Staunton, June 21 – The Russian government thought it had a special path to fight the coronavirus pandemic, but that path has led to disaster, with ever more Russians asking why things are going so badly wrong, biologist Irina Yakutenko says (rosbalt.ru/piter/2021/06/21/1907657.html and themoscowtimes.com/2021/06/21/what-we-did-before-just-isnt-working-delta-variant-threatens-to-overwhelm-russia-a74260).
It is not just that numbers are spiking but that the government has refused to import vaccines from abroad and has acted in such a contradictory fashion that Russians have no reason to trust its recommendations or believe that the future will bring improvement (newizv.ru/article/general/21-06-2021/vopros-dnya-pochemu-tolko-tri-strany-ne-dopuskayut-chuzhie-vaktsiny-i-rossiya-v-ih-chisle and znak.com/2021-06-21/protivorechivye_deystviya_vlastey_podryvayut_doverie_rossiyan_k_vakcinacii).
Now that the government in desperation is forcing Russians to be vaccinated on pain of losing their jobs, Russians are complying in some cases (regnum.ru/news/3301466.html) but getting angry about the government and its false promises (nakanune.ru/articles/117143/).
The governor of a region that has imposed mandatory vaccination requirements, Valery Limarenko, has however found what he evidently believes is a way out. He said today that “obligatory vaccination does not mean forced vaccination.” Thus, if people are obliged to get the shots they should not see this as forced (regnum.ru/news/3301172.html).
Today, the Russian authorities reported registering 17,378 new cases of infection and 440 new deaths from the coronavirus in the last 24 hours. The majority of the infections and the deaths were from the two capitals as the pandemic ebbed and flowed around the country (t.me/COVID2019_official/3108, regnum.ru/news/society/3301374.html and regnum.ru/news/society/3296191.html).
Murmansk Oblast became the tenth federal subject to require vaccinations, even as the central Russian government began considering how to give booster shots to those who have already gotten vaccinated because of the new strain sweeping through Russia (znak.com/2021-06-21/v_murmanskoy_oblasti_vveli_obyazatelnuyu_vakcinaciyu_ot_koronavirusa and kommersant.ru/doc/4867141).
Business leaders said firms will begin letting workers go if the coronavirus restrictions are tightened, and they appealed for a continuation of the moratorium on business bankruptcies until the coronavirus is defeated (regnum.ru/news/economy/3301364.html and regnum.ru/news/economy/3301366.html).
Meanwhile, in other pandemic-related developments in Russia today,
· A majority of Russians said that they do believe the coronavirus was developed as a biological weapon (regnum.ru/news/3301728.html).
· Police are now using street cameras to track down and arrest those who attack officials for trying to enforce mask requirements (regnum.ru/news/3301461.html).
· Muslim leaders tell faithful to stay home to avoid infection while some Russian Orthodox hierarchs say Russians should come to church to get protection from the virus (capost.media/news/obshchestvo/veruyushchim-zapretili-poseshchat-bogosluzheniya-v-dagestane/ and ahilla.ru/syzranskij-episkop-prizval-hodit-v-hramy-chtoby-izbavitsya-ot-koronavirusa/).
· The government denied rumors that all doctors are to be mobilized to fight the pandemic (newsib.net/novosti/mediki-ne-podtverzhdayut-sluxi-o-mobilizacii-vrachej-iz-za-covid-19.html).
· A large number of ethnic festivals generally held in the summer months have again been cancelled this year (nazaccent.ru/content/35962-etnoleto-2021-aktualizirovannyj-vishlist-festivalej-i-prazdnikov.html).
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