Disinfo: Coronavirus epidemic prevented NATO deadly attack against Belarus

Summary

The coronavirus pandemic disrupted NATO aggressive plans camouflaged under Defender 2020 military exercises. It seems that NATO was planning a surprise military attack around the 75th anniversary of the WWII Victory Day. Without the epidemic, Belarusian cities and villages could already be on fire. On the other hand, it can also be that instead of military exercises NATO actually planned the spread of coronavirus as a biological weapon. Instead of protection and peace, NATO military spread the coronavirus infection in the Baltic states and Norway. First “zero patient” in Latvia was a NATO soldier. NATO military may also be behind the spread of coronavirus in South Korea. It cannot be ruled out that they also brought COVID-19 to the United States. Generally, the NATO military is the main transmitter of coronavirus. Russia and Belarus have so few coronavirus cases because NATO military is not stationed on their territories. The authorities of Belarus need to investigate who actually brought coronavirus infection into the country, whether the pro-NATO Belarusian opposition was implicated.

Disproof

The publication puts forward a number of coronavirus-related and Defender2020-related conspiracies aimed to discredit the NATO and the Belarusian opposition. It is consistent with recurring pro-Kremlin propaganda narratives about alleged Western aggressiveness towards Belarus and Russia, the coronavirus as West's / NATO's biological weapon, and the Belarusian opposition as destructive West-financed group. NATO did not have any attack plans against Belarus as alleged. NATO’s secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg affirmed that Defender Europe 2020 was not directed against any particular country. Its purpose was to practice the rapid deployment of large-scale forces across the Atlantic into Europe, demonstrating the US military’s ability to quickly send a massive contingent to support NATO and respond to any crisis. In response to the current outbreak of the COVID-19 virus and guidance by the United States Secretary of Defence, the exercise was modified in size and scope. A "zero patient" in Latvia was not a NATO soldier as alleged. It was reported that the first positive-tested individual was female who travelled from Milan to Munich and then flew to Riga on 29 February. Speculations about NATO soldiers as the main cause of the coronavirus spread in South Korea, Norway, US, and the Baltic states are ungrounded. Generally, there is no evidence of the deliberate spread of the virus by NATO, as the article suggests. Covid-19 has been detected in virtually all countries in all continents. There is no evidence of the deliberate spread of the virus in Italy, China or any other country, as the article suggests. The claim that Belarus and Russia have few coronavirus cases because of the absence of NATO military on their territory is fake. In fact, as of 30 April, Belarus and Russia have more identified coronavirus cases, both in absolute and relative terms, than many NATO countries including neighbouring Lithuania, Latvia, and Poland. Read earlier disinformation cases alleging that COVID-19 reached NATO and disrupted its anti-Russian plans, that the virus was brought to Italy by NATO's secret terrorist network, that NATO prepares for big war with Russia in line with Hitler's attack directions, that the Belarusian opposition plans a genocide with Soros-funded coronavirus-infected test tubes, and that pro-Western opposition in Belarus prepares 'kill lists' and a genocide.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 195
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 17/04/2020
  • Outlet language(s) Russian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: South Korea, Norway, US, Belarus, Lithuania, Estonia, Russia, Latvia
  • Keywords: Defender Europe 2020, coronavirus, Biological weapons, Military exercise, WWII, Conspiracy theory, NATO, Baltic states
see more

Coronavirus is safe because it only kills old people

COVID-19 is a great virus. Children almost do not get sick, and the average age of the victims is 79.5 years.

Disproof

Regular disinformation about the coronavirus. WHO advises people of all ages to take steps to protect themselves from the virus, for example by following good hand hygiene and good respiratory hygiene. People of all ages can be infected by the new coronavirus. Graham Roberts, an honorary consultant paediatrician at the University of Southampton, explains: "Children (with COVID-19) are predominantly affected in their upper airways (nose, mouths, and throats) so they get cold-like features rather than the virus managing to access their lower airways, ie lungs, and giving the pneumonia and life-threatening Sars picture that we see with adult patients." The proportion of infected children who went on to develop severe or critical COVID-19 illnesses with breathlessness, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), and shock was much lower (6%) than among Chinese adults (19%) – especially older adults with chronic cardiovascular or respiratory conditions. However, there are still cases of children dying from COVID-19. For example, on April 4, a five-year-old child in the UK with underlying health conditions passed away.

Myth about Ukraine as a separate nation was created in the USSR

In the USSR, a myth was created about Ukraine as a country, in which another type of people lives – “Ukrainians”. They were separate, albeit “fraternal”, people. They supposedly consisted of boys and girls in costume, and, as such, were considered to be “folk”. This complimentary, and not substituting identity is the only thing that can help the future of Ukraine and its people. Not concept of “Ukrainian, not Russian”, but that of “Little Russian and Russian”. This will return to Ukraine the meaning of existence as a truly Little Russia, as an integral part of the Russian world.

Disproof

Recurrent pro-Kremlin propaganda narrative questioning the Ukrainian statehood. Ukraine is a well-defined nation-state that has preserved language, literature and identity despite foreign rule for long periods. It is a sovereign state whose borders are guaranteed by international agreements but were violated by Russia, which started a war in Ukraine. The publication uses a derogatory term 'Little Russians' to identify Ukrainians, which derives from imperial Russian and Russian irredentist ideology that is a favoured pro-Kremlin narrative aimed at weakening the national identity of Ukrainians and undermining Ukraine's sovereignty. See also previous narratives claiming that there is no Ukraine, that Belarusians, Russians and Ukrainians are the same nation, and that Ukrainians are Russians, not Ukrainians.

EU is suffering from the sanctions against Russia

Sanctions against Russia are speeding up the suffering of the European economy.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Western sanctions on Russia claiming that they have backfired. Since March 2014, the EU has progressively imposed restrictive measures against Russia. The measures were adopted in response to the illegal annexation of Crimea and the deliberate destabilisation of Ukraine.

According to research into the effect of sanctions, the cumulative export loss to Russia during 2014-2018 is estimated at EUR 30 billion (about -0.2% of EU’s GDP in 2018), incurred largely during 2014-2016, as EU exports to Russia recovered in 2017. While these sanctions do effect EU's economy, the EU-wide impacts of the export losses are estimated at less than 0.2% of total value-added and employment.