Disinfo: Unlike Russia, Western democracies provide coronavirus assistance to gain political benefits

Summary

Contrary to Russia, who is committed to helping humanity in the fight against coronavirus without seeking any political benefits, Western so-called democracies provide coronavirus assistance in order to obtain political benefits.

Disproof

No evidence given. Pro-Kremlin disinformation message aimed at discrediting Western countries and their supposed lack of solidarity. This is also consistent with the Russian narrative of a decadent West lacking traditional values.

Solidarity already has an undoubted presence in the legal framework of the EU, as well as a well-established constitutional tradition in some Member States. The EU Treaties explicitly refer to solidarity in a number of provisions, including the values  and  objectives  of  the  Union (solidarity ‘between generations’ and ‘among Member States’) and particular policies where the ‘principle’ or ‘spirit’ of solidarity is to be applied.

The EU and several of its member states have shown solidarity to Italy and have been helping Italy in its fight against Covid-19.

Germany for example has sent a ‘flying hospital’ to help coronavirus patients, in one of Italy’s hardest-hit regions as the country continues to struggle with the pandemic. The ‘flying hospital’ offers patients ventilators, syringe pumps, defibrillators and an ultrasound system. On the 26thof  March about 50 COVID-19 patients from Italy were already being treated in Germany. German Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer said the government decided to send over the ‘flying intensive care unit’ as a sign of European solidarity.

The EU is accelerating procurement and distribution of medical equipment for its Member States. The joint procurement of personal protective equipment launched by the European Commission is one of the major initiatives undertaken.

Additionally, the Commission wants to directly support the healthcare systems of EU Member States in their fight against the coronavirus pandemic. To finance this action, the Commission is mobilising €3 billion from the EU budget, of which €2.7 billion will be channelled through the Emergency Support Instrument and €300 million through the rescEU-medical equipment capacity.

The Commission has also decided to create a strategic EU stockpile of medical equipment such as ventilators and protective masks to help EU countries.

Read similar cases claiming that Coronavirus exposes the weakness of European humanism and that the lack of solidarity against COVID-19 may cause the end of the EU.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 192
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 09/04/2020
  • Language/target audience: Italian
  • Country: EU, Russia
  • Keywords: coronavirus, Western values, The West

Disclaimer

Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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The establishment’s end game is to aquire power, not to save lives

The establishment NEEDS the pandemic to spread, because then they have a rationale for strict controls of public activities and movements. This is the end goal. They have no care whatsoever for public health or safety. The end game is to acquire power, not save lives.

Disproof

An unfounded conspiracy theory propagating a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about "secret elites" controlling world leaders.

The number of people infected with COVID-19 has surpassed 1.7 million; more than 110,000 people have died as of 13 April 2020. See the latest situation report from the WHO here.

OPCW report on Ltamenah chemical attacks is misinformation

The OPCW’s Investigation and Identification Team (IIT) has released its initial report into three chemical incidents which allegedly took place in the Syrian village of Ltamenah in March 2017. The report says “there are reasonable grounds to believe” that all three attacks were perpetrated by the Syrian Air Force.

The relevant Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) requires the mandatory dispatch of experts directly to the sites of alleged incidents. However, the information gathered by the IIT mostly came from anti-government armed groups and pseudo-humanitarian NGOs affiliated with them, including the notorious White Helmets.

The report contains references to certain secret services data – apparently from the same states obsessed with a change of power in Damascus; there is no other word for it but misinformation.

The OPCW previously falsified the results of its investigation into the April 2018 chemical incident in Douma, which turned out to be a staged provocation by the White Helmets.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives attacking the independence and integrity of the OPCW; painting the White Helmets as terrorists; and absolving the Syrian regime of responsibility for chemical attacks.

The term “reasonable grounds to believe” denotes a standard of proof which has been routinely applied in several areas of international law since 2002 (see e.g. Rome Statute, Art. 58(1). The same standards is followed by the IIT (Ltamenah report pp. 14-5; notes 30-2), the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission (see e.g. the Douma report, p. 4) and a number of UN bodies. See e.g. here (pp. 37-40) and here (pp. 62-3) for the UN definition of the "reasonable grounds" standard and an overview of the requirements for achieving it.

Dismantling of Soviet monument in Prague violates the Czech Republic’s international obligations

By these cynical actions [“public desecration of symbols of Russian military glory” after the statue of a Soviet marshal was unbolted last week in Prague] the Prague municipal authorities have seriously breached the obligations contracted by the Czech Republic. A Czech-Russian treaty of 1993 obliges the Czech Republic to take care of Russian military monuments on its territory. The Committee also denounces the “contempt for the common memory and the history of the struggle of the Soviet people against fascism” on the part of those who had the statue removed.

This is an act  of vandalism, mockery and violation of all international obligations of the Czech Republic.

Disproof

This is a recurring disinformation narrative about the statue of Marshall Konev in Prague, seeking to obfuscate the statue's legal status and the grounds for its removal.

In the dispute over the statue, Russia has argued that under the Czech-Russian mutual agreement of 1993, Czechia is obliged to leave the statue in place on Prague's Interbrigade Square. However, this is an intentionally false and misleading interpretation of the terms of the agreement (full text available here). The monument is municipal property, belonging to city district Prague 6, and the 1993 agreement therefore does not apply to this case. The statue of Konev, erected in 1980, is not a military grave or memorial and therefore it was not protected by international treaties.