Russia’s Federal Statistics Agency Rosstat said on Friday that 49,389 people died of coronavirus in August — more than double the official government figure.
This would bring the agency’s tally of Covid-19 deaths in Russia to over 400,000.
Russia — the fourth worst-hit country in the world in terms of Covid-19 cases — has struggled with the aggressive Delta variant and sluggish vaccination rates.
Rosstat’s figure — released late on Friday — painted a far darker picture of the pandemic’s death count in the country than other figures suggest, with a government tally saying 24,661 Russians died as a result of Covid-19 in August.
Government figures only take into account fatalities where the virus was established as the primary cause of death after an autopsy.
Rosstat, however, publishes figures under a broader definition for deaths linked to the virus.
Russian authorities have been accused of downplaying the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic in the country.
While the number of daily infections is now on the rise, Russia hit record daily deaths several times in August.
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