A thousand and one tales about Covid-19 and Sputnik-V from the Kremlin

03.08.2021 Off By Editor
A thousand and one tales about Covid-19 and Sputnik-V from the Kremlin

Seeing the current situation, it’s safe to say that every country has vaccination dissidents. It is up to each and every one of us to decide on which side we stand. It seems that in Latvia and elsewhere in Europe most people support vaccination and are skeptical of the information spread by anti-vaxxers. In this situation, we can consider anti-vaxxers as being vaccination dissidents. The situation for our vast Eastern neighbor is much more complicated and outright sad.

The Russian Federation has found itself in a situation where it’s no longer possible to determine whether a person is a saboteur, dissident, freethinker or and individualist. Despite the vaccination campaign and Covid-19 restrictions, people in Russia are in no rush to get their vaccines: neither Western ones, nor the “useless pride” of Putin’s regime – Sputnik-V.

However, it seems that the leadership of Russia isn’t all that worried about the chaos present in the country. Evidently, because Russia is unable to produce the necessary amount of Sputnik-V vaccines to satisfy the demand of the 146 million people living there, in some distant corners of Russia people are being deceived and injected with a saline solution instead of the vaccine.

This is done to “save” Sputnik-V vaccines so that they can be sold on the international market and so that the Kremlin may continue saying that it is the most effective vaccine in the world.

The Kremlin’s media outlets are actively reporting that Vladimir Putin has been vaccinated against Covid-19 with the Sputnik-V vaccine. On 6 July, the research center of the website www.superjob.ru published the results of a survey on the vaccination situation in Russia. The questions of the survey mainly concerned whether people trust the government, with one of the questions being: “Did the president’s statements affect your decision to receive the vaccine?”

The results were quite remarkable – 7% of those surveyed said that they will get the same vaccine as Putin, 26% stated that the president’s choice of vaccine will not affect their decision, 40% of respondents said that they will under no circumstances receive the Sputnik-V vaccine, while 27% were unable to give a definite answer.
It looks like Putin’s ratings have crashed. We can only speculate about the correlation between the data and the trust of the Russian public in their government, but the data does indicate a serious drop. If we assume that only 7% of Russians trust the government, not 33% as reported by the Levada Center or the completely exaggerated 64.4% reported by the Russian Public Opinion Research Center, the situation in Russia becomes even sadder.

At the same time, despite Russia’s propaganda media working tirelessly to propagate that the “head of the state” has been vaccinated against Covid-19 with a locally produced vaccine, people are having a hard time to believe this, as unintentionally or intentionally leaked information indicates that Putin was actually vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine. Even Moscow epidemiologist Vasily Vlasov in an interview said that the president has other means – besides vaccines – to protect himself and that it’s his own business which vaccine he chooses.

He also remarked sarcastically that, considering that the president is driving a Mercedes, why couldn’t he choose the Pfizer vaccine? Exactly – why would he not do that? I already wrote that many Russian politicians are being vaccinated at a medical facility that offers foreign medicines. Why should the president be a patriot and choose Sputnik-V, when he can freely access a much more effective and safer vaccine? Leave Sputnik-V to foreigners, i.e. the inhabitants of the Middle East and the Far East.

All this makes me think that in Russia everything is determined by your position and status, i.e. how close you are to the ruler, while the regular people are seen as a herd of dumb sheep who don’t deserve to be treated like humans. This is supported by information recently made public that the Saratov Oblast Ministry of Health has prohibited sex for those who have received the vaccine.

Deputy Minister of Health of Saratov Oblast Denis Grayfer (Денис Грайфер) announced that sex is an activity that requires a lot of energy, therefore he must warn those who have received the vaccine not to engage in physically demanding activities, including sex.

He added that physical activities are not completely prohibited, but people should avoid becoming exhausted. Considering the fact that a lot of Russians live in difficult conditions and make their living by doing physical work, sex is the last thing a vaccinated Russian citizen should worry about.

