Disinfo: Western partners demand that Georgia does not buy Sputnik V

Summary

It seems that the import of Russian vaccines will be banned in Georgia. Why? Russia is an enemy, we should not buy a vaccine. This is not a decision of the Georgian government, it is demanded by Western partners.

Europe and the US do not hide their concern that the Russian economy has grown as a result of the sale of vaccines and has been able to compensate for the damage caused by the sanctions imposed over the years. Any country that buys a Russian vaccine will contribute to the growth of the Russian economy, so Europe and the US are trying their best to keep the number of such countries as small as possible.

Disproof

A recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about an alleged Russophobic Western campaign against the Sputnik V vaccine which are baseless.

The allegation that Western partners make demands on Georgia not to purchase the Russian-developed Sputnik V vaccine is groundless. Since 31 August 2020, Georgia has been a member of the COVAX Facility, created by the United Nations and supported by the EU. It has already received its first supply of AstraZeneca vaccines through the COVAX platform.

Contrary to the claim, previous criticism and mistrust of the Sputnik V vaccine were not due to any alleged Russophobia and fear of Russian superiority but to the publication of incomplete or yet unverified data about it, surrounded by a disinformation campaign about this and other vaccines. Reservations and criticism of the Russian Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine stemmed from 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.

On February 2, 2021, interim results from a phase 3 trial of the Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine were finally published in The Lancet. The trial results show a consistent strong protective effect across all participant age groups, meaning that the Sputnik V vaccine candidate appears safe and effective. This is what led to a general change in the approach towards Sputnik V. All vaccines, authorised by the European Medicines Agency are welcome in the EU. On March 4, 2021, the European Medicines Agency started rolling review of the Sputnik V vaccine.

See other examples of similar pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives in our database, such as claims that 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.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 236
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 17/03/2021
  • Article language(s) Georgian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Georgia, Russia, Europe, US
  • Keywords: Sputnik V, vaccination
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Western countries lie about Ghouta

The UN final report on what is known as the Ghouta massacre on August 21, 2013 does not reveal its perpetrator.

In addition, a MIT study from February 2014 explains that the attack was launched from a so-called rebel area.

This is not to say that Bashar El Assad did not perpetrate any chemical attack. This is to emphasise that once again, Western governments have lied to their people to bring down their enemies.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives attempting to cast doubt on who is responsible for the 2013 chemical attacks in Syria and questioning the integrity of Western governments by accusing them of lying systematically to the public to bring down countries that resist them.

The Ghouta attack was investigated by a UN Mission set up by the UN Secretary General, and its findings were contained in a report published in September 2013. The OPCW and the WHO played an important but auxiliary role throughout the process (ibid., p. 4).

Bellingcat reports do not contain evidence

The Bellingcat news agency has been registered in Higgins' name, and the latest "revealing" anti-Russian news is spread from this agency. However, these reports do not contain any evidence.

Disproof

Pro-Kremlin disinformation attempting to discredit Bellingcat which has long been a thorn in the side of the Kremlin and recently presented proof that Alexei Navalny was poisoned by FSB agents. Alexei Navalny duped one of the FSB agents, Konstantin Kudryavtsev, into admitting his role in the poisoning and Bellingcat had already named him in its investigation as one of the FSB agents involved.

Ironically, no evidence is given to support the claims about a lack of evidence in Bellingcat’s reports. Bellingcat is an well-known independent group of researchers, investigators and citizen journalists which probes different subjects using open source and social media investigations. The team has won a lot of awards and prizes, for example, the European Press Prize for Investigation in 2019 and the London Press Club award for Digital Journalism in 2019 to name just a few.

Crimea returned to Russia after a referendum

Crimea returned to be a Russian federal province, after a referendum held on March 16, 2014, in Crimea and Sevastopol, and both regions have become within the Russian Federation, as of March 18, 2014.

Crimea was one of the Russian provinces up until the beginning of the fifties of the twentieth century when the authorities of the Union of Soviet Republics decided to transfer their subordination to the Republic of Ukraine.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the illegal annexation of Crimea, claiming that Crimea voted to rejoin Russia through a legal referendum and painting the idea that Crimea has never belonged to Ukraine.

For historical reference, Crimea was annexed by Catherine II (the Great), then containing Ukraine in 1783, already in violation of a treaty that guaranteed the independence of the Tatar khanate.