Russia’s “Sputnik V” COVID Vaccine A Surprise Global Hit | ZeroHedge

07-02-21 10:30:00,

Bloomberg, one of the most implicitly pro-western media outlets in existence, has finally admitted, after months of promoting skepticism, that Russian COVID-19 vaccine trail data published by The Lancet shows that the Kremlin might have a surprise international success. Just days after NYT columnist Thomas Friedman accused President Putin of trusting “what comes out of the ground more than the stuff that might come out of his people’s heads,” Bloomberg reports that 20 countries, including key markets like India and Brazil, are already lining up to buy the vaccine.

http://www.zerohedge.com/

Source: Bloomberg

With an efficacy rate above 90%, Russia’s vaccine, developed by the country’s Gamelaya Institute with support from Russia’s sovereign wealth fund, has been found to be more effective than China’s, which is why several countries – including EU member Hungary, are lining up to buy it.

At least 20 countries have approved the inoculation for use, including European Union member-state Hungary, while key markets such as Brazil and India are close to authorizing it. Now Russia is setting its sights on the prized EU market as the bloc struggles with its vaccination program amid supply shortages.

In the global battle to defeat a pandemic that’s claimed 2.3MM lives in little more than a year, the race to obtain vaccines has assumed geopolitical significance as governments seek to emerge from the huge social and economic damage caused by lockdowns imposed to limit the spread of the virus. That’s giving Russia an edge as one of a handful of countries where scientists have produced an effective defense.

The story quoted the head of the Russian sovereign wealth fund which financed the vaccine project.

“This is a watershed moment for us,” Kirill Dmitriev, chief executive officer of the state-run Russian Direct Investment Fund, which backed Sputnik V’s development and is in charge of its international roll-out, said in an interview.

Regardless of the success of the vaccine, Bloomberg adds it won’t do much to change Putin’s reputation in the West.

Sputnik’s success won’t change hostility toward Putin among Western governments, though it could strengthen Russia’s geopolitical clout in regions such as Latin America,

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Head of Russia’s national health watchdog says shutting down economy to prevent spread of Covid-19 is pointless & makes no sense

14-10-20 08:34:00,

The top official at Russia’s state health watchdog believes that there is no point in suspending the economy to fight coronavirus. Anna Popova’s comments came after the Kremlin said a second lockdown isn’t even being considered.

Speaking at a coronavirus event at well-known university RANEPA, on Tuesday, Rospotrebnadzor boss Anna Popova explained that Russia has quite a low rate of Covid-19 per capita, and therefore there is no sense in taking drastic measures. Currently, there are few restrictions in the world’s largest country with bars, restaurants, and shops open as usual. 

“Despite the fact that we see a growth in cases, today, in Russia, we are not talking about blocking the economy,” Popova said. “We do not see any point in it.”

In addition, she noted that Covid-19 testing has not dropped off at any point, even during the summer. Statistics from the country’s official coronavirus center show that Russia has carried out over 51 million tests, fourth globally, behind the three most populated countries, China, the US, and India.

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Could Europe’s largest city go back into lockdown? With Covid-19 cases rising, Moscow speculation says extreme measures imminent

According to Popova, over the last week, the average daily rate for new coronavirus cases is eight per 100,000 people. This is much better than in other countries such as Israel (54), France (28), and the Netherlands (27), which are all more than three times worse.

Earlier this year, in the spring, the country saw some of the world’s strictest measures, with Moscow residents being restricted from leaving their apartments for anything other than food, medical help, or walking a dog. The restrictions were partially lifted on June 16, with cafes and restaurants being allowed to open terraces. With many business owners still battling the consequences of Russia’s lockdown, another closure of the economy could be a hammer blow.

Last week, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov stressed the need for Russians to wear masks and comply with all measures, warning that numbers will rise if citizens refuse to follow the rules. Previously, Peskov had denied that a second lockdown was even being considered.

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Ground the planes, again? Russian senator threatens border re-closure as Covid-19 case numbers approach pre-summer peak

In the past 24 hours,

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Russia’s New Constitution: What You Need to Know — Hive

18-07-20 07:27:00,

Russia's Constitution: What You Need to Know

by James Corbett
corbettreport.com
July 18, 2020

Remember way back three lifetimes ago (a.k.a. at the beginning of this year) when I wrote about Russia’s possible regime change?

If you don’t remember (or just need a refresher), Russian President Vladimir Putin kicked off 2020 with some bold moves, using his annual address to the nation’s Federal Assembly to “propose a number of constitutional amendments for discussion.” These “amendments” were not just administrative, either, but touched on some core issues, like forbidding top-level government officials from having foreign residence or citizenship and, infamously, repealing the clause limiting the president to two consecutive terms.

