Disinfo: US ordered Ukrainian Minister of Health to discredit Sputnik V

Summary

[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.

Disproof

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.

This is part of a disinformation campaign launched after approval of the Sputnik V vaccine was met with scepticism and criticism, even by Russian specialists in the country.

See other examples in our database, such as claims that Western attacks on the Russian coronavirus vaccine are a corporate Cold War against humanity; that the UK launched a smear campaign against it; that the WHO confirmed that the Sputnik V was on Phase 3 of clinical testing already in August 2020; 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.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 223
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 04/12/2020
  • Language/target audience: Russian, Ukrainian
  • Country: US, Ukraine, Russia
  • Keywords: Sputnik V, coronavirus, Conspiracy theory
see more

For NATO, Ukraine is important as a buffer zone, but not as a member of Alliance

All the statements of Ukrainian politicians that they were promised that Ukraine will be accepted into the Alliance are PR and nothing more. For NATO countries, Ukraine is important as a buffer zone, but not as a member of the Alliance.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation about Ukraine and its cooperation with NATO.

Ukraine is a strategic partner for NATO in many areas. Since the 1990s, relations between NATO and Ukraine have developed into one of NATO’s most influential partnerships. Relations were strengthened with the signing of the 1997 Charter on a Distinctive Partnership, which established the NATO-Ukraine Commission (NUC). The Declaration of 2009 to Complement the NATO-Ukraine Charter mandated the NUC, through Ukraine’s Annual National Programme, to underpin Ukraine’s efforts to take forward reforms aimed at implementing Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations.

EU bureaucrats want to limit the use of Christmas symbols

The bureaucrats of the European Union have declared that a large number of Christian symbols on the streets and various offices might hurt the feelings of refugees and migrants from the Middle East. Thus, there is a need to limit the use of such symbols. /…/ In Brussels, the main Christmas tree has been replaced with an LED-construction, representing the “Winter holidays”

Disproof

Recurring disinformation narrative, forwarding hostile narratives on migrants, threatening Christmas and New Years Eve traditions, and about the decline of Christianity in Europe.

Neither has “EU Bureacrats” declared a limitation on the use of Christian symbols, nor has Brussels forbidden the Christmas tree (a symbol, without relation to Christianity). The Brussels Christmas tree of 2020 can be observed here on webcam. Municipal authorities in Brussels and most other Belgian and European cities have cancelled Christmas markets due to the COVID-19.

Italian town forbids Christmas carols not to insult migrants

In the Italian town of Rozzano near Milan, the headmaster of a school forbade a Christmas concert and suggested that Christmas should be observed without the traditional carols, as migrant children previous years during singing stood silently along the walls. In German Eschweiler tolling church bells were forbidden when migrants approached the municipal authorities with a request to cancel sounds that were foreign to them. Schools in Spain and Italy removed the crucifixes from the walls of the same reasons.

Disproof

Recurring disinformation narrative, forwarding hostile narratives on migrants, threatening Christmas and New Years Eve traditions, and about the decline of Christianity in Europe.

Several of the cases, mentioned in the article, belong to a collection of anti-migrant “urban legends” that are circulated in European right wing media. The case from Rozzano has been debunked several times, since it appeared in 2015. The case from German Eschweiler seems to be entirely fiction. Connecting claims to concrete, small places far away serves to lend a tone of authenticity to the disinformation.