Politics is tribal. “Conservatism” is situational. And so you can get some “unlikely comic book crossovers” if looking at the world through country-specific ideological prisms.
According to one recent poll, the most pro-vax Russians are United Russia (i.e. the most pro-Putin) voters, presumably reflecting the official state position which is and has always been pro-vaxx. 55% are now vaxxed, 28% planning to.
That is, precisely the opposite of what Western propaganda and the Russian liberal activists who feed it claim.
(While United Russia’s electorate is the most elderly these days, this doesn’t explain most of the differential, since the gap in pro/anti-vax sentiments between age groups in Russia is, unfortunately, one of the smallest ones in the world).
Liberals (Yabloko and “New People”) and nationalists (LDPR) are in the middle. That they are broadly comparable is quite astounding by Western standards, where anti-vaxx has become the standard “Far Right” position from the US to Germany, while liberals have made a cult out of double masking, total lockdowns, and similar inanities in a heroic attempt to catch up to rightoid idiocy. This clearly reflects the fact that Russian liberals feel alienated from society and exhibit low trust in official state positions, which especially expresses itself in Sputnik V skepticism (i.e. the one anti-vaxx position that Western liberals endorse). Clearly there’s a converse effect with respect to nationalists, whose natural inclinations towards conspiracy thinking are instead muted by patriotic sentiments towards “made in Russia” Sputnik V as well as the pro-vaxx position held by a state that isn’t overtly hostile to them as in the West.
Funniest of all though is that KPRF voters who are the most anti-vax: 51% say they haven’t and will not vax. My anecdotal impressions (“Communists tend to be some of the most active anti-vaxx agitators in Russia, so it is morbidly amusing in a way how they are helping kill off what remains of their fading electorate“) turned out to be exactly right. Communists aren’t huge fans of either the “Putin system” or the “Western globalists” so their positions also make sense, at least from the perspective of “your brain on ideology.”
/r/russia: “The leader of the Yaroslavl communists, Alexander Vorobyov, died of COVID-19. Vorobyov was opposed to compulsory vaccination, in the photo he is depicted as a protester holding a poster “Compulsion to vaccinate is a crime.”
Yaroslavl oblast has long had one of the lower vaccination rates relative to other regions, despite hosting a large and prosperous regional capital and having the highest IQ amongst Russian regions outside Moscow/SPB. This Vorobyov fellow seems to have had quite a successful activist career until its untimely end.
But hey, then again, maybe it works. The KPRF is polling better than it’s done in years:
Before Westerners get too excited, the biggest beneficiaries are the Communist Party. Which is enjoying a surge in support, and polling as high as 38% in the industrial centre of the country.
The Far East is backing the ultra-nationalist LDPR, at United Russia's expense.
— Bryan MacDonald (@27khv) August 26, 2021