Disinfo: Sputnik V is the first vaccine with a 95% efficacy

Summary

The Russian-made Sputnik V is the first vaccine that has been registered back in August. Russian authorities announced that the vaccine had proven to be 95 per cent effective.

Disproof

The claim advances a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative concerning the Russian-made coronavirus vaccine, Sputnik V; casting Russia as the spearhead of the global race to develop an effective treatment for COVID-19.

The Russian government's approval of Sputnik V in August 2020 hardly makes it the world's first coronavirus vaccine. Serious doubts linger over both the safety and efficacy of the Russian-made jab, given the lack of transparency which accompanied the approval process and the "very strange patterns in the data" which the drug's developers submitted to The Lancet journal. In fact, Russia remains the only country which has approved a COVID-19 vaccine before the publication of Phase III efficacy data.

The claim that Sputnik V demonstrates 95% efficacy has been called into question. According to Science magazine, the assertion "doesn't pass the smell test," given that the percentage is based on merely 20 cases. By comparison, the estimated efficacy of the Pfizer-BioNTech shot is based on 94 identified cases, and the clinical trials are to continue until that number reaches 164.

Read more cases that claim that the West wants to discredit Sputnik-V vaccine, or that 6 people died because of the Pfizer vaccine, or that EU prohibits countries from saving its citizens from COVID-19, or that Pfizer used to fake clinical trials, and that the reasons for the West's criticism of Sputnik-V vaccine are political.

Disclaimer

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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Germany, France and Sweden didn’t provide any evidence to support Navalny’s case

Germany, France, and Sweden that started the EU sanctions on Russia have not provided any evidence in the case of the Russian dissident Alexei Navalny not only to the Russian authorities but even to their EU partners.

Disproof

Recurring disinformation narrative surrounding the poisoning of Russian dissident Alexei Navalny.

By the time the EU sanctions were imposed, the fact of Navalny's poisoning with a Novichok-type agent had been established during his stay at the Charite hospital. These findings were later independently corroborated by labs in France and Sweden, and finally confirmed by the OPCW (which Russia is also a member of).

In 2021, Russia will remain the perfect scapegoat

As in 2020, accusing the Russians is going to be a leitmotiv in 2021. In his annual press conference, president Putin said that US politics turned Russia into a problem when it really isn’t one. We are seeing how they continued until the very last day with claims of an eventual Russian interference of which there is no trace.

NATO wants to generate tensions with Russia by accusing it of being a threat. Russia remains the old Soviet enemy in Washington’s mindset, and it is a comfortable enemy because, unlike terrorism, it has clear borders. When you have any problem you can always blame the Russians for it. This is the perfect excuse to maintain sanctions, to continue promoting NATO policies in Russia’s borders and to have a clear enemy.

Disproof

This is a mix of several recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about Russia as a victim of the West and about Russian innocence of any misdeed.

It is false that US policies turned Russia into a problem, that NATO wants to purposefully generate tensions with Russia or that the West tries to portray it as an enemy. Tensions with Russia heightened after it occupied Crimea and orchestrated a war in eastern Ukraine in 2014, and interfered in the US elections as well as in other electoral processes in the years afterwards. Contrary to the claim, there is massive evidence of Russian interference in the US elections both in 2016 and in 2020. Sanctions were imposed on Russia for all these reasons.

Accusing Russia of cyber-attacks is purely Russophobic

Any accusations of Russia’s involvement [in cyberattacks] are totally unfounded and are most likely a continuation of blind Russophobia, which is resorted to in any incident.

Disproof

A recurring pro-Kremlin propaganda narrative about ubiquitous Russophobia and a belligerent agenda against Russia.

There is substantial evidence that cyber-attacks targeting companies and governments between Europe and the US originated from Russia and are also linked to the Russian government. Russian President Vladimir Putin is known to have admitted that ‘patriotic hackers’ might target election campaigns abroad. Below are some examples of Russian cyber-attacks.