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Russia, U.S. Locked in Propaganda War Over Vaccines

   March 13, 2021 12:35 AM
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by By Paul D. Shinkman, Senior Writer, National Security

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Covid-19 Vaccines
RUSSIA ON FRIDAY accused the U.S. of preparing a massive disinformation campaign to discredit Moscow's coronavirus vaccine, Sputnik V, in the eyes of European leaders and in other countries with which world powers seek greater relations.

Citing an unnamed source from the Kremlin who referenced intelligence reports, Russian state news claimed the large-scale campaign will be, according to a translation, "aimed at creating a bias toward domestic scientific developments" of Russia's COVID-19 vaccine, particularly for countries that have already signed up to receive it. It also claimed the U.S. was pushing instead for countries to agree to receive its own vaccines, particularly one developed by Pfizer.

The State Department and its Global Engagement Center – a relatively new office tasked with countering disinformation – did not immediately respond to requests for comment. However, Russia's claims follow similar assertions from U.S. officials and confirmed by State Department spokesman Ned Price earlier this week that Moscow was behind a similar campaign targeting U.S.-made vaccines.

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