Russia has admitted that the coronavirus death toll is more than three times higher than previously reported.
New figures show that more than 186,000 Russians have died from the virus, up from 55,265 the country has officially reported.
This means that Russia has the third highest number of deaths, ahead of India, and sits only behind the US and Brazil.
Russia has reported more than three million infections since the pandemic began, but its comparatively low death rate raised eyebrows.
President Vladimir Putin said this was because the country coped so well with the pandemic, but others said it was due in part to the fact that an autopsy had to list COVID-19 as the leading cause of death in order for it to be counted .
According to a report by the AFP news agency, the number of deaths from all reasons rose by 229,700 on Monday between January and November compared to the same period last year.
And Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Tatiana Golikova said “more than 81%” of those increased mortality was due to COVID-19, which means more than 186,000 Russians had died from the virus during that time.
Your assessment has not yet been reflected in any of Russia’s official coronavirus numbers.
Russia’s restrictions have been minor compared to many other countries, and Putin said if people follow the rules, lockdowns like in Europe won’t be required.
Like many other countries, Russia has high hopes for vaccinations, especially the Sputnik V jab, named after the Soviet satellite.
High-risk workers aged 16 to 60 with no chronic illness were first called up at the beginning of the program in December, but those over 60 were called up this past weekend.
700,000 doses have been reportedly released, although there are no official figures on how many people have been vaccinated and there are concerns about high levels of vaccine skepticism.