Disinfo: US used Navalny case to block Russian vaccine against Covid-19


Referring to a painful attack of an incomprehensible nature that attempted to kill the cyber activist Navalny, the Bureau of Industry and Security of the US Department of Commerce added five Russian research institutes to the sanctions lists, including the 48th Central Research Institute of the Ministry of Defence of Russia, which participated in the work on the vaccine against COVID-19.

Thanks to the current occasion of Navalny’s poisoning (or thanks to a dashing illness that struck him), the US administration got the opportunity to block the release of the vaccine to many foreign markets, for example, to the markets of US customers. If Navalny did not exist, he would have been invented. The fate of the American pharmaceutical industry and the fate of Navalny is more important than someone’s lives.


A recurring pro-Kremlin narrative on Alexei Navalny's poisoning.

Consistent with the Kremlin propaganda narrative that the poisoning of Russian opposition leader is in the interest of the West to use the case against Russia. See similar disinformation narratives that the West has an interest in the death of Navalny to launch a new wave of sanctions against Russia and West will falsely accuse Russia of poisoning Navalny, as with Skripal and Litvinenko.

The claim is a conspiracy theory that tries to artificially link Navalny poisoning and related sanctions to the Sputnik V, Covid-19 vaccine produced in Russia. The vaccine has been met with international scepticism, claiming that the Russian vaccine is not backed by evidence from a complete phase 3 trial.  The criticism has nothing to do with the Navalny case.

The US imposed restrictions on three Russian facilities for their alleged involvement in chemical and biological weapons research, including Defence Ministry's 33rd Central Research and Testing Institute and 48th Central Research Institute.


Russian opposition leader and a critic of Vladimir Putin Alexey Navalny has been suffering from suspected poisoning. He fell ill during a flight and the plane to make an emergency landing in Omsk, where doctors said he was in a coma and they were trying to save his life.

Navalny has since been transferred to Berlin and is receiving treatment at Berlin's Charite Hospital. Clinical findings indicate poisoning with a substance from the group of cholinesterase inhibitors, said Charite.


  • Reported in: Issue 209
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 29/08/2020
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Russia, US
  • Keywords: coronavirus, vaccination, Alexei Navalny, Conspiracy


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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