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Death records in Russia: Vladimir Putin caught up by his management of the Covid – teller report


Oct 22, 2021

POLITICS – Vladimir Putin ordered a week off Wednesday at the beginning of November and implored the many recalcitrant to be vaccinated. The Russian president wants to contain an outbreak of Covid-19 out of control. But also to breathe new life into its management of the epidemic, so far powerless.

A snub for the Kremlin. At a time when confinements have become an exception and the return to normalcy a rule in the four corners of the world, Vladimir Poutin, he sees the health situation escaping him. The Russian president declared this Thursday a week off throughout Russia, and the city hall of the capital closed all its services for eleven days. Goal ? Containing the coronavirus outbreak.

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Coronavirus: the pandemic shaking up the planet

Official figures leave little doubt as to the gravity of the situation. On Thursday, the country again broke its record for contaminations and deaths in the past 24 hours, with 1,036 new deaths and more than 36,000 new cases, respectively.

The total death toll has now reached more than 227,000 people, according to government figures, making Russia the most bereaved country in Europe. The national statistics agency, which has a broader definition of deaths from Covid, reported at the end of August a much worse toll: more than 400,000 deaths.

“Please be responsible”

Faced with a galloping epidemic, Vladimir Putin engaged in a delicate exercise of contrition on Wednesday, imploring the Russians to be vaccinated. “Please be responsible”, said the one according to whom “There are only two ways to get out of this period (epidemic): either by falling ill or by being vaccinated”.

Ironically, it was he, Vladimir Putin, who had proudly announced to the world that he had approved a vaccine against the coronavirus in August 2020, called Sputnik V, even before the end of clinical trials. Two more have since been authorized, in addition to a “light” version of Sputnik V in a single dose.

Less than a third of Russians fully vaccinated

However, the Russian president has never succeeded in convincing the majority of Russians to take the plunge. And this for many reasons. Already because the people are scalded by decades of Soviet and then Russian propaganda and budget cuts in the field of health. Sociologist Alexei Levinson of the Levada Center told AFP last May that Russians just don’t believe que the vaccine was able to pass all the tests “ and fear possible “side effects” while underestimating the risks of the disease.

This skepticism towards science also emerged last March in a poll by the independent Levada center: nearly two-thirds of Russians believed that the Covid-19 is a “biological weaponMan-made. As a result, less than a third of the estimated 144 million Russians are fully immunized.

Many are also scalded by decades of Soviet and then Russian propaganda, and believe that “political objectives” from the Kremlin, who wanted to announce a vaccine first, “are more valuable than public health”, according to Alexeï Levinson. Example ? During the summer of 2020, health risks were neglected in order to organize the vote on the amendments to the constitution, allowing Vladimir Putin to remain president until 2036.

“Verticality of power”

In addition, despite alarming daily reports for several months already, Vladimir Putin has always refused to adopt restrictive health measures or containment. Wearing a mask, however compulsory, is very uncertain in public places and distancing instructions are rarely observed. “Mistrust of the authorities and the medical sector, shattered by the reforms” in the 2000s as well as the lack of confidence in mortality statistics completed this rejection, noted Alexeï Levinson.

Finally, Vladimir Putin seems to be paying the price of a “verticality of power”, curbing the regional powers which have been placed under the control of Moscow. Regional powers now called to the rescue by the strongman of the Kremlin: the president gave this Wednesday the possibility to the regions to start earlier or to extend the week of leave if the epidemic situation warrants it.

Read also

  • Covid-19: faced with death records in Russia, Vladimir Putin declares a week off
  • Covid: Russia, Ukraine … the fourth wave breaks death records in the East

Turning a blind eye to an economic slowdown? Vladimir Putin had long refused to do so. Containment was never an eventuality. In April, he also said that “most important now [était] to ensure the growth of citizens’ incomes “.

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