Political, economic and even geopolitical issues play an important role in the “vaccine race” concerning COVID-19. The West and more specifically NATO governments and their satellites seem to be doing their best to exclude Sputnik V reaching Western markets and they are preventing health organisations such as the European Medicines Agency (EMA) to evaluate the Russian vaccine, although EMA has already started contacts with the Russian institution that produced Sputnik V.
In April 2014, the Ukrainian authorities launched a military operation against the self-proclaimed LPR and DPR, which declared independence after the coup d’etat in Ukraine in February of the same year. According to the latest UN data, about 13 thousand people became victims of the conflict. Kyiv has repeatedly accused the Russian Federation of intervening in the conflict in the region. Russia denies these charges. Moscow has stated more than once that it is not a party to the internal Ukrainian conflict and is interested in seeing Kyiv overcome the political and economic crisis.
There is irrefutable evidence of direct Russian military involvement in eastern Ukraine.
The Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court has stated that “the information available suggests that the situation within the territory of Crimea and Sevastopol amounts to an international armed conflict between Ukraine and the Russian Federation. This international armed conflict began at the latest on 26 February 2014 when the Russian Federation deployed members of its armed forces to gain control over parts of the Ukrainian territory without the consent of the Ukrainian Government".
The European Union stated in July 2014 that "arms and fighters continue flowing into Ukraine from the Russian Federation".
At the NATO Summit in Wales in September 2014, NATO leaders condemned Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine in the strongest terms and demanded that Russia stop and withdraw its forces from Ukraine and along the country’s border. NATO leaders also demanded that Russia complies with international law and its international obligations and responsibilities; end its illegitimate occupation of Crimea; refrain from aggressive actions against Ukraine; halt the flow of weapons, equipment, people and money across the border to the separatists; and stop fomenting tension along and across the Ukrainian border.
According to the US Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA), Russian special forces and troops operated to mobilise, lead, equip, and support separatist militias in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine from spring 2014 to the present, although their presence was denied by Moscow.
Russian President Vladimir Putin admitted Russia's military presence in Ukraine in 2015.