Disinfo: Sputnik V is a target of a corporate Cold War


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.


The article is part of a pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign on the Russian coronavirus vaccine Sputnik V, launched after its announcement was met with scepticism and criticism, even by Russian specialists in the country.

However, evidence exists that it was Russia which has at all times perceived the development of a coronavirus vaccine mainly in terms of geopolitical and economic gain.

Additionally, reservations and criticism of the Russian Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine are caused by the fact that Russia didn’t complete large trials to test the vaccine’s safety and efficacy before releasing it. Rolling out an inadequately vetted vaccine could endanger people who receive it.

Also, it was the Gamaleya Institute which approached the European Commission and not other way round as far as Sputnik V is concerned.

Other disinformation reports following the same context said that the UK launched a smear campaign against it; that the US and the EU face multiple deaths out of fear to admit Russia’s success against coronavirus; that the WHO confirmed that Sputnik V was on Phase 3 of clinical testing already in August 2020; 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.

See also previous case on the EMA.


  • Reported in: Issue 223
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 05/12/2020
  • Language/target audience: Greek
  • Country: Italy, Russia
  • Keywords: Sputnik V, coronavirus, vaccination, WHO


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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[Ukrainian Health Minister Maksym Stepanov] was tasked with discrediting the Russian vaccine Sputnik V. Only because [in the US] he was threatened that his daughter would be deported from the US to Ukraine within 24 hours. Stepanov, I already clearly understand this, works exclusively under external control.


Conspiracy with no evidence given.

No evidence is provided to support the claim that the Minister of Health of Ukraine Maksym Stepanov was tasked with discrediting the Sputnik V vaccine by anyone. He is a Ukrainian state official, a member of the Cabinet of Ministers. He has mentioned several times that Ukraine may consider purchasing Sputnik V only when it is approved by the WHO. This can happen only after the third phase of clinical trials will be completed and its results will be published by the WHO.