The Inoculation

Sputnik vs. the West: How the Russian government is discrediting Western vaccines

May 14, 2021

In this episode, we took a look at how the Russian government and its media networks used their power and reach to discredit Covid vaccines made by Western companies and how it boosted its own Sputnik V Covid jab -- and how this might backfire. Experts say that attributing anonymous or obfuscated social media profiles is tricky, but they tend to be remarkably consistent and align with the goal of promoting Sputnik V at the expense of Western, but not Chinese vaccines.

We talked to Seb Cubbon, a research analyst at First Draft (one of their reports here), Miriam Matthews, senior behavioral and social scientist at RAND, Olga Dobrovidova, a Russian science journalist, Bret Schafer from the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF), Peter Stano, lead spokesperson at the European External Action Service, which is the EU’s diplomatic service, and Peter Balasz, a former diplomat and professor emeritus, Central European University. 

You can read more about vaccine disinformation in the New York Times, CNN and other sources. A link to the transcript is here.

Our reporting is supported by Journalismfund.eu, Media Lab Bayern and Alfred Toepfer Stiftung. Please subscribe to this show on Apple Podcasts, Audible, Google Podcasts, Spotify or another platform of your choice. Follow us on Facebook as @theinoculation, on Twitter as @TInoculation, and on Instagram as @the_inoculation

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