Disinfo: Ukrainians want to be vaccinated with Sputnik V but the US does not let them

Summary

Over the past months, the Ukrainian authorities and the media have done everything in their power to prove that the Russian vaccine simply does not exist. And this is not an exaggeration. The Minister of Health of Ukraine Maksym Stepanov has repeatedly stated this directly.

The Americans, who have banned Ukraine from using the Russian drug, did not offer anything promising in return. But the US was not alone in manifesting its vaccine nationalism. Ukraine’s Western sponsors are also doing their best to cut off poor countries from quick access to life-saving drugs.

In order to start mass vaccination against coronavirus and thereby save its citizens, Ukraine has only one option – to receive a vaccine from Russia. And Moscow, as it has always happened in the history of relations between Ukraine and Russia, is again extending its helping hand. Ukrainians want to be vaccinated, but the US Embassy does not allow them.

Disproof

Pro-Kremlin disinformation that exploits the coronavirus pandemic to push a recurring narrative about statehood of Ukraine, and a Russophobic narrative toward the possible Sputnik V vaccine.

In general, the Sputnik V vaccine has been met with international scepticism and even the World Health Organisation expressed some reservations, especially as it hasn’t completed large trials to test the vaccine’s safety and efficacy. Rolling out an inadequately vetted vaccine could endanger people who receive it.

Ukraine does not want to purchase the Sputnik V vaccine not because the US prohibited it from doing so, but because it has not undergone the third phase of trials and its safety and efficacy is questionable. The Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy was clear when he said:

"If someone has a vaccine for COVID-19, Ukraine will buy it," and he even pointed out the same argument regarding any vaccine from the EU by stating, "The EU has confirmed that it will help Ukraine get a real vaccine when it appears and when it does not cast doubts from the scientists."

According to Ukrainian Healthcare Minister Maksym Stepanov, the Ukrainian government is not planning to acquire the Russian vaccine, "given that the latter has not yet gone through the third stage of clinical trials." Stepanov also noted that Ukraine hopes to receive 8 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine in the first half of 2021: Ukraine participates in the global COVAX Facility, which has been set up to provide COVID-19 vaccines. The COVAX mechanism is part of the Accelerated Access Initiative, which was also launched by WHO. COVAX is led by three organisations: the World Health Organisation, the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation, and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations.

Ukrainian Minister for Health Stepanov announced that Ukraine wants to receive enough vaccine for up to 20% of its population, which would be the equivalent of 8 million doses. Ukraine expects that in the first half of 2021 Ukraine will start receiving the vaccine. The first tranche could total 1.2 million doses and it would be used primarily for groups most at risk. The priority in the vaccination will be provided to medical workers, military men, teachers, people from the risk groups, particularly, people over 60 years.

Ukraine had also held talks with all possible vaccine manufacturers and suppliers and already issued budget funds for the purchases.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 227
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 14/12/2020
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: EU, US, Ukraine, Russia
  • Keywords: Sputnik V, coronavirus, vaccination, Diplomacy with Russia, Ukrainian statehood
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International Criminal Court demonises Russia in the Ukrainian conflict

The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court is trying not only to make Russia a participant in the conflict but also to impose on Russia the duties of an “occupying power” both in relation to Crimea (she directly writes: “Russia’s annexation of Crimea”) and in relation to the eastern regions of Ukraine.

The prosecutor fulfils an order for the legal demonisation of Russia in the Ukrainian conflict. And she does it legally so rudely that there is no doubt about the unscrupulous nature of her actions.

The individuals who committed a coup d’etat in the country and used violence against a part of their own population are regarded in The Hague as legitimate authority!

Disproof

This is an example of recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation on Ukraine and, in particular, the examination by the International Criminal Court of the crimes committed in Ukraine during the 2013-2014 protests in Crimea and Donbas.

The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) did not demonise Russia. The Prosecutor did not call Russia an occupying power in Crimea or Donbas. In the statement, the Prosecutor mentioned that in order to establish the truth, the ICC is going to cooperate with the authorities of Ukraine and Russia equally.

AstraZeneca fails to create a vaccine without Russia

AstraZeneca, realising that they, the British, do not succeed with their vaccine, took a reasonable step and said: let’s be together. And now they are working with the Russian Direct Investment Fund to really be able to fight the coronavirus.

Disproof

A narrative, overstating the cooperation between the Gamaleya Research Institute and British AstraZeneca.

AstraZeneca's Russian subsidiary announced that it plans to begin a clinical trial programme to assess the safety and immunogenicity of a combination of COVID-19 vaccines (AZD1222, developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University and Sputnik V, developed by Russian Gamaleya Research institute).

Sanctions are unproductive because Russia is not a part in the Ukrainian conflict

Heads of EU Member States agreed to extend sanctions against Russia. The relations between Moscow and West had deteriorated due to the situation in Ukraine. After the referendum, Crimea became part of the Russian Federation. West accused Russia of interference into affairs of Ukraine and implemented sanctions against Moscow. Russia answered and changed the vector of import. Russian authorities stressed that negotiations with Russia from positions of sanctions are unproductive. Russia many times affirmed that it does not participate in the Ukrainian conflict and is not a side in Minsk peace agreements.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation about the war in Ukraine, illegal annexation of Crimea and Western sanctions against Russia.

Crimea is a part of Ukraine, however, it was illegally annexed by Russia. The so-called referendum of March 16, 2014, was illegitimate under international law. No international body recognises it. Russian President Vladimir Putin admitted that the plan to annex Crimea was ordered weeks before the so-called referendum.