Lockdowns Even In Hardest Hit Regions ‘Undesirable,’ Kremlin Says – OpEd


On the day that Russia set a new record for covid deaths within 24 hours – 929 – and regional governments were scrambling to try to bring the numbers down, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that any lockdown, even in the hardest hit regions, would be “an undesirable scenario.”

In doing so, the Kremlin is seeking to have it both ways, striking a popular pose on what it believes is the best way forward for the economy but condemning the federal subjects it has told to do what is necessary to bring the pandemic under control (regnum.ru/news/3390845.html and vedomosti.ru/society/news/2021/10/06/889965-nezhelatelnim-stsenariem).

Russian officials also reported registering 25,133 cases of covid infection over the past 24 hours as the pandemic continued to intensify in many places across the country and officials in the regions imposed new controls (t.me/COVID2019_official/3640 and  regnum.ru/news/society/3387415.html).

One weapon against the pandemic some had placed their hopes in – the availability of vaccines developed and produced abroad – now appears unlikely to help. According to a new poll, 87 percent of the Russians who have not yet been vaccinated say they don’t want shots of the foreign vaccines (regnum.ru/news/3390636.html).

Paul Goble

Paul Goble is a longtime specialist on ethnic and religious questions in Eurasia. Most recently, he was director of research and publications at the Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy. Earlier, he served as vice dean for the social sciences and humanities at Audentes University in Tallinn and a senior research associate at the EuroCollege of the University of Tartu in Estonia. He has served in various capacities in the U.S. State Department, the Central Intelligence Agency and the International Broadcasting Bureau as well as at the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Mr. Goble maintains the Window on Eurasia blog and can be contacted directly at [email protected] .

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