The Trojan Vaccine: How Russia Uses COVID-19 Vaccine In Its Information War


Vitalii Rybak, analyst and journalist at UkraineWorld and Internews Ukraine, explored how Russia uses COVID-19 vaccine in its information war.

Ever since the Russian Federation announced the successful conclusion of developing its own COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V, it has been trying to impose this vaccine over Ukraine. To achieve this goal, the Kremlin relies on pro-Russian politicians, media and opinion leaders in Ukraine.

Ukrainian politician Viktor Medvedchuk has strong ties to Vladimir Putin, Russia’s President. The Kremlin’s master is the godfather of Medvedchuk’s daughter. Furthermore, Medvedchuk’s business is supported by Russia: according to reports of Ukrainian media, he earns his money through Glusco gas stations (formerly affiliated with Rosneft, a Russian oil company). Meanwhile, Oksana Marchenko, Medvedchuk’s wife, controls a company which mines one of the most significant Russian gas fields.

Simultaneously, Viktor Medvedchuk has been involved in Ukraine’s politics and media sphere. In 2012 he created “Ukrainian choice”, a civic movement which was masked as a Ukrainian political initiative but, in reality, promoted the pro-Russian geopolitical agenda.

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