Thursday, June 17, 2021

Third Wave of Pandemic in Russia Projected to Be Socially ‘Explosive’

Paul Goble

            Staunton, June 15 –  Russian epidemiologists say  the third wave of the pandemic in Russia is likely to push the number of new infections daily to 25,000 or more by the end of the month and even more after that before any decline and that the numbers could jump far more ( and

            One reason for that is that the population is tired of restrictions, slow to get vaccinations, and distrustful of everything the government says, but another is that Russians can see that the anti-coronavirus programs in other countries are working far more effectively than the ones in their own (, and

            Russians also are aware that Moscow had a minimum of 2.5 months to prepare for the third wave – that is roughly the time Russia has lagged behind Europe in pandemic developments – and yet did little or nothing and now is being forced to reimpose draconian and often largely ineffective restrictions (

            The slowness of the Russian vaccination program means that more new strains of the virus are developing and spreading and Russians are using all kinds of means, including purchasing on the black market, fake vaccination certificates, in order to avoid the shots ( and

            Russian officials reported registering today 14,185 new cases of infection across the country over the last 24 hours, half of which came from Moscow city and oblast alone. New deaths stayed more or less the same, however, at 379, as the pandemic spread in ever more places ( and

            With the vaccination rate remaining stubbornly low and in some places declining, officials have offered all kinds of incentives from new cars in Moscow to lesser prizes elsewhere. But these have sparked more contempt than enthusiasm for the vaccination program (

            The one group where inoculations have been going up is among officials but even there the share vaccinated has remained at only about a third of the total population of this group, far lower than in the West (,,  and

            On the economic front, officials report that the economy has not recovered to pre-covid levels, a major reason that the business community is now pushing for an acceleration in vaccinations lest slowness there and the absence of significant government aid push the economy down further ( and

            Meanwhile, in other pandemic-related developments from Russia today,

·         The European Human Rights Court has taken up the case of a Petersburg woman who was forcibly put in a coronavirus ward despite testing negative for the disease (

·         Muscovites are evenly divided, 37 percent to 37 percent, on the value of the week off many of them have received in an effort to fight the pandemic (

·         Officials are requiring immigrants working on construction projects and new hires in the Moscow subway system to get the shots ( and

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