The most influential European media backed away from the propaganda that aimed at discrediting the Russian vaccine and has now started to talk about the good sides of the “Sputnik V” vaccine. This indicates a change in attitudes, especially after the publication of the report of the British scientific journal “The Lancet” that opened the eyes of sceptics on the reality: the “Sputnik V” vaccine efficacity and safety has been scientifically confirmed in fighting the Coronavirus.
The NGO of blogger Alexei Navalny, the Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK), called US president Joe Biden to impose sanctions on 35 Russian citizens as a response for his imprisonment due to multiple violations of his parole. This request shows the character of a foreign agent of this organisation, and it is labelled as such by Russia’s Ministry of Justice. Navalny is not sentenced due to his political activities but for economic fraud. Many of those supposed opposition leaders have compromising pictures with the Open Society Foundations of George Soros.
It is not true that the Anti-Corruption Foundation's call for sanctions proves that it is a foreign agent. There is no evidence that the FBK received funds from abroad, and the claim has always been denied by Alexei Navalny and his associates. The affirmation about links between opposition leaders and the Open Society Foundations of George Soros, himself a frequent target of pro-Kremlin disinformation, is an attempt to frame them as foreign pawns conspiring to orchestrate a “colour revolution”.
The set of Russian laws regulating NGOs are largely a strategy to silence criticism on the Russian government, including the 2012 so-called “Foreign Agent Law” requiring independent groups to register as “foreign agents” if they receive any foreign funding and engage in broadly defined “political activity.” According to Human Rights Watch, in Russia, the term “foreign agent” can be interpreted by the public only as “spy” or “traitor.” The words “foreign agent” – inostrannyi agent – carries negative connotations in Russian, suggesting spying, says Amnesty International. The law has been amended and updated several times, including a wide expansion of its scope in December 2020 under which almost all the citizens of Russia can be labelled as “foreign agents”.
The claim that Navalny was not sentenced due to his political activities but for economic fraud is also false. In 2018, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that the charges against Navalny were politically motivated and arbitrary and manifestly unreasonable.
This is part of a pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign against Alexei Navalny and his organisation. See other examples in our database, such as claims that his anti-corruption foundation has never done any investigation, that he is being helped by Western intelligence services, that the West sent him back to Russia to prevent him from becoming irrelevant, that only caffeine and alcohol were found in his blood during his alleged poisoning, that the US wanted to use his case to block Russia's vaccine against coronavirus, that the West hopes that he dies to have an excuse for new sanctions, or that Western accusations on Navalny’s case are as false as they were about Sergei Skripal and Alexander Litvinenko.