Saturday, June 5, 2021

To Protect Putin, 50,000 Tests Given to Participants and Staff at St. Petersburg Forum

Paul Goble

            Staunton, June 3 – Even though the Russian president has been vaccinated, officials gave 50,548 coronavirus tests to participants and staff at the St. Petersburg International Business Forum he is attending. They found “more than 500” tested “positive” and presumably these were excluded from any contact with Putin (

            The Russian government said today that it had registered 8933 new cases of infection and 393 new deaths from the coronavirus over the last 24 hours with the situation easing in the capitals but spiking elsewhere (, and

            Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin said that he intends to lift the final restrictions this fall, and culture officials said they expected theaters to be allowed at that time to be able to operate at 100 percent capacity ( and

            But officials and experts remained divided about the pandemic’s prospects in Russia, with some predicting a continuing decline in cases and others warning that new strains could send the numbers up (,, and

            How much data will be released on the vaccination effort remains open with health ministry officials acknowledging that they haven’t decided which data to release and when (

            Elsewhere on the vaccination front, Moscow said it was now testing a vaccine designed to work against all strains of the virus (, Russia is gearing up to produce about 20 million doses of the vaccine each month (, and some are blaming doctors for the reluctance of Russians to get the shots (

            Russia may soon be offering vaccinations to foreigners living in the country, but the government is still opposed to any plans to require university students to get the shots before returning to classes ( and

            And speaking at the St. Petersburg forum, Putin said that the Russian economy is now exiting the difficult period of the pandemic (

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

·         A Novaya gazeta investigation found that many Russian vaccines were rushed into use without full testing but powered by claims not supported by the evidence (

·         Russian orthographers continue to add new words to the Russian language as a result of the pandemic with variants often arising as a result of the Cyrillization of words from Latin-script languages (

·         The editors of Nezavisimaya gazeta say that the reasons a majority of Russians do not want to get  vaccinated include the fact that “in the Russian Federation live not only patriots, optimists and defenders of the regime” and that instead, there are “signs of deep social diseases, universal distrust, anger, archaic attitudes, and divisions which leave the country incapable of a wise collective defense” (

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