Disinfo: Fiasco and catastrophe with vaccination brought huge reputation losses to the EU

Summary

Joseph Borrell blamed Russia for COVID-19 disinformation campaign and for painting its vaccines as superior to the EU's. This is nothing more than an attempt to portray own huge problems as provocations of external enemies. Whereas in Russia most people returned to normal life and COVID-19 related restrictions are gradually put down, the EU is facing a new round of lockdown measures and mass protests against them. Solidarity among the EU counties is increasingly crumbling. Eastern European EU member states such as Czechia, Hungary, and Slovakia are turning to Russia to get Sputnik V. Poland, which is in a grave situation too but considers asking Russia for assistance unthinkable, started vaccine negotiations with China.

The current situation has proven one again - as it already was known a year ago - that the EU is helpless and incapable of dealing with such emergency situations as COVID-19. The EU’s countermeasures have been a fiasco, and the current situation with vaccination of the population is a catastrophe.

Disproof

This publication is part of a disinformation narrative asserting that Russia fights the pandemic more effectively than Western democracies, boosting the credibility of a Russian-made Sputnik V vaccine and undermining that of Western vaccines. Read more about Western vaccine vilification campaign in pro-Kremlin media in our past story "Big lies, little lies and vaccine vilifications."

The publication's claim that the current situation with vaccination in the EU is a 'catastrophe' whereas in Russia it is allegedly much better, is simply not true. Available data suggests that many EU countries either keep up with Russia in vaccination rates or outpace it. According to available data in Russia 4,6 cumulative COVID-19 vaccination doses were administered per 100 people as of March 2021. These are the corresponding rates in the four Visegrad countries which are explicitly mentioned in the publication: Czechia - 8,1, Hungary - 14,1, Poland - 10,6, Slovakia - 10,0.

Read earlier disinformation cases claiming that Western attacks on the Russian coronavirus vaccine are a corporate cold war against humanity, that Russian progress in COVID-19 vaccine has become for the West an outrageous challenge, and that the West lost another round in the fight against the pandemic.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 234
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 09/03/2021
  • Article language(s) Russian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Russia, EU, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, China
  • Keywords: vaccination, fake statistics, EU disintegration, Josep Borrell
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Disinfo: ECHR's Navalny ruling is an attempt to meddle in Russian affairs

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR)’s demand that Moscow immediately release Alexei Navalny is an attempt to interfere in Russia’s internal affairs and exert pressure on Russian courts.

On 2 February, a Moscow court ruled that Navalny’s suspended sentence in the Yves-Rocher embezzlement case be converted to a real prison term of two years and six months. The claim that Navalny is a victim of repression has already been refuted by the ECHR itself; the latter found no evidence of political persecution in the Yves-Rocher case.

Disproof

The claim is part of an ongoing pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign targeting Russian activist Alexei Navalny.

The story grossly misrepresents the ECHR’s interim ruling concerning Navalny’s arrest. The Court is not seeking a reversal of Navalny’s conviction, but merely imploring Russia to respect the defendant’s rights under the Convention. The ECHR press release summarising the above-mentioned ruling reads:

Disinfo: No evidence Russia waged disinformation campaign targeting Western coronavirus vaccines

By accusing Moscow of spreading disinformation about Covid-19 vaccines, US propagandists that spread the original ‘Russiagate’ conspiracy are doing it again, stoking fear and hatred and projecting amid a pandemic.

Disproof

The claim advances a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative concerning the Russian-made coronavirus vaccine casting Russia as the spearhead of the global race to develop an effective treatment for COVID-19 and to promote the Russian Sputnik V vaccine. The claim that the West is trying to discredit the Sputnik V vaccine is unfounded.

Experts' reports conclude that Russia has perceived the development of a coronavirus vaccine in terms of geopolitical and economic gain.

Disinfo: The ECHR refuted that Navalny is being persecuted for his political activity

By defending Alexei Navalny, Josep Borrell doesn’t even respect the resolutions of the Court in Strasbourg. The claims that Navalny is persecuted for his political activity were refuted by the European Court of Human Rights, which didn’t find any political intrigue in the case open against him after the denunciation of the company Yves Rocher.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Alexei Navalny.

The European Court of Human Rights ruled in 2017 that sentences handed down by Russian courts against Alexei Navalny and his brother on financial charges were “arbitrary and manifestly unreasonable”. In a second rulling in 2019, the ECHR determined that Russia had violated the European Convention on Human Rights by placing Navalny under house arrest and said it was "apparent that he had been treated in that way in order to curtail his public activities." Given these precedents, in February 2021 the ECHR demanded that Russia release Navalny.