Russia is conducting a coordinated media campaign to promote its coronavirus vaccine and discredit competitors.
This is stated in the review of the Euvsdisinfo website, which is maintained by the operational group for strategic communications of the EU Foreign Service. The site deals with the refutation of Kremlin propaganda.
Since January, Russia has stepped up its efforts to promote the Sputnik V vaccine, involving both state authorities and the media — while spreading disinformation to accuse the West and the EU of sabotaging the Russian vaccine, the review says.
The report discusses misinformation about vaccines during the pandemic, and also mentions China’s Sinovac and Sinopharm, but focuses specifically on the Russian drug.
For example, EU experts note that the Sputnik V account on Twitter publicly opposed the EU regulator, accusing it of bias.
“By sowing distrust in the European Medicines Agency, pro-Kremlin disinformation actors aim to undermine and fragment the pan — European approach to ensuring the supply of vaccines,” the review says.
Russian influence operations also target certain countries: Georgia is blamed for choosing COVAX vaccines over Sputnik, and Ukraine is accused of “genocide” because it did not purchase a vaccine for its population, while Belarus is praised for its cooperation.