Disinfo: Mass fatalities will show up in Italy to discredit Sputnik V


It is expected that an alleged health crisis will be fabricated and linked to the vaccination process with “Sputnik V". Will we see scenes of mass fatalities and accusations that the Russian vaccine caused it? Where could all this happen and is Russia the only country targeted here? Who wants to challenge the competencies of Russian science in epidemic control and microbiology, and why? Who determines the efficacy of vaccines today: scientists or the media?!

Perhaps this will happen in a European country in provocative quantities to diminish the Russian vaccine, Sputnik V. This may happen, perhaps, in Italy. Russian-Italian cooperation is the most disturbing political topic in Western countries such as Britain and the United States.


The report advances a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative of Russia being 'encircled', 'under attack' casting Western actors as inherently biased against Russia; Western media as subservient to their respective governments; and Russia as a constant target of foreign "provocations."

This claim is made without evidence, the assertion can be dismissed. Russian officials and state media routinely prophesy oddly specific Western "provocations" against Russia which, for reasons unknown, never come to fruition.

In 2019 alone, pro-Kremlin outlets said that NATO would kill its own officers to provoke a new conflict in Ukraine; that the UK would use its chemical labs to kill even more Russians; that the US was planning an anti-Russian operation in the Black Sea; that Canada was also planning an anti-Russian operation in the Black Sea; that NATO would intervene in Crimea to rig the Ukrainian presidential election.

In 2020, the "provocation" trope was used to explain away the arrest of Russian mercenaries in Belarus, the Moscow-sanctioned poisoning of Alexei Navalny, and the downing of MH17.

The specific allegation that Western actors fabricate video footage in the course of media "campaigns" against Russia and its allies is also seen in pro-Kremlin coverage of the Syrian civil war. In this context, chemical attacks known to have been perpetrated by the Assad regime are dismissed as "false-flag" operations by the White Helmets, Western governments, or Western-sponsored "terrorists."

See here for our explainer on the importance of paranoia in disinformation.


  • Reported in: Issue 237
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 21/03/2021
  • Article language(s) Arabic
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Russia, Italy, US, UK
  • Keywords: Anti-Russian, Russophobia, vaccination, coronavirus, Provocation, Sputnik V
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Disinfo: Belarus and Russia prepare to counteract NATO aggression

Belarus and Russia need to strengthen their military cooperation to counteract Western threats and aggression. The Baltic states, Poland, and other NATO countries are actively increasing their military capabilities and threaten the Union State of Belarus and Russia.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about NATO and Belarus.

NATO is a defensive alliance and does not pose a threat to Russia or Belarus. Its purpose is to protect its member states. For more information about NATO-Russia relations and disinformation narratives about NATO, see here and here.

Disinfo: 2014 referendum of Crimea was completely legal

The referendum (held in Crimea in 2014) was legitimate in its core and in terms of international law. From the point of view of Ukrainian laws, it was completely legal.

Crimea and Sevastopol became dependent on Russia, according to a referendum held in March 2014, which was supported by 96.77% of Crimean voters and 95.6% of Sevastopol voters.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about the illegal annexation of Crimea, claiming that it voted to rejoin Russia through a legal referendum.

Crimea is an internationally recognised part of Ukraine. Іn 1997, by signing the Friendship Agreement with Ukraine, Russia also recognised that Crimea belongs to Ukraine.

Disinfo: Crimea is a part of Russia and the West ignores the 2014 referendum

Crimea became a part of the Russian Federation after a 2014 referendum, the results of which are ignored by the West.

The referendum took place a short time after the violent overthrow of the Ukrainian president in 2014. Over 84 % of voters took part in the vote and more than 96 % voted for the reunification with Russia.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about the illegal annexation of Crimea, claiming that it voted to rejoin Russia through a legal referendum.

The “referendum” was illegal according to both the Ukrainian constitution and international law. Following the “referendum”, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution entitled “Territorial integrity of Ukraine”, stating that the referendum in Crimea was not valid and could not serve as a basis for any change in the status of the peninsula. On 17 December 2018, the UN General Assembly confirmed its non-recognition of the illegal annexation of Crimea.