Copyright © 2024

The work of Euromaidan Press is supported by the International Renaissance Foundation

When referencing our materials, please include an active hyperlink to the Euromaidan Press material and a maximum 500-character extract of the story. To reprint anything longer, written permission must be acquired from [email protected].

Privacy and Cookie Policies.

This week’s Russian propaganda: Ukraine to smuggle Russian vaccine via EU as British vaccine turns people into monkeys

This week’s Russian propaganda: Ukraine to smuggle Russian vaccine via EU as British vaccine turns people into monkeys
Article by: EU vs Disinfo

First, some big news.

Six real sandworms and fake monkey vaccines

On Monday the US Justice Department indicted six GRU officers working for Unit 74455. According to the Justice Department, the Unit, dubbed in the media as “Sandworm,” is responsible for at least one billion dollars in damages. The indictment further concedes that the group “deployed destructive malware and took other disruptive actions, for the strategic benefit of Russia” against the governments of Ukraine and Georgia, the Novichok poisoning investigations, the 2017 French elections, and the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.

Vaccines: nothing but a monkey business

As COVID-19 cases skyrocket across Europe, so does disinformation on the pandemic. Take, for example, a story claiming that Ukraine will buy a Russian vaccine and that the purchase will be made via European Union Member States. In reality, experts fear the approval of the Russian vaccine was premature. According to the Lancet, one of the world’s best-known medical journals, at that time the vaccine had not even started phase 3 trials. Another difficulty with this claim is the fact that none of the Member States had announced their intention to buy it.

Read also: These Rt graphs show how fast COVID-19 is spreading in Ukraine

The story is part of a broader narrative asserting that Russia fights the pandemic more effectively than Western democracies, boosting the credibility of a Russian vaccine and undermining that of other (Western) vaccines.

How do you erode the credibility of Western vaccines?An old trick is to administer a lie packed in a larger truth.

Successful campaigns often “shield a forgery under the armor of a larger truth,” explains disinfo scholar Thomas Rid. His acclaimed book, Active Measures, showcases a spectacular example of World War II, the forged Tanaka Memorial. This document (allegedly from 1927) was instrumental in convincing many states that Japan elaborated a military strategy to achieve world domination. It was not authentic though.

Why was this false narrative so effective? Because it was rooted in Japan’s actual assertive foreign policy of that time.

How do you apply this larger-truth method to Western vaccines?

To undermine the credibility of these vaccines, the pro-Kremlin media took a part of the truth (the Oxford vaccine is developed using chimpanzee viral vector) to rebrand it as “the monkey vaccine”. This enables the pro-Kremlin media to suggest that the British vaccine will turn people into monkeys and also tap into criticism of animal rights supporters and anti-vaxxers.

However, a point of no small irony: the principles behind the Sputnik V vaccine are, in most respects, the same as Oxford’s. Monkey see, monkey do?

The monkey narrative tries to erode the credibility of Western vaccines. Despite all this ambitious monkey business, one should remember a good old Jamaican proverb: the higher a monkey climbs, the more exposed he is.

Old wine, new bottles

This week we also saw some old disinfo-wine poured from new bottles. A few examples.

We again witnessed some recurring Kremlin narratives on Navalny. For instance, poisoning the Russian opposition leader was intended to help the West attack Russia. Or, the Kremlin could not be behind the attack on Navalny, because an assassination order from the Kremlin is not probable, because he is just an insignificant blogger.

Read also: From English into Russian into Czech: re-translation as a Russian propaganda’s manipulation tool

On MH17, once more we saw the assertion that the Joint Investigation Team is ignoring proof provided by Russia. Allegedly, the criminal prosecutors ignore Russian raw radar data. In reality, the “raw data” consisted of a video combining primary and secondary information. This narrative has been recurring since 2016. Another MH17 narrative claims “the Germans” supported Russia’s withdrawal from the MH17 consultations. Through which research method did they determine this German support? Quite simple. Through three comments below an article of Die Welt.

Read also: Hybrid War in Ukraine and Belarus: same thing and potentially same disastrous outcome

As for Belarus, again, we noticed narratives claiming the protests could not have happened without foreign (Western) influence. This is part of a recurring campaign, accusing Western countries of interference and portraying the protests against electoral fraud as a Western-led color revolution.

See all Disinfo Reviews by EU vs Disinfo

Further reading:

You could close this page. Or you could join our community and help us produce more materials like this.  We keep our reporting open and accessible to everyone because we believe in the power of free information. This is why our small, cost-effective team depends on the support of readers like you to bring deliver timely news, quality analysis, and on-the-ground reports about Russia's war against Ukraine and Ukraine's struggle to build a democratic society. A little bit goes a long way: for as little as the cost of one cup of coffee a month, you can help build bridges between Ukraine and the rest of the world, plus become a co-creator and vote for topics we should cover next. Become a patron or see other ways to support. Become a Patron!

To suggest a correction or clarification, write to us here

You can also highlight the text and press Ctrl + Enter

Please leave your suggestions or corrections here

    Euromaidan Press

    We are an independent media outlet that relies solely on advertising revenue to sustain itself. We do not endorse or promote any products or services for financial gain. Therefore, we kindly ask for your support by disabling your ad blocker. Your assistance helps us continue providing quality content. Thank you!

    Related Posts