In April 2021, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced ambitious plans to keep the country safe from future coronavirus-like plagues.
“In the event of an infection as dangerous as the coronavirus or perhaps more, God forbid, Russia must be ready within four days—precisely within four days—to develop its own test systems, and in the shortest possible time to create an effective domestic vaccine, to start its mass production,” Putin said during a speech to the Federation Council, Russia’s upper house of parliament.
The rapid development of tests and vaccines would be part of a “powerful and reliable shield in the field of sanitary and biological safety” that should be functional in the next three years and fully operational by 2030, the Russian leader told lawmakers.
Although far from completion, Russia’s “Sanitary Shield”—a network of laboratories and border checkpoints tasked with ensuring the country’s biosecurity—sprang into action in response to the curious emergence of monkeypox in early May.
But will this “shield” actually keep Russians safe and healthy? Or is it just another gross scam? We investigated and you will probably not be even the tiniest bit surprised by what we found.
Read more: Russia & the Eternal Pandemic