Russia Orders Shutdowns After Record Daily COVID-19 Deaths

( – President Joe Biden’s administration is imposing draconian COVID-19 rules on the US – but that’s nothing compared to what Russians are facing. As coronavirus deaths spike to new record highs, strongman leader Vladimir Putin is ruthlessly shutting down the whole economy.

On October 20, President Putin ordered Russian employers to close down for a week, from October 30 to November 7. The dramatic move is Russia’s harshest lockdown measure yet, but it’s been provoked by a series of record high daily death totals. With just 32% of the population vaccinated, and herd immunity nowhere near being achieved, the country is very vulnerable to new strains of the disease.

On Wednesday, the health ministry reported over 34,000 new infections and 1,028 deaths. The UK, with a 66% full vaccination rate, is reporting more infections but an average of about 130 deaths a day.

Now, the end of October will see a “non-working week” in an attempt to slow the spread of the virus, and Putin says the worst-hit regions should close down this Saturday. It’s a desperate bid to reduce the infection rate, but what does it mean for Russia’s creaking economy? Can the country survive a week’s lost earnings – and if it can’t, will Putin lash out at the West to distract angry Russians from their problems?

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