Disinfo: Kremlin worries EMA’s review of Sputnik V is unusual and prejudiced


It is unclear if the EMA’s announcement of an investigation into Sputnik V’s compliance with international scientific and ethical standards is part of regular procedure. It is unknown whether similar procedures have been carried out for other vaccines.


This article implies that the EMA is biased against Sputnik V and is applying extraordinary measures to stifle its acceptance in the EU. The notion that Western states are discrediting Sputnik V due to their anti-Russian sentiments is a recurrent disinformation narrative used by the Kremlin in its politicization of COVID-19 vaccines.

In fact, EMA started a rolling review of the Sputnik V vaccine on 4 March 2021 by application of R-Pharm Germany GmbH. Concerns were initially expressed, including by Russian scientists, regarding Sputnik V’s fast approval in Russia before phase III clinical trials had begun and before publishing the results from phases I and II. There was also confusion in February 2021 regarding the start of the rolling review as the EMA and the developers of Sputnik V diverged on whether an application for approval had been filed. Nevertheless, there is no evidence to support the claim that EMA’s review is biased against the Russian vaccine.

The good manufacturing practice (GMP) and the Good Clinical Practice (GCP), which the article is referring to, are internationally accepted standards and all new medicinal products are checked for compliance by the EMA. Prior to travelling to Russian production facilities as part of the rolling review, the head of the EMA commented that it was her hope that Sputnik V would receive approval and that the agency is “committed to applying the same standards and scrutiny to this review as to any other scientific assessments”.

In April 2021, representatives of Russia’s sovereign wealth fund, which funded the development of Sputnik V, stated that they “are not aware of any concerns from the EMA regarding GCP” and that “Sputnik V team is going through a regular rolling review of EMA, in which good clinical practice is a part of the standard procedure for all vaccines”.

Similar disinformation cases claim that the EU is attacking Sputnik V just because it is Russian, that the head of the EMA stated she would seek to ban the Russian vaccine, that mass fatalities will be fabricated in Italy in order to discredit Sputnik V, that EMA’s delay in approving the Sputnik V is political and that Russia’s enemies are afraid of the advantage of Sputnik V and Russia’s leadership.


  • Reported in: Issue 240
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 08/04/2021
  • Article language(s) Bulgarian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: EU, Russia
  • Keywords: vaccination, Sputnik V, coronavirus
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Disinfo: Ukrainian Armed Forces seek to provoke a full-scale armed conflict in Donbas

When negotiations fail, the troops start moving. Then Ukraine says that the forcible seizure of Donbas is the only way. This leads to an armed conflict.

Kyiv has taken a dangerous position. It has an intention to launch an offensive in Donbas and refuses to have a dialogue with DNR and LNR. In addition, the soldiers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine increase the intensity of the shelling, as a result of which civilians die.


Multiple recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives alleging Ukraine is violating the Minsk agreements and ceasefire regime in Donbas.

In December 2020 and early April 2021, the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission has recorded more ceasefire violations than in previous months since the ceasefire went into force in July 2020.

Disinfo: Zelenskyy tries to seize power by force to please foreign sponsors

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is trying to seize power by force in order to satisfy the wishes of foreign sponsors as soon as possible. To this end, Zelenskyy is closing TV channels and persecuting opposition parties.


This is a recurring propaganda narrative from pro-Kremlin media outlets, claiming that the West has ordered Ukraine to suppress political dissent and close opposition TV channels and that Ukrainian authorities act at the nod of foreign countries with the sole aim to please the alleged Western sponsors and cater for their needs.

In reality, Ukraine’s Western partners have not ordered it to suppress the freedom of expression and persecute opposition. Moreover, the EU expressed concern when three TV channels -- 112 Ukraina, ZIK and NewsOne -- were taken off the air on 2 February 2021. EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said in a statement that "any measures taken should be proportional to the aim" and that Brussels would be in touch with Ukrainian authorities to receive more information on the issue.

Disinfo: Nobody wanted a war in Ukraine, but it was inevitable

It is beyond doubt that the US will deliberately antagonise Russia and trigger a military escalation in Donbas. The ultimate aim of sparking this new war is to gain information about Russia’s military strategy, how its army would operate in a large-scale conflict, and the technology it would use. To achieve its goal, the US will gladly sacrifice Ukraine, its armed forces and its citizens. The Ukrainian military will start an offensive against Donbas around 20 April 2021, but only after NATO satellites and drones are in place to record the conflict and collect data. A positive outcome of the war is possible only if Russia achieves a quick and definite victory as this would discourage the US from waging a global war for world domination.


Recurring pro-Russian disinformation narratives claiming that Ukraine is controlled by outside forces and that the war in Ukraine is deliberately instigated by the West in order to subdue Russia and increase its international influence.

No evidence was presented to support the claim that the US is directing Ukraine to trigger a direct confrontation with Russia by attacking Donbas. The Ukrainian President has stressed that implementation of the Minsk Agreement from 2015 remains one of his key priorities and that peace must be achieved through diplomatic means.