Disinfo: Baltic countries are preparing for war during the pandemic

Summary

The Baltic countries are preparing for war during the pandemic. Even in conditions of emergency and quarantine, the armed forces of the Baltic countries are not ready to give up large-scale exercises. The civilians are unhappy with this – the situation, according to civilians, is not very good for the rattling of weapons.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the West/ NATO threatening or encircling Russia and the US-led military exercise "Defender-Europe 2020". The disinformation message aims to present the Baltic States as militaristic and their armed forces as lacking the support of civilian population.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, many joint military exercises have been cancelled.

On 16 March, U.S. European Command (EUCOM) issued a press release which stated that exercise Defender-Europe 2020 has been modified in size and scope. Essentially, all movement of personnel and equipment from the United States to Europe has ceased and several of the linked exercises have been cancelled. The list of cancelled exercises includes Dynamic Front (a Joint Fire exercise), Joint Warfighting Assessment (U.S. Army’s largest annual live, multinational experiment, focused on Multi-Domain Operations), Saber Strike (a combined-joint exercise to take place in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland) and Swift Response (to demonstrate the strategic employment of the Global Response Force to Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania).

See other examples of disinformation about NATO in our database, such as its never-ending provocations, its attempts to block Moscow in its sphere of influence, the Alliance's permanent targeting of Russia and Belarus, its role as a US subjugation tool for other countries and its unreliability to defend its members or its plans to continue attacking other countries.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 194
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 20/04/2020
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania
  • Keywords: War preparation, Baltic states
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NATO decided that the fight against coronavirus should be an information war

Instead of dealing with the coronavirus, NATO will fight fake news about it. NATO decided that the fight against coronavirus should be an information war. Apparently, by this logic, this virus should be scared and leave. The Alliance does not intend to undertake anything else and solve real problems.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation message about NATO and the coronavirus.

NATO is providing help worldwide during the pandemic. While NATO does not have stockpiles of medical supplies, its coordination centre can help with heavy transport, logistics and by matching donors with recipients. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, eleven countries have asked the NATO centre for help. Among others, the centre has facilitated the delivery of disinfectants from Ukraine, ventilators from Germany, protection equipment from Turkey and respirators from the Czech Republic. A shipment of thousands of surgical masks from Estonia to Italy and Spain is expected in the coming days.

Brussels cannot offer any centralised plan on quarantine recovery

The end of quarantine in Europe exposed a new problem: Brussels is confused and cannot offer any centralised plan. There are no exact dates or detailed instructions in the so-called “roadmap” presented by the European Commission.

Disproof

This claim exploits the coronavirus pandemic to push a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the EU's alleged imminent collapse.

One of the main pro-Kremlin narratives relating to the pandemic is that the EU is failing to cope with the COVID-19 crisis and, as a result, is disintegrating, together with the border-free Schengen area. This narrative also aims to pit EU member states against each other in an attempt to undermine European solidarity: another recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation tactic.

Formation of OPCW Syria investigation team was illegal

Moscow does not recognise the [OPCW’s] investigation team because its formation was illegal and outside the framework of the Chemical Weapons Convention.

Disproof

This is a recurring disinformation narrative aiming to discredit the OPCW. The OPCW is an independent inter-governmental international organisation with 193 member states - including Russia.

The Investigation and Identification Team (IIT) was formed in accordance with the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) as the voting results for the decision upon which its formation was based on were counted at 82 votes in favour and 24 against. The formation of the IIT was therefore adopted in complete compliance with the relevant standards of the CWC.