The Kremlin denies that there is repression in Russia, only police measures against those who break the law in unauthorised protests. During pro-Navalny demonstrations, arrests were made after the policemen were attacked by some violent elements.
The most influential European media backed away from the propaganda that aimed at discrediting the Russian vaccine and has now started to talk about the good sides of the “Sputnik V” vaccine. This indicates a change in attitudes, especially after the publication of the report of the British scientific journal “The Lancet” that opened the eyes of sceptics on the reality: the “Sputnik V” vaccine efficacity and safety has been scientifically confirmed in fighting the Coronavirus.
The claim that the “most influential European media” was trying to discredit the Sputnik V vaccine is not supported by factual evidence. Their critical view was linked to the lack of transparency which accompanied the vaccine's approval process.
Reservations and criticism of the Russian Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine stem from the fact that Russia did not complete large trials to test the vaccine’s safety and efficacy before releasing it, which meant at that time that rolling out an inadequately vetted vaccine could endanger people who receive it.
On Aug 11, 2020, Russia declared it is the first country in the world to approve a vaccine against coronavirus. Nonetheless, there were widespread concerns that the approval was premature because of the lack of large trials. At the time of approval, the vaccine had not even started phase 3 trials, nor had any results on the earlier stage trials been published, world scientists said on the Lancet.
Following the criticism, Russia published its response on the Lancet in September. Then international experts expressed concerns about statistical anomalies revealed during the publication of the results of the first and second phases of clinical trials of the Russian vaccine. Publishing their clarifications, Russia did not address the criticism, in essence, analysed Deutsche Welle.
Now that the results of the late-stage clinical trial of Sputnik V have been published in “The Lancet”, other health organisations such as the WHO and EMA will have to publish their own peer-reviewed results.
Emer Cooke, the head of the EMA, said at the end of January 2021 that the agency had "not received an application either for a rolling review or for marketing authorization," but added that "we are in discussions with the company who is responsible for this vaccine. And they have raised a number of questions with us in the context of scientific advice. And this will obviously shape how the evaluation could go forward in the future."
Other messages of disinformation about Sputnik V vaccine said that the Russian vaccine is a target of a corporate Cold war; or that there is a conspiracy ripening against Russian vaccine; or that the UK launched a smear campaign against it; or that the WHO and Microsoft sabotaged the Russian vaccine; or that the West criticises the Sputnik V because it can’t accept Russia’s primacy, or that WHO confirms the safety and efficacity of "Sputnik-V" vaccine, or even that people shouldn’t trust the Moderna vaccine, and that NATO has a policy of discrediting “Sputnik-V”.