DISINFO: Mass fatalities will show up in Italy to discredit Sputnik V
Anti-Russian Russophobia vaccination coronavirus Provocation Sputnik V

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.


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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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