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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 4/24/21

Kremlin: Russians don't deserve Sputnik-V

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I sometimes wonder if there is merit to writing about topics I have already expressed my opinion on. I don't want to become a broken record that repeats itself. However, I'm not the only one affected by this issue - with propaganda on the loose, it would be unwise to be silent, even if it means I must repeat myself. We will once again talk about Russia and its new weapon of geopolitical influence - the vaccine Sputnik-V.

There have been a lot of discussions about Russia's attempts to use this vaccine to achieve its geopolitical ends. There's nothing wrong if a country has certain international goals, but problems arise when the methods of achieving these goals include lying and cheating. In the case of Russia, its foreign policies are sacrificing the health and lives of its own people.

The Covid-19 pandemic has severely affected every nation on Earth. The development and production of vaccines is one of the most sensitive topics at the moment, because the nations that will be able to vaccinate most of its people will be the ones able to return to normal life and also gain economic advantages. The countries that will help others with the vaccination process can expect international respect and some more tangible benefits as well. As I already said, there's nothing wrong with this if it's done fairly and respectfully.

Russia was the first country to develop a vaccine and begin its production. We hear a lot that Russia offers its vaccine to other nations, but there's not a lot of information regarding the vaccination process in Russia itself. The fact that the situation in Russia is much more severe than it would like to admit is proved by official statistics - 102,649 people in Russia have died from Covid-19. If we look at the fatality rate per capita, it becomes clear that the number of deaths in Russia is much larger than in the US or most of Western Europe.

From April to December 2020, Russia saw 360,000 more deaths than the annual average, New York Times reported. Rosstat data on January and February this year suggest that this number has now exceeded 400,000. It's difficult to find a developed country with a situation more severe than Russia, independent demographics expert Aleksey Rashka said, adding that the Russian government is doing everything it can to keep these facts a secret. It would, of course, be naïve to expect that Russia would publish the actual data on the number of Covid-19 infections.

In reality, Russia has been badly hit by Covid-19. But, if other countries see it as their priority to vaccinate their own citizens first, it's the exact opposite for Russia, i.e. it cares about its citizens the least.

Putin announced the production of vaccines with great pomp, but the harsh reality is that Russia is now producing its vaccine also abroad. The Kremlin has praised the success of Sputnik-V and the fact that it is being exported to different countries globally as to aid the vaccine deficiency. However, Russia is silent about the fact that it imports its own vaccine. Russia has signed a contract on the production of Sputnik-V with a South Korean company that has already delivered the first shipments of the vaccine. Russia also intends to receive Sputnik-V from companies in India. Aside from these countries, Russia also hopes that Germany will begin producing Sputnik-V.

This means that, despite Putin's statements about Russia's economic and production capabilities, it's unable to produce its own vaccine.

Let's go deeper - what is the situation with the vaccines Russia is delivering to other countries? Plenty of scandals in this regard as well.

The Slovakian State Institute for Drug Control stated that the 200,000 doses of Sputnik-V that Slovakia received were different from the ones that that were reviewed by the EU and the medicine journal The Lancet. In simpler terms, Russia palmed off something entirely different to Slovakia. Naturally, Russia reacted to this announcement by saying that it's nothing more than a propaganda campaign. Interestingly, the next day Russia asked Slovakia to return the Sputnik-V doses due to violating the contract by expressing concerns about the delivered vaccines being different from the reviewed ones.

We also can't ignore the fact that Western nations started considering Sputnik-V after The Lancet published a positive article about the vaccine. Perhaps we should look at the said article and how it made into the journal. In this context, let's remember the scandal involving former president of the International Biathlon Union Anders Besseberg who was accused of covering up doping violations committed by Russian athletes and working in Russia's interests. Can we be certain that Russia hasn't taken the same "care" regarding the article praising Sputnik-V?

One of the best examples of Russia's lying, cheating and engaging in other dirty deeds was the Sochi Olympics - Russia did everything it could to hide the fact that Russian athletes had used doping on an unimaginable scale. Russia's doping program was a part of its strategy of getting Olympic medals and was carried out with support from the state and intelligence services.

This raises a simple question that anyone is able find the answer to: if Russia grossly violated the principle of "fair game" in the Olympics it itself held, do you think that Russia could to the same by delivering fake vaccines to other countries?

Back to Russia using the vaccine to acquire geopolitical influence - Putin boasted about Russia's greatness, but the reality is that Russia is unable to produce the necessary number of vaccines. Regular Russians won't receive the vaccine any time soon for the simple reason that there are no vaccines left for them. Russia promises other countries its vaccine, but again is unable to produce them, so it asks others to produce Sputnik-V to be then imported by Russia. And what other countries receive from Russia is not the vaccine, but instead something entirely different.

If Russia wasn't afraid to deliver fake vaccines to Slovakia, which has the resources to identify that something is wrong with them, imagine what Russia is delivering to, for example, Tunis and Guinea. One thing is clear - Putin's Russia has never lacked impudence and dishonesty.

 

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Zintis Znotiņš Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

On a daily basis I am working as freelance independent investigative journalist. I am happy to be the Latvian patriot, born in Riga. I Have studied politics and journalism at the Latvian University. Currently, on a voluntary basis, I am helping (more...)
 

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