Photograph: Fusion Medical Animation via Unsplash

Photograph: Fusion Medical Animation via Unsplash

Russia is facing a new wave of coronavirus. According to official data, the death rate is increasing: if on September 15,792 people died, this figure reached 984 people for the day of October 13. In total, the official website dedicated to the coronavirus counts almost 220,000 deaths since the beginning of the epidemic. The number of new cases is also increasing: 28,717 new cases on October 13, compared to 18,841 cases on September 15. However, these official figures are probably too “rosy”. The State Statistics Office gives more frightening figures: since the beginning of the year, 254,221 people have died from COVID, to which must be added the 144,691 victims of the year 2020, that is to say almost 400,000 deaths.

Why such frightening figures? First of all, vaccination in Russia is refused by a considerable part of the population. As of October 13, 2021, only 31% of the population has received two vaccines, and 34.2% at least one vaccine. If the current rate of vaccination is maintained, it will take 385 days to reach 70% of the population. Second, the authorities have not done much to stop the epidemic. Even today, facing the disastrous rise in contamination, the government and regional authorities are limiting themselves to rather light measures: no containment, mandatory vaccination for certain professions and in certain regions only, and distance learning for schoolchildren and students.

If the government has decided not to touch the economic life of the country, this is mainly due to its refusal to compensate workers for the loss of jobs or forced unemployment. While Russia receives incredible revenues from the dramatic increase in gas and oil prices, Putin, as a “good manager”, prefers to invest in huge military maneuvers and the creation of new high-performance weapons. As the Rosbalt agency writes, “In Russia everything is quiet, graves are being dug without making too much noise. Almost a thousand people die every day, but it seems that nobody is worried about it.”

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