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Kremlin Urges ‘Responsibility’ After Record Covid Deaths

The Russian president's spokesman Dmitry Peskov. Sergei Bobylev / TASS

The Kremlin called Tuesday on Russians to be "more responsible" and get vaccinated for Covid-19 as the country registered a record number of daily deaths from the virus.

The new high of 1,015 Covid-19 deaths was recorded over 24 hours, officials said Tuesday, bringing the country's official total to 225,325 — the highest in Europe.

Officials have been accused of downplaying the severity of the pandemic, and figures published by statistics agency Rosstat earlier in October showed more than 400,000 people had died in Russia as a result of coronavirus.

Only 35% of Russians are fully vaccinated, despite pleas from President Vladimir Putin.

"There is a tradition to blame everything on the state," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said. 

He added that the government could have done more to explain the "lack of alternative to vaccines" to Russians.

"But at the same time, we need a more responsible position from citizens of our country," he said. 

He added that authorities had "coped brilliantly" in providing "conditions for mass vaccinations."

While several Russian-developed jabs have been available for months, authorities have struggled to inoculate a vaccine-skeptic population.

Peskov denied that bringing Western vaccines into Russia would help the country's sluggish vaccination rates. 

"The vaccinophobia of some citizens is not linked to the brand of vaccines," he said. 

Independent polls show that more than half of Russians do not plan to get a shot.

The surging infections have come without any real pandemic restrictions to limit the spread, though several regions have re-introduced QR codes for access to public places.

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