And then, even more spectacularly, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and the entire Russian cabinet resigned after the speech (although Putin’s key cabinet officials were reappointed a week later).

As you can imagine, there was much speculation at the time about what was going on, precisely. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Western pundits’ opinions converged on the idea that this was some sort of ploy by Putin to basically stay in power for the rest of his life (or at least a good chunk of it).

You might also recall that I was less sure of that conclusion, going so far as to state “it seems most likely that Putin will step down as planned in 2024 and the next president will have less power to shape the course of Russian politics single-handedly.”

Well, silly me. Looks like I was wrong. Maybe. You see, the Russian government held a national vote on the proposed constitutional reforms earlier this month and they passed with 77.8% support.

So what do the reforms state, specifically, and how will they impact the Russian Federation going forward?

Well, let’s look at some of the 206 amendments that have just been made to the existing Russian constitution, which represent the fifth set of reforms to the document since it was first adopted in the post-Soviet tumult of 1993.

  • Article 79 and Article 125 have been amended to state that international law and the decisions of international organizations cannot override the Russian constitution.

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Luongo: Russia’s Political Stability Ensured While The West Sinks

08-07-20 07:19:00,

Authored by Tom Luongo via Gold, Goats, ’n Guns blog

Despite what American and European commentators may think, there really is a deep desire among people to vote for their own sovereignty. And that impulse was on full display last week with the announcement of the results of Russia’s public vote to approve the changes to its constitution.

The final tally put the vote at 78% in favor with a 65% voter turnout for the referendum. These are the most sweeping changes to Russia’s constitution since it was ratified back in 1993, which vested the President with immense power.

And while the final package of reforms differed in one important aspect from the original one – allowing for a president to serve more than two ‘consecutive’ terms – the over-arching theme of the changes was to devolve power out of the presidency putting more power in the hands of the elected representatives in the Duma.

The president’s cabinet is to be drawn from the Duma rather than the appointed by the president, while the State Council has been officially added to the constitution which can implement presidential edicts directly to the regions. In effect, there is now a greater balance (and tension) between these various branches of government as the president loses control over appointing his cabinet but strengthens his ability to bypass the elected parliament.

What was clear at the outset of this process was that Putin was trying to prepare his succession while minimizing the potential for another ‘foreign puppet’ to wield the immense power of the Russian presidency, as it was under Boris Yeltsin.

Putin was looking to retire in 2024, at 71, with an eye of maintaining a strong presence in Russian politics by leading the Security Council, which with these reforms has a more direct role in shaping military and diplomatic policy than it did before.

Back in December I did a podcast with Alexander Mercouris of The Duran where we discussed these potential changes in detail (which pre-dates the changes to the president’s term limit) which I think is important to review at this point since the changes are now law.

No matter what political perspective you come from there will be valid criticisms of these changes seeing the potential for abuse,

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‘It’s Just the Flu, It’s All BS’ – Russia’s Top Official COVID Doctor Admits in Bombshell Invu

31-05-20 10:18:00,

“It’s all exaggerated. It’s an acute respiratory disease (i.e. the flu) with minimal mortality. Why has the whole world been destroyed? That I don’t know.”

RI Staff Fri, May 29, 2020 | 410 words 10,077

This post first appeared on Russia Insider

it is difficult to overstate how important this is. This man is the equivalent of Fauci in the US, or perhaps Dr. Deborah Birx. The 1.5 hour long interview below is only in Russian, but if you can understand it, it is well worth watching, because a lot of important information is covered.

The interviewer is Ksenia Sobchak, who is very liberal – think of her as like a Russian Rachel Maddow. Like liberals in the West, she very much wants to believe the COVID situation is much worse than it really is. Myasnikov explains to her in detail why it is in fact very difficult to assign ‘cause of death’ in most cases, because there are usually several, in addition to a lot of other things.

It is a great interview, in which the good doctor finally loses his patience and tells her its not nearly as dangerous as people think, and that the whole world has over-reacted. He also insists that the death numbers in the West are way over-counted. 

He’s right.

This interview is also a great example of the high level of journalism in Russia – this is much more genuine, open, exciting, and authentic than most of what is on mainstream media in the West. Just watch a few seconds of the intro, and you will get the idea.

From the Moscow Times:

Russia’s head of coronavirus information has suggested that global anxiety over the pandemic is misplaced, his latest controversial comment after saying that the infection would kill as many people as it needs to.

Doctor and television presenter Alexander Myasnikov was appointed in April to his new role of informing Russians about coronavirus treatment and prevention methods and to battle “fake news” about Covid-19. After calling the country’s reported low death rate a “Russian miracle,” Myasnikov said last week that “those meant to die will die” from it.

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