Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Russians Fear Many Pandemic Restrictions Will Remain in Place Permanently

Paul Goble

            Staunton, June 26 – That resistance to vaccinations and pandemic restrictions reflects Russians’ distrust of their government is now common ground (, but there is an additional factor at work, one that may be leading to more resistance even among those who accept vaccinations and restrictions as rational steps.

That is the fear that the Kremlin will keep in place any restrictions long after the pandemic has ended because of the powers such restrictions give the regime over the population (

Today, Russian officials reported registering 21,665 new cases and 619 new deaths from the coronavirus, both new highs in the current surge, with Moscow city and oblast accounting for more than half of both, as the pandemic continues to intensify across most of the country ( and

Legal provisions allowing employers to dismiss employees who don’t get vaccinated have sparked widespread negative comment online and forced the Kremlin to deny rumors that these will be extended to government employees as well ( and

Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin says the current surge reflects the arrival of new strains of the virus and that the only way out is either massive vaccinations or a return to a lockdown ( and City officials are already tightening enforcement of mask requirements (

More regions are running short of vaccine, including Udmurtia which has suspended its vaccination program until more arrives. Irina Yarovaya, deputy speaker of the Duma is demanding that the government provide more vaccines to the regions ( and

Russia’s unions have joined with Russian employer organizations to call for universal vaccinations, but some experts are demanding that the government assume responsibility for any negative consequences arising from the shots ( and

Meanwhile, in other pandemic-related developments,

·         Russians are angry about the ways in which officials ignore their own restrictions in small ways as in not wearing required masks or in large ones such as staging enormous school-leaving ceremonies at a time of pandemic ( and

·         A new campaign has been launched against those who purchase fake vaccination certificates which points out that this is both senseless and dangerous (

·         And one commentator has suggested that anti-vaxxers are responsible for putting 100,000 Russians in their graves (

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