The first fiction concerning Russian COVID aid delivery was picked up by Bosnian and Montenegrin news and social media. Russian sources falsely claimed that nine EU member states intentionally prevented Russian aircraft from using their airspace en route to beleaguered Italy. To bolster this claim, a photo originally published by FlightRadar24 showed the actual flight route was repurposed. It shows the path of an Ilyushin II-76 from Moscow to Rome, circumventing EU airspace by transiting the Black Sea to the Adriatic.
While the photo's content is genuine, the accompanying assertions were not. EU member states placed no such flight ban or other restrictions on Russian aircrafts' use of EU airspace for humanitarian purposes. To wit: Sputnik quoted a Russian senator falsely alleging that Poland disallowed the Russian aircraft's overflight. Not long after, that official's tweet was deleted following a corrective press release from the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, compelling Sputnik to accurately revise the story. While corrected, the misinformation continued to make its way regionally through social media.
 Media literacy and analysis portal Raskrinkavanje debunked these claims with its own article at this time.