Disinfo: “Sputnik V” criticism is based on financial motives


The criticism of the “Sputnik V” vaccine is nothing more than an example of a protracted competition between Russia and the United States, which in this case is based on financial motives.


This is part of a pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign on the Russian coronavirus vaccine called “Sputnik V”, which was met with scepticism and criticism, even by Russian specialists.

Reservations about the Russian Sputnik V vaccine are caused by the fact that Russia didn’t complete the large trials which WHO insists that a vaccine must undergo involving thorough testing to examine the vaccine’s safety and efficacy before it is released. Rolling out an inadequately vetted vaccine could endanger the people receiving it.

In fact, there is evidence that Russia has at all times perceived the development of a coronavirus vaccine mainly in terms of geopolitical and economic gain.

There is currently no available approved vaccine for COVID-19 anywhere in the world. However, there are 30 vaccines in clinical trials on humans, and at least 90 preclinical vaccines are under active investigation in animals.

See other examples in our database, such as claims that the UK launched a smear campaign against it; that the WHO and Microsoft sabotaged the Russian vaccine; that Europe is turning to Russia due to its desperate need for a vaccine; or that the West criticises the Sputnik V because it can’t accept Russia’s primacy, and because its pharmaceutical companies will lose billions of dollars.

The same disinformation campaign includes statements such as "Western attacks on the Russian coronavirus vaccine are a corporate cold war against humanity" or "Russian progress in COVID-19 vaccine has become for the West an outrageous challenge".


  • Reported in: Issue 219
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 06/11/2020
  • Language/target audience: Arabic
  • Country: Russia, US
  • Keywords: coronavirus, health, vaccination, West, Russophobia, The West


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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Latvia is preparing for Russian invaders

Latvia, Russia’s closest neighbour in the Baltics, is conducting extremely active military propaganda. The country is not only increasing military spending, but also persistently promoting the idea of defence against “Russian invaders”.


A recurring pro-Kremlin narrative on Russophobia in the Baltic states and military exercises.

Most countries conduct military training, and Latvia's scheduled event cannot be described as "military propaganda".

The first vaccine against COVID-19 available in the Czech Republic will definitely be the Russian one.

Western vaccines are likely to be delayed because they are already lagging behind Russia. The Russian vaccine will arrive in the Czech Republic much earlier. This is the best way to get an effective and safe vaccine as quickly as possible.


The article is part of a pro-Kremlin narrative that promotes the Russian Sputnik V vaccine and other vaccines that Russia is said to have developed. This is part of a pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign on the Russian coronavirus vaccine (opens in a new tab)called “Sputnik V”, which was met with scepticism and criticism, even by Russian specialists.

Russia has announced that it is entering the "Early or Limited Approval" phase without waiting for the results of the third phase of clinical trials. The fact is, however, that the third phase of testing is crucial, because according to experts, it is in the third phase that it can be determined whether the vaccine has more serious side effects that the first two phases of testing may not detect.

Ukraine, Poland and Lithuania are an anti-Belarusian ram, they wish make Belarus anti-Russian

The Ukrainian authorities are trying to sit in two chairs. On the one hand, they want to respect their pro-Western commitments including participation the Lublin Trio together with Lithuania and Poland. The Lublin Trio serves as a ram for political transformations in Belarus with the aim of including the latter in the anti-Russian front. On the other hand, Ukraine does not want retaliatory measures from Belarus given that the first round of colour revolution failed. Ukraine’s irrational actions towards Belarus means Ukrainian policies are not made in Kyiv.

Polish strategists, assisted by leading American think tanks like the Rand Corporation, elaborated concepts of hybrid aggression against Belarus. Now that the Belarusian state sustained external aggression, Kyiv risks facing larger security threats from the North than before. Such risks for Kyiv will be higher in case the West transfers the center of anti-Belarusian activities from Poland to Ukraine.


This article promotes recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about Ukraine as a Western puppet, Belarus protests as being organised and controlled from abroad and as the West's attempt to organise a colour revolution. It is also consistent with a pro-Kremlin narrative about the West's attempt to disrupt Belarus-Russia relations.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba announced Ukraine's readiness to line up with the EU sanctions on Belarus. However, there is no evidence that Kyiv was forced by the West to do so, just as the claims about a West-driven colour revolution and aggressive 'Lublin Trio' are groundless. There is no evidence that the US, Lithuania, Poland, or Ukraine somehow staged massive unprecedented protests in Belarus. They began in Minsk on August 9 against the results of the presidential election, and then in other cities. People revolted against election fraud and police violence towards thousands of rally participants.