Disinfo: AstraZeneca fails to create a vaccine without Russia


AstraZeneca, realising that they, the British, do not succeed with their vaccine, took a reasonable step and said: let’s be together. And now they are working with the Russian Direct Investment Fund to really be able to fight the coronavirus.


A narrative, overstating the cooperation between the Gamaleya Research Institute and British AstraZeneca.

AstraZeneca's Russian subsidiary announced that it plans to begin a clinical trial programme to assess the safety and immunogenicity of a combination of COVID-19 vaccines (AZD1222, developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University and Sputnik V, developed by Russian Gamaleya Research institute).

On November 23 2020, AstraZeneca's global site announced that its AZD1222 vaccine met primary efficacy endpoint in preventing COVID-19. Therefore, the statement on a planned clinical trial combining Sputnik V and AstraZeneca is amplified by pro-Kremlin media to state that "the British do not succeed with development of a vaccine" which is untrue.

Read here an extensive report by BBC about the development of AstraZeneca.

This is part of a disinformation campaign aiming to promote the Russian Sputnik V vaccine and discredit Western vaccines. See more disinformation cases from the campaign against Pfizer and AtraZeneca, promoting Sputnik V, such as British propaganda tries to dilute the failure of the AstraZeneca vaccine against Sputnik V or Pfizer used to fake clinical trials.


  • Reported in: Issue 224
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 13/12/2020
  • Outlet language(s) Russian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Russia
  • Keywords: coronavirus, vaccination
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Disinfo: Sanctions are unproductive because Russia is not a part in the Ukrainian conflict

Heads of EU Member States agreed to extend sanctions against Russia. The relations between Moscow and West had deteriorated due to the situation in Ukraine. After the referendum, Crimea became part of the Russian Federation. West accused Russia of interference into affairs of Ukraine and implemented sanctions against Moscow. Russia answered and changed the vector of import. Russian authorities stressed that negotiations with Russia from positions of sanctions are unproductive. Russia many times affirmed that it does not participate in the Ukrainian conflict and is not a side in Minsk peace agreements.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation about the war in Ukraine, illegal annexation of Crimea and Western sanctions against Russia.

Crimea is a part of Ukraine, however, it was illegally annexed by Russia. The so-called referendum of March 16, 2014, was illegitimate under international law. No international body recognises it. Russian President Vladimir Putin admitted that the plan to annex Crimea was ordered weeks before the so-called referendum.

Disinfo: NATO has a policy of discrediting “SPUTNIK-V”

Discrediting the Russian vaccine “Sputnik V” aims to make it difficult for it to enter the international market… These subversive efforts come from a military background, and therefore this is a comprehensive policy to confront and contain Russia by NATO countries, especially the United States.


A recurring disinformation narrative about alleged anti-Russian bias in the West and plots against Russia’s achievements.

Contrary to the baseless claim, reservations and criticism of the Sputnik V vaccine is not caused by the NATO or the US refusal to accept Russia’s accomplishment but by the fact that Russia hasn’t completed large trials to test the vaccine’s safety and efficacy, and rolling out an inadequately vetted vaccine could endanger people who receive it, in the time when WHO insists that a vaccine must undergo thorough testing.

Disinfo: Russian investigators are kept away from the Navalny case

Russia cannot start a criminal procedure in the case of Alexey Navalny because there is a lack of evidence. Russian judges have asked their [German] colleagues to be allowed to participate in the investigation but no one has answered to their requests.


Recurring disinformation narrative concerning the poisoning of a prominent Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny.

As it is well known by now, Navalny fell ill during a flight from Siberia to Moscow on the 20th of August. He was initially hospitalised in Omsk, but shortly afterwards, at the request of his family, he was transferred to Charité hospital in Berlin, where clinical findings indicated that he was poisoned with a substance from the group of cholinesterase inhibitors. Subsequent toxicological tests provided unequivocal evidence of a chemical nerve agent of the Novichok group in the blood samples of Navalny.