Disinfo: Russian progress in Covid-19 vaccine has become for the West an outrageous challenge

Summary

Russia’s advances in the development of a vaccine against coronavirus alarmed the West.

The Russian lead in the development of a vaccine against coronavirus has become not only an unpleasant surprise for the West but an outrageous challenge, both for political and financial reasons. On the one hand, deeply undemocratic Russia simply has no right to make such breakthroughs in complex scientific and technologically advanced fields. On the other hand, a jackpot of such astronomical sizes is at stake, that the thought that it might swim past Western pharmaceutical companies could cause heartburn there.

Disproof

A pro-Kremlin narrative about the Russian coronavirus vaccine Sputnik V.

There is credible evidence that the Russian government pressed Russian scientists and researchers to be the first to find a vaccine against Covid-19, and did everything at hand to shorten the process, raising concerns about the safety and efficiency of the Sputnik V vaccine. Reservations and criticism of the Sputnik V vaccine are caused by the fact that Russia hasn’t completed large trials to test the vaccine’s safety and efficacy, and the roll-out of an inadequately vetted vaccine could endanger the people who receive it.

The World Health Organisation expressed some reservations about the procedure followed by Russia, initiating talks with Russian authorities about undertaking a review of the vaccine but refusing to endorse it right away. On August 2020, the WHO published a landscape of COVID-19 candidate vaccines, which considered the Russian project developed by Gamaleya Research Institute as being in Phase 1 of clinical testing.

See similar cases claiming that The West criticises the Russian vaccine because their companies will lose billions of dollars, that The West criticises the Russian vaccine because it can’t accept Russia’s primacy, or that the WHO and Microsoft sabotaged the Russian vaccine against coronavirus, or that UK’s smear campaign aims to discredit Russia’s vaccine, and that Trying to catch up with Russia, the West lost another round in the fight against the pandemic.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 213
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 18/09/2020
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Russia
  • Keywords: coronavirus, vaccination, Russian superiority, The West

Disclaimer

Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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Ukraine arrests teacher for promoting the Russian language

Punitive actions against their own citizens began in Ukraine. Ukraine has imprisoned a teacher of the Russian language in the city of Kherson. The Ukrainian authorities are trying to put a woman in prison for the fact that she was engaged in the preservation of the Russian language on the territory of Ukraine.

Disproof

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin propaganda narrative about the alleged discrimination of Ukraine's Russian-speaking minority and the country's ubiquitous Russophobia.

The case mentioned is ongoing trial against a resident of Kherson (a region of Ukraine bordering the temporarily occupied Crimea). The individual was detained by SBU officers suspected of high treason and not for "teaching Russian". 

Western hybrid war against Belarus is a preparation of attack against Russia

The Belarusian crisis is partly provoked by external interference with the hybrid war methods. In the light of ongoing information war, the West, though it conducts hybrid aggression against Belarus, is presented as a good player, whereas Russia is presented as a threat to Belarus’s sovereignty despite Russian assistance to the Belarusian state. Poland-located information centres which manage the Belarusian protests are among manifestations of Western aggressive actions. They result in an outbreak of violence, political destabilisation and undermined Belarusian economy.

It is clear that relocation of US and NATO troops to Lithuania and Poland, Navalny poisoning and upcoming anti-Russian sanctions are parts of a chain. The US wishes to establish a cordon sanitaire around Russia and needs Belarus as a missing link to put a collar over Russia.

The current hybrid war against Belarus is an exploration of attack against Russia. Given the external threat, the Union State of Belarus and Russia may, on the contrary, be activated. The Belarusian coup organisers will likely reach the opposite effect: Instead of tearing Belarus away from Russia, they will push the integration of the two countries forward. Belarus’s aspiration towards sovereignty was cynically tramped by the West. If needed, additional Russian military objects will be stationed in Belarus. Warsaw, Vilnius, and their Western suzerains should have no doubt about it.

Disproof

This publication promotes recurring pro-Kremlin propaganda narratives about Belarusian protests as being organised and controlled from abroad, particularly from Poland and Lithuania, about Western attempts to disrupt Belarusian-Russian relations in general and the development of the Union State of Belarus and Russia, in particular, and about Poland and Lithuania as US's puppets.

The publication also implicitly accuses the West of Navalny poisoning by conspiring that it was just one in a series of actions to disrupt Belarus-Russia relations. There are no proofs of West's implication in Navalny poisoning. Read our past analyses "Fifty ways to kill Navalny" and "Let's laugh at political murder!" explaining how pro-Kremlin media explain the case of Navalny poisoning, including through humour and ridicule.