases of infection, down slightly from yesterday, but 546 new deaths from the coronavirus, up from recent days, over the last 24 hours as the pandemic continued to spread and get worse in more places than it got better (t.me/COVID2019_official/3117and regnum.ru/news/society/3301374.html
On the vaccine front, officials continued to complain about the slow pace of inoculation in the face of rising infections. In Moscow, officials said that more than two million people have been vaccinated; and in St. Petersburg, the city government said that more than 800,000 residents have (regnum.ru/news/3303059.html, regnum.ru/news/3302968.html and regnum.ru/news/3302902.html).
Vaccinations among siloviki are high. The military reported that 910,000 uniformed personnel had received the shots and said it would be inoculating the new class of draftees in July, bringing the total coverage there to almost 100 percent (regnum.ru/news/3302683.html and https://ria.ru/20210622/armiya-1738076864.html).
The interior ministry said it would have no fewer than 60 percent of its officers vaccinated in the near future (regnum.ru/news/3302860.html).
On the economic front, many Moscow businessmen are afraid that the new restrictions will sink them although some believe that the most draconian rules will be evaded by the population and thus allow firms to survive (regnum.ru/news/3302924.html). Many are betting on vaccinations to save the situation (stanradar.com/news/full/45304-tretja-volna-covid-19-na-poroge-spaset-li-vaktsinatsija.html and ura.news/news/1052490806).
Economists say the Russian Central Bank is not going to reduce the cost of borrowing because it is now focused on fighting inflation rather than helping business and the population to survive the third wave (themoscowtimes.com/2021/06/22/russias-third-wave-unlikely-to-faze-central-bank-a74298
· More than a million Russians are estimated to have purchased fake vaccination certificates over the last month alone (rosbalt.ru/moscow/2021/06/22/1907888.html).
· The Moscow Patriarchate has a position on vaccinations, but its bishops and priests are very much divided with some advocating getting the shots and others opposed (ahilla.ru/vaktsinatsiya-ot-kovida-v-rf-mneniya-ierarhov-i-klirikov/).