Disinfo: The West is fighting a Russian vaccine, not a virus


What is the West’s problem with a Russian vaccine that has been proven effective. They are fighting a vaccine, not a virus. The Russian Sputnik-V vaccine is effective 91% of the time, but Western countries are trying to prove otherwise. The vaccination has already caused a stir around the world, and many European countries have already ordered a batch for testing. However, while some are trying to buy a vaccine, others are unleashing an information war against it.


The claim advances a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative concerning the Russian-made coronavirus vaccine casting Russia as the spearhead of the global race to develop an effective treatment for COVID-19. This is a part of a campaign aiming to promote the Russian Sputnik V vaccine. The claim that the West is trying to discredit the Sputnik V vaccine is unfounded.

A pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign on Sputnik V launched after its announcement was met with skepticism and criticism even by Russian specialists in the country. However, experts' reports present that Russia has perceived the development of a coronavirus vaccine in terms of geopolitical and economic gain. Reservations and criticism of the Russian Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine are caused by the fact that Russia did not 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.

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", that Sputnik V is a target of the corporate cold war; that the West wants to discredit the Sputnik V; that the WHO and Microsoft sabotaged the Russian vaccine, 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.


  • Reported in: Issue 225
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 16/12/2020
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Russia
  • Keywords: Sputnik V, vaccination, West, Information war


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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The EU is waging a vaccine war against Russia

A war of vaccines is being carried out by the West against Russia in order to discredit the Russian-developed Sputnik vaccine and Russia’s efforts to curb the coronavirus pandemic.


Pro-Kremlin disinformation part of a narrative aimed at promoting Russia's Sputnik vaccine.

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