Stanisław Żaryn, spokesman for Poland's minister in charge of the security services, said that the spread of the coronavirus was getting out of control in Russia, yet Moscow remained more concerned about waging disinformation campaigns against the West, including Poland.
In an interview with Polish state news agency PAP, Żaryn said that "Russian propaganda remains hostile towards the West" and “is heavily supported by the bulk of the state apparatus—from diplomats to the security services to Kremlin elites.”
At the same time, Russia is struggling to cope with the pandemic, with the death toll in the country reaching 6 million, the daily number of cases surpassing 20,000 and around 800 people dying every day, Żaryn said, adding that "these official figures may be significantly understated."
All this is despite Moscow's insistence that it is handling the pandemic effectively and helping other countries, Żaryn observed.
"The facts give the lie to this claim," he emphasised, asserting that "the Russian people appear to be in a catastrophic situation because they are struggling with the disease as well as with the systemic inadequacy of the Russian state.”
'Doubts over Moscow's vaccines'
Żaryn also told the Polish news agency that “doubts remain over the security and efficacy of Moscow's vaccines.”
The Russians themselves are wary of the jabs, and various countries, including those in Latin America, have pulled out of purchase deals, while Germany has refused to let the vaccines be manufactured on its soil, according to Żaryn.
Finally, he noted that the European Medicines Agency (EMA) is yet to register the Russian jabs in the European Union “as experts warn these are fraught with serious dangers.”
"If the Russian elites in the Kremlin fought COVID-19 with the same dedication they put into attacking the West and spreading propaganda, Russia would have overcome the pandemic a long time ago," Żaryn commented.
"Unfortunately, due to the ineptness of the Russian elites, more Russians are going to die," he predicted.