Russia says its coronavirus death toll is more than three times higher than it had previously reported, making it the country with the third-largest number of fatalities.
For months, President Vladimir Putin has boasted about Russia’s low fatality rate from the virus, saying earlier this month that it had done a “better” job at managing the pandemic than Western countries.
But since early in the pandemic, some Russian experts have said the government was playing down the country’s outbreak.
On Monday, Russian officials admit that is true.
The Rosstat statistics agency says that the number of deaths from all causes recorded between January and November had risen by 229,700 compared to the previous year.
“More than 81 percent of this increase in mortality over this period is due to Covid,” says Deputy Prime Minister Tatiana Golikova, meaning that over 186,000 Russians have died from COVID-19.