Public health is a convenient pretext for extending authoritarian controls.
- 67.4 Public Health
- 26.4 Financial
- 16 Fact-Based
Russia has a relatively weak score, with strong public health policy undone by weak financial support, limitations on press freedom, and spread of misinformation about the pandemic.
Russia was relatively strong in pre-pandemic preparedness but is not a wealthy country, and it scores near the median for hospital beds and healthcare quality and access to care.
- Debt/GDP ratio 14.6%
- GDP/capita $30,820
- Gini coefficient (out of 100) 37.5
- Infant mortality rate (out of 1,000 live births) 6
- Healthcare access score (out of 100) 71.7
- Hospital beds/1,000 People 59.1
Government ResponseSelect a data point for more information
(Data points represent policy level as of Mar 15.)
Public Health Directives
Russia has had strong public health policy, owing to restrictions on social gatherings, although it initially limited who could get tested and has little emergency healthcare spending related to COVID-19.
- Stay at home order 1
- Public gathering restrictions 3
- School closings 0
- Public event cancellations 2
- Testing policy 2
- Emergency healthcare investments/capita $19.87
- Travel restrictions 3
- Tests/1,000 people 791.6
- Contact tracing 0
Russia’s financial response was significantly below the median; its debt support was strong, but its stimulus was small, and it had very little income support.
- Financial stimulus as share of GDP 6.3%
- Income support 2
- Debt forebearance 0
Russia scores low in this category, as it has propagated false information on COVID-19 and has greatly limited press freedom in response to the pandemic.
- Reliance on science/fact based information 2
- Press freedom 3
COVID-19 Status as of Mar 15
Russia's in-country status is strong, with a fairly low death rate and low positivity rate; limited communication of facts and restrictions on press freedom regarding COVID-19 raise concerns about the accuracy of the data.
- Total deaths 9,474
- Death rate per 100K 64.9
- Total cases 4,350,728
- Cases per 100K 425
- Percent of positive tests 3.3
- Change in positivity rates -3.3
|1||Jun 08||Retail and restaurants start to reopen (varies by region)||61.47|
|2||Jun 22||Final restrictions are lifted, including on gyms and restaurants||51.98|
|3||Sep 01||Schools reopen||32.00|
|4||Oct 27||Mask mandate||111.98|
|5||Nov 13||Clubs, bars, restaurants must close at 11 pm in Moscow||148.81|
- Russians skeptical of the Sputnik V vaccine: Despite vaccine rollouts, only four million Russians have received the Sputnik V vaccine. Russians, especially the youth, are skeptical about the safety of the vaccine, given the incomplete clinical trials and growing perception that COVID-19 is no longer a threat. The government insists that there is no deficit of vaccine for domestic use. Read More
- Sputnik V has 92 percent efficacy in trial: Scientists have deemed the vaccine to be safe and to offer complete protection against hospitalization and death, working similarly to the Oxford-AstraZeneca and Janssen vaccines. It joins the ranks of proven vaccines alongside those of Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, and Janssen. Read More
- Russia trying to undermine confidence in other COVID-19 vaccines: The U.S. State Department found that Russian intelligence agencies are launching a disinformation campaign to undermine the global public's trust in western COVID-19 vaccines. Publications that act as fronts for Russian intelligence play up vaccines' risk of side effects, question their efficacy, and emphasize other false and misleading claims. Read More
- First European production agreement made with Russia: A Swiss pharmaceutical company, ADIENNE Pharma & Biotech, will produce the Sputnik V vaccine at its Italian facilities, in the first European production agreement for the Russian vaccine. Read More
- Russia begins vaccinations but lacks supply: Rollout of the Sputnik V began in Russia in December, but currently only two million doses are available for the country of 142 million people. Read More
- False news law limited press freedom: Press freedom in Russia has been severely curtailed by the passage of a law that makes spreading "false information" about COVID-19 punishable by up to five years in prison. The law is similar to those passed in Hungary and India. Read More
- Government likely consolidating power through travel restrictions: Putin has been accused of using the pandemic to consolidate his power and control over the country. In addition to the constitutional amendment, campaigners have condemned the implementation of a new 'digital pass' system which requires Russians to get permission to travel by vehicle or public transport due to the pandemic. Read More
Compared with Other Arctic States
Per 1M 3,166
Canada has a relatively strong score, with poor public health policy countered by a continued reliance on fact-based communication.
19.9United States 29,495,424
Per 1M 55,333
Still battling widespread COVID-19 cases and deaths, which were exacerbated by the former administration's limited use of facts and science, limited emergency healthcare spending, and limited debt relief, the Biden administration, by contrast, is taking aggressive action to combat the virus, although it may take time for the score to reflect these changes.
Per 1M 791
Norway scores just below the median, pulled down by its weak public health and financial response scores, despite a strong reliance on facts and a free press.
Per 1M 3,938
Despite being known for a relatively strong public healthcare system, Sweden has been hit hard with cases; the country’s lack of stay-at-home orders and school closures, limited testing, and few gathering restrictions overshadowed its financial support, reliance on facts, and accountability with an open press.
Further Reading From Foreign Policy
Be the source of actionable insight.
Select one of the subscription options below to read the full Covid-19 Global Response Index. Unlock even more global intelligence with a subscription to FP Insider.
Already an FP Insider? Log In
Looking for group access? Contact us directly
Statistics and government response factors available on each country profile include:
- Debt to GDP ratio
- Infant mortality rates
- Hospital beds per 1,000 people
- Gini coefficients measuring inequality
- Health access and quality
COVID-19 Public Health Directives:
- Stay-at home orders
- School-closing policy
- Public-gathering restrictions
- Cancellation of public events
- Testing policy and rates per 1,000 people
- Emergency healthcare spending per capita
- Travel restrictions
- Contact tracing
COVID-19 Financial Response:
- Stimulus package as a share of GDP
- Income support
- Instances of misinformation by leadership
- Limitations on press freedom, censorship
Current/Historic In-Country COVID-19 Status:
- Death rates per 1 million
- Case rates per 1 million