Russia, or the Russian Federation, is a transcontinental country located in Eastern Europe and Northern Asia. It extends from the Baltic Sea in the west to the Pacific Ocean in the east, and from the Arctic Ocean in the north to the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea in the south.
Russia spans more than one-eighth of the Earth’s inhabited land area, stretching eleven time zones, and bordering 16 sovereign nations. Moscow is the country’s capital.
The Soviet Union was dissolved in 1991 and since 1993 Russia been governed as a federal semi-presidential republic. Russia is a major great power, with the world’s second-most powerful military, and the fourth-highest military expenditure. As a recognised nuclear-weapon state, the country possesses the world’s largest stockpile of nuclear weapons.
Gam-COVID-Vac, trade-named Sputnik V, is a COVID-19 vaccine developed by the Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, and registered on 11 August 2020 by the Russian Ministry of Health. It has been approved for distribution in Russia.
The phase III trial for Gam-COVID-Vac was registered on 28 August 2020, and is a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multi-centre clinical trial involving 40,000 volunteers. The phase III trial is scheduled to run until May 2021.
On 5 December 2020, Russia began mass vaccinations in Moscow, with 70 clinics inoculating those most at risk from the virus. Health workers and teachers were said to have priority in the first mass immunisation programme. People who had received injections in the last 30 days or had respiratory diseases in the previous two weeks were excluded, as well as those with certain chronic illnesses, and pregnant and breastfeeding women.