“When you are told that Russia is a unique civilization, and no Western patterns can be imposed on it, you should recall that this contradicts the principle of universality,” Abbas Gallyamov said. “We offer one thing to the government and another to ordinary people. That is commonplace in Russia.”
It is difficult to say how many more challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic the Russians will have to face. However, one thing is clear in advance. No matter how complicated the situation, the rank-and-file should not count on the principle of universality and equality. This applies to absolutely everything — conditions of treatment, quality of medical care, financial support, and other things.
Moreover, according to political scientist Abbas Gallyamov, in the near future, the principle of social stratification is likely to be applied to another key area in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Namely, to the vaccination of Russia’s population.
In general, the arrival of a Russian vaccine against the novel coronavirus has been shown off as a major accomplishment of the Russian science and medicine. The Sputnik V vaccine was called the first drug in the world to facilitate the formation of herd immunity to the new dangerous strain. It also might enable Russia to act as a kind of savior for a huge number of countries. Since then, of course, a huge number of people have been eagerly awaiting the universal vaccination announced by the authorities. The fact that Vladimir Putin has recently instructed Deputy Prime Minister Tatiana Golikova to organize the work as quickly as possible gave hope to many.
Not Quite Vaccine Yet
This was done in an emphatic manner which is typical for the Kremlin. Apparently, there was a reason why numerous media outlets drew attention to a fragment from an online meeting with the President. There one can see both a timid attempt of Tatyana Golikova to make an objection and the strict and confident response of Vladimir Putin. She suggested reporting on the readiness of the country for vaccination first. "You’d better not report but just start mass vaccination of people in the short term. You are reporting all the time. Now it is time to start working," said the Russian President. This statement once again underlined his determination in the fight against the contagious virus, which is annoying so many people.
Meanwhile, Vladimir Putin himself has refused to be vaccinated. Of course, this information became known to the media thanks to certain reporters, not through the Kremlin's system of "correct" newsworthy events. This situation even forced Dmitry Peskov, the presidential press secretary, to justify his actions by saying that Vladimir Putin could not be a volunteer before the mass vaccination began. Moreover, in his statement, Peskov also made a slip that the leader of a huge country could not be given a “non-certified” vaccine. Which means it is not a proper vaccine yet and therefore it is not quite suitable for the President.
In this context, a question arises. What is behind Putin's confident and demonstrative demands for Golikova to start the vaccination immediately? In doing so, people are supposed to think of "bad court nobility" who cannot work for the good of the country until the head of state literally forces them. However, it turns out that the “poke” premature, and the vaccine has no certificate.
“One Thing for Government, Another for Ordinary People”
One way or another, the Russian political scientist Abbas Gallyamov has drawn attention to the fact how politicians in Western countries behave in the run-up to the vaccination. Moreover, not only politicians of more or less the same age as Putin, which immediately sets aside any possibility of speculations on the issue.
"Barack Obama, Josh Bush, and Bill Clinton – all of them have said that they would publicly take the vaccine themselves before the vaccination campaigns began. Vladimir Putin, as we know, refused to participate in this event, and simply instructed to start vaccinating the Russians," Gallyamov writes on his account on the social nets.
According to him, this circumstance only shows that Russia lacks the principle of universality whenever it comes to ordinary people and to representatives of the authorities.
“When you are told that Russia is a unique civilization, and there is no point to impose Western patterns on it, it should be recalled that this contradicts the principle of universality,” Gallyamov said. “We offer one thing to the government and another to ordinary people. The practice is commonplace in Russia.”