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The Russian president has said he opposes mandatory COVID-19 vaccination orders, but he has not stopped the many orders that have been in place in his country for months.
By the time word leaked that President Joe Biden would require all federal employees and millions of government contractors to be vaccinated against COVID-19, a claim was already circulating that Russian President Vladimir Putin had prohibited mandatory vaccinations for his country.
"President Putin BANS Mandatory Vaccinations in Russia: ‘We Are a Free Country.’"
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Legitimate news reports say Putin has said he opposes mandatory vaccines. But he has not stopped the many mandatory vaccination orders imposed by local and regional governments across his country for months.
The Washington Post reported from Moscow in July that, based on dictates from governmental authorities, workers in Russia could be suspended by their employers if they didn’t get vaccinated. It noted a communist-led rally in which several hundred people protested mandatory vaccines.
"Russian authorities appear squarely behind the measures that have taken shape in recent weeks: threats of harsh punishments for employers in retail and service businesses, such as transportation and restaurants, that fail to have at least 60% of their workers vaccinated, and of suspension for workers who refuse vaccines," the Post said.
"Many employers, particularly in small- and medium-sized business, gripe that Russian authorities have simply passed the buck — handing responsibility for vaccination effort on businesses, when it should belong to the state in a time of growing crisis….Although President Vladimir Putin keeps saying vaccines should not be mandatory, the effect for many Russians is just that."
The Associated Press reported from Moscow in June that 18 Russian regions made vaccinations mandatory for employees in certain sectors, such as government offices, retail, health care, education, restaurants and other service industries; and that Moscow authorities said companies should suspend without pay employees unwilling to get vaccinated.
Also in June, Reuters reported that Moscow city authorities ordered mandatory vaccinations for all workers with public-facing jobs — some 2 million people in the city, including hairdressers, retailers, taxi drivers, bank tellers, teachers and performers. Companies were given a month to ensure at least 60% of staff had received first doses, or face fines or temporary closure.
We rate the post False.
Instagram, post, Sept. 7, 2021
News Punch, "President Putin BANS Mandatory Vaccinations in Russia: ‘We Are a Free Country,’" Aug. 30, 2021
Washington Post, "Want to skip the vaccine in Russia? You could be suspended from work," July 28, 2021
Associated Press, "Russia mandates vaccinations for some as virus cases surge," June 25, 2021
New York Times, "As the Virus Rages, Putin Pushes Russians to Get a (Russian) Vaccine," Aug. 1, 2021
AFP, "Putin rejects mandatory Covid jabs as Russia sees record deaths," June 30, 2021
Reuters, "Moscow city orders compulsory COVID-19 shots for 2 million workers," June 16, 2021
Reuters, "Factbox: Countries making COVID-19 vaccines mandatory," Aug. 16, 2021
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