On Thursday, Russia reported 25,293 new infections, and it set a grim new record for daily deaths with 791 confirmed fatalities. Overall, Russia has officially identified more than 5.8 million COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began.
But despite an official ban on mass gatherings and other restrictions, many Russians are either ignoring or cheating on the rules. Videos have showed young people enjoying large parties...
Authorities have blamed everything from Russian nihilism to the sense of freedom that developed following the collapse of the Soviet Union for the shortcomings of the vaccine rollout. But surveys from independent pollsters show that mistrust of the government, and of its approval procedure for vaccines in particular, has grown so wide that a majority of Russians still say they don't want to get vaccinated.
"Why would I get vaccinated?" one man with fairly typical views told CBS News. "I'm a healthy man and never got sick, so I don't need it… If I get sick then I get sick, what's the difference? That's my personal choice."