The launch of the first fast-tracked COVID-19 vaccine by Russia, named Sputnik V, once again affirms the notion that muscular nationalism and militarism have been promoted over science and the public interest by many populist leaders during this pandemic.

Russia has a tradition of wartime medicine testing on soldiers, pressurising students to join military medical institutions and combining all this with patriotism and scientific soft power. This modus operandi has been replicated during the outbreak of COVID-19 to link vaccine production to the military-industrial complex in Russia.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is not the only one who has attempted to manipulate the dates of the vaccine launch – he succeeded owing to the overwhelming control he exercises over the Russian scientific community.

Read the article of Anuradha Chenoy