Technical Sgt. Justin Pribble, 48th Medical Group pediatrics/immunology flight chief, draws a sample of the COVID-19 vaccine at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, Dec. 29, 2020. Pribble was the technician responsible for administering the first COVID-19 vaccines at the 48th Fighter Wing.(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Madeline Herzog)
This article was originally published March 7, 2021, by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.
The United States has accused Russian intelligence agencies of spreading disinformation about Western vaccines against the coronavirus in an attempt to undermine global confidence in their safety, The Wall Street Journal has reported.
The State Department’s Global Engagement Center, which monitors foreign disinformation efforts, told the newspaper that four websites it claims are associated with Russian intelligence have been publishing articles questioning the efficacy of the vaccines and raising questions about their side effects.
The websites accentuate actual international news reports that cast a negative view of the vaccines without providing contradictory information about their safety and efficacy, the newspaper reported.
Western vaccines were approved after stringent trials that demonstrated more than 60 percent efficacy, and in two of the three cases, more than 90 percent. The Western vaccines compete with Russia’s Sputnik V, which also recently showed efficacy of greater than 90 percent in a mass trial.
The websites identified by the Global Engagement Center include New Eastern Outlook and Oriental Review, which it says are Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) and News Front, which it claims is run by Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB). News Front is based in Russian-occupied Crimea.
The fourth website, Rebel Inside, is controlled by the GRU, Russia’s military intelligence agency, according to the Global Engagement Center. However, it did not provide specific evidence linking the publications to Russian intelligence.
The websites are niche, without a large following. New Eastern Outlook and Oriental Review focus on an audience based in the Middle East, Asia, and Africa. Rebel Inside appears to be dormant, the center said.
U.S. social-media companies have removed the accounts affiliated with the four websites, though some non-English-language accounts remained active earlier this year.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov denied that Russian intelligence agencies were spreading disinformation about Western vaccines and said the United States was trying to blame Russia for the resulting international debate on coronavirus remedies.
The United States has long accused Russia of spreading disinformation on medical issues, going back to Soviet times, experts told The Wall Street Journal.
A Soviet KGB campaign claimed that U.S. military biological labs unleashed the AIDS epidemic.
Copyright (c)2020 RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036.
Coffee or Die is Black Rifle Coffee Company’s online lifestyle magazine. Launched in June 2018, the magazine covers a variety of topics that generally focus on the people, places, or things that are interesting, entertaining, or informative to America’s coffee drinkers — often going to dangerous or austere locations to report those stories.
Thirty Seconds Out has partnered with BRCC for an exclusive shirt design invoking the God of Winter.
Lucas O'Hara of Grizzly Forge has teamed up with BRCC for a badass, exclusive Shirt Club T-shirt design featuring his most popular knife and tiomahawk.
Coffee or Die sits down with one of the graphic designers behind Black Rifle Coffee's signature look and vibe.
Biden will award the Medal of Honor to a Vietnam War Army helicopter pilot who risked his life to save a reconnaissance team from almost certain death.
Ever wonder how much Jack Mandaville would f*ck sh*t up if he went back in time? The American Revolution didn't even see him coming.
A nearly 200-year-old West Point time capsule that at first appeared to yield little more than dust contains hidden treasure, the US Military Academy said.
Since the 1920s, a low-tech tabletop replica of an aircraft carrier’s flight deck has been an essential tool in coordinating air operations.
For nearly as long as the Army-Navy football rivalry, the academies’ hoofed mascots have stared each other down from the sidelines. Here are their stories.