This sounds more like blatant mockery of the Russian people. For an outsider this creates the impression that all the Russians do is mate like bunnies until they die from exhaustion. This is unbelievably disrespectful towards people doing physical work. However, in this case the local governments and small public institutions benefit from the situation, because there isn’t a lot of official information on the clinical trials and side effects of the Sputnik-V vaccine. For instance, at one time Russian authorities urged those who have received the vaccine to abstain from alcohol, but later “changed their mind”. Why wouldn’t this be the case for everything – to keep the public in the dark so it’s easier to circumnavigate unwanted questions or objections. If someone dies from Sputnik-V, we can just say it’s their own fault because the person decided to take part in erotic sporting activities.

Perhaps this is a way to increase the official number of vaccinated people.

It doesn’t matter whether the vaccine works, whether it’s even safe or whether you’re injected with saline – Russian authorities will never admit their failure. That’s why even the church is taking part in the vaccination campaign, despite Putin’s Russia being a “secular state” according to the Constitution of Russia. Consequently, receiving the vaccine is not a sin or the betrayal of god, but instead a safe way of not ending up in hell. This goes against what some of our local sectarians are proclaiming – they believe that even those who have been vaccinated must turn to god and Jesus Christ because faith will neutralize the vaccine and we will all be free.

I will add that not so long ago the Russian Orthodox Church was against vaccination. A public statement by the Russian Orthodox Church argued that it’s ethically unacceptable that the vaccine contains cell lines derived from human embryos, especially the HEK 293 cells (human embryonic kidney 293 cells). Producers of Sputnik-V replied saying that although the HEK 293 cells were used in the production of Sputnik-V, the vaccine itself doesn’t contain the said component. This is, of course, true. But later it was clarified that no embryos were involved in the production of the vaccine.

This was enough for the church to completely change its stance – if previously you were a sinner if you decided to get vaccinated, now you are a sinner if you refuse vaccination.

They are also ignoring the fact that the European regulator the EMA hasn’t yet made a decision on approving the vaccine, since Russia is yet to send all of the necessary documents. The only information Russian propaganda media outlets are citing is an article in a “scientific journal” based on assumptions and lacking any real evidence. This proves that Russia’s leaders don’t care for the Russian people or anyone else – the vaccination campaign and the Kremlin’s attempts to enter the international market are not measures of combating Covid-19, but instead measures of making money and polishing the Kremlin’ image.

Forbes recently published a list of 100 richest officials and politicians in Russia.

Their combined wealth has grown by 10 billion rubles (135 million US dollars). The wealth of the top 10 richest people exceeds the annual budgets of 13 Russian regions with a combined population of almost six million people. Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova (Татьяна Голикова), who is in charge of vaccination, was ranked 42nd. At the same time, in 2020 the wealth of regular Russians decreased by 3%. It seems that Putin has finally succeeded in turning Russia into a depot for raw materials – he exports oil, gas and now also the coronavirus along with useless vaccines just to line his own pockets while the Russian people are suffering.

Russia has found itself in a situation where there are less people who trust the vaccination process than those who don’t. As I already said, the Russian government and its institutions are currently dissidents in the country, since the majority of the public are voicing an opinion opposite to theirs. Moreover, most loyal to the regime are those who are close to the higher echelons of power, i.e. people who have no intention of getting the locally produced vaccine. Meanwhile, regular people are being treated like sheep and forced to believe the church which is saying that if you don’t get the vaccine, you will go to hell.

The church is now fine with the fact that the production of the vaccine saw use of aborted human embryos (which, by the way, is a sin) because the producers said that no embryos were actually used. Russians are allowed to drink as much alcohol as they want, but are advised against having sex as it may lead to death. Say what you want, but if this isn’t proof of the Kremlin’s moral decline – what is? The Kremlin is currently reaching for the gold on top of the mountain, leaving everything and everyone else to decay and wither away.


Baiba Zile
independent Latvian journalist