Russian Communist Party members distributed anti-vaccination leaflets in Moscow falsely claiming there is no coronavirus pandemic, the Podyom Telegram news channel reported Wednesday.
The leaflets, reportedly handed out to protesters outside the Moscow Mayor’s Office, called Covid-19 vaccination the “rebirth of fascism” and equated the jab to weapons of mass destruction. According to Podyom, they also called the vaccines “nanotechnological products that emit electromagnetic fields,” enter the body and kill its recipients.
The Communist Party leaflets echoed earlier false claims by its leader Gennady Zyuganov that the vaccine is part of U.S. billionaire Bill Gates’ “globalist” plot to implant microchips into the population.
The anti-vaccination protests coincide with Russia’s free and voluntary Covid-19 immunization drive with the domestic Sputnik V vaccine. Developers say interim results of its ongoing post-registration clinical trials demonstrate 95% efficacy, but public polls still show a majority of the Russian public unwilling to take the vaccine.
Podyom said the Red Moscow public group, a patriotic movement within the Communist Party, took down photos of the leaflets from its Telegram channel.
Valery Rashkin, a Communist Party member in Russia’s lower house of parliament, reportedly attended the rally and defended other members for not wearing masks or adhering to social distancing guidelines.
“It’s proven by science that the possibility of infection is minimal, 0.001%, on the street. I was maskless because I’m immune,” Podyom quoted Rashkin as saying.
“Our street action posed no danger whatsoever,” Rashkin.