What’s the point of being first, if you’ll end up last

09.07.2021 Off By Editor
What’s the point of being first, if you’ll end up last

A lot of people try to propagate that Latvia is a failed state and that Russia is doing far better. However, the majority of people that voice such an opinion still choose to live in Latvia and not Putin’s Russia. Bizarre, isn’t it? But tastes differ and that’s completely normal.

I have already looked at life conditions in Russia and Latvia, for instance, when it comes to pensions or salaries. The average salary and pension are higher in Latvia than in Russia, but we know that Latvia has no mineral resources that could boost the state budget, while Russia has them in abundance.

But we will not be discussing rare minerals, as everything is clear in that regard. We will look at Russia’s success in combating Covid-19. I won’t repeat what we already know, i.e. that Russia was the first to invent the vaccine, the first to begin the production of its vaccine and the first to launch the vaccination process.


If we look at a purely logical standpoint, after being so ahead of everyone Russia should be the country with the best Covid-19 situation – or at least doing better than Latvia.


So, what is the reality – what is the situation in Russia, a country that boasted about being the first to invent, produce and apply the vaccine? If you remember, Russia offered its vaccines to several countries, which could only mean that Russia had overcome the Covid-19 crisis. However, there wasn’t much more aside from promises, because Russia fulfilled only 8% of its commitments.1

Let’s forget about promises and other countries. What is the number of vaccinated people in Russia? It turns out Russia is far behind in this regard as well. In Latvia, 33.65% of the population have received the vaccine, while in Russia it’s only 13.47%.2 The numbers speak for themselves. I will remind you that Latvia didn’t invent or produce its own vaccine – meaning that there can be no talk of Putin’s success story.

Some might argue that Russia wasn’t able to take care of its citizens because of international sanctions and that otherwise Russia would be an example for other countries.

Okay, let’s agree for a moment. But you must make conclusions yourselves. If the rest of the world believes that people should have the right to choose to receive the vaccine or not, Russia keeps it very simple, i.e. vaccination is mandatory and those who refuse to receive the vaccine can be fired.

St. Petersburg has become the eighth region in Russia where vaccination is mandatory for specific public groups. The other regions where vaccination is mandatory for those working in the service industry and other spheres are Moscow and the oblasts of Moscow, Leningrad, Tula, Kemerovo, Sakhalin and Tver.

Meanwhile, Minister of Labor and Social Protection Anton Kotyakov has announced that in the regions where vaccination is mandatory employers will be able to fire employees who have not been vaccinated without without any other justification.3 Interestingly, in May Putin said that there is no reason to implement mandatory vaccination.4 

So, did the boss say no, but his subordinates didn’t listen to him?

There’s no way that’s the case.
I must add that Putin previously had already announced that Russia has dealth with Covid-19.5 If this is true, why the need for mandatory vaccination? The reality is that while the majority of Europe can let out a sigh of relief as the spread of Covid-19 is slowing and many restrictions can be lifted, the situation is the opposite in Russia as it is reporting an increase in Covid-19 infections.6

I will not conclude by once again saying that Putin has blatantly lied to everyone. Instead, I will say that, when comparing the situations in Latvia and Russia when it comes to combating Covid-19, I’m very happy to be living in Latvia.


Independent journalist,
Zintis Znotiņš