Disinfo: UK’s smear campaign aim to discredit Russia’s vaccine

Summary

The British government has repeated its allegations that accuse Russia of piracy and theft of the important information about the progress of laboratory and clinical research on the emerging coronavirus.

The British authorities, in their smear campaign against Russia, are seeking to express doubts about the effectiveness of the Russian vaccine in treating people, forgetting that it has gone through several development stages and has been used in clinical trials that have proven successful.

Disproof

Conspiracy theory. The article provides no evidence to support its claim that accusations about Russian-sponsored cyber-espionage against organisations involved in COVID-19 research aim to discredit the Russian anti-COVID vaccine.

The claim repeats a recurrent disinformation narrative denying any involvement of the Russian government in hacker attacks and cyber-crime. This narrative rejects as baseless and absurd any accusations of Russian-sponsored hostile cyber-operations against Western targets, and often claims that such accusations are motivated by “Russophobia” or seek to distract the attention of Western public opinion from real problems.

The claim does not reflect reality.

On July 16, 2020, the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) - together with Canada’s Communications Security Establishment (CSE) and the United States’ National Security Agency (NSA) – issued a report on the targeting of COVID-19 vaccine development by the APT29 cyber-espionage group (also known as ‘the Dukes’ or ‘Cozy Bear’).

The report assesses that APT29 is almost certainly part of the Russian intelligence services and that throughout 2020, APT29 has targeted various organisations involved in COVID-19 vaccine development in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom, highly likely with the intention of stealing information and intellectual property relating to the development and testing of COVID-19 vaccines. This report is based on serious investigative work and reflects the genuine concern of the UK, US and Canadian governments about the cyber-espionage activities of Russian intelligence services. The report has nothing to do with alleged efforts to “discredit the Russian anti-COVID vaccine”.

Russian state actors have been proven to be actively involved in hostile cyber-operations, including malicious cyberattacks, hacking of foreign states and entities, as well as running disinformation campaigns. For further background see here and here.

The World Health Organisation, WHO, insists that a vaccine must undergo thorough testing before being introduce to the market.

Read a similar case claiming that the Dutch government’s accusations against Russia for the 2018 cyber-attacks on the headquarters of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons  (OPCW) are groundless.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 209
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 12/08/2020
  • Language/target audience: Arabic
  • Country: UK, Russia
  • Keywords: coronavirus, Conspiracy theory, vaccination, Intelligence services, Conspiracy

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.

see more

Explosion in Beirut was a premeditated terrorist attack

What happened in Beirut, was a unique “revenge” for the explosion of the American “USS Bonhomme Richard” aircraft carrier in the United States, which took place on July 12. That is, it was a premeditated terrorist attack.

Disproof

Conspiracy theory. An unfounded statement, with no evidence to support the claim. One of the many conspirative claimes which continue to spread after the Beirut explosion.

See similar case claiming that Beirut explosion was staged by Mossad.

“White Helmets” founder deceived the West

Britain’s James Le Mesurier, founder and director of the White Helmets, only cared about luxury life. That is why he deceived the governments of the United States, Britain, Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands by fabricating thunderous incidents to obtain financial grants from them. The fraudster committed suicide after the scandal was exposed…

It was revealed repeatedly that it (the “White Helmets”) had spread false information and fabricated videos, which gave the West the opportunity to accuse the Syrian authorities of using chemical weapons.

Disproof

An example of the ongoing disinformation campaign targeting the White Helmets humanitarian organisation. Pro-Kremlin media routinely seek to delegitimise the White Helmets as being the creation of  Western intelligence services. No evidence is given to support this unfounded conspiracy theory.

The White Helmets movement originated in Syria in 2012. The organisation, which is made up of 3,400 volunteers including teachers, engineers, tailors and firefighters, states that it has no affiliation to any political or military actor and is committed to rendering services to anyone in need. Volunteers save people from the rubble after bombings, despite the danger of dying themselves as a result of repeated airstrikes.

Eastern European countries are under the influence of Western special services

The United States gave Slovakia “a tick” for the expulsion of Russian diplomats from the country. Everyone signed up under some kind of plan to put pressure on Russia, Slovakia took part in this process, and the State Department gave it an assessment.

This is the general pressure of the United States on small countries. If the countries of Eastern Europe do not carry out this or that action, the United States will give them a bad mark, will suspect of pro-Russian sentiments. And this is the worst thing in Eastern Europe. Eastern European countries are under the influence of the Western special services that give them marks for Russophobic activities. Here is Slovakia fulfilling its standard of Russophobia, which the United States demands of them.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the US presence in Europe, “lost sovereignty” and Russophobia. Eastern European countries are often presented as “puppet-states” of the United States by the pro-Kremlin media.

Slovakia is a sovereign state, which shapes its own foreign and domestic policies. The United States established diplomatic relations with Slovakia in 1993. Read more about Slovakia-US relations.