Disinfo: Coronavirus epidemic turned into an information warfare tool

Summary

Using the coronavirus epidemic as an information weapon is not only an element of the external, but also of the internal political struggle of Western partners. This problem is directly related to Russia, as Russia is part of the global economy. American and European politicians are now mainly engaged in rescuing stock markets and finding the culprits, rather than fighting the infection.

Disproof

Fear over the coronavirus has indeed affected China's stock markets, but suggesting that the virus has been weaponised by Western states or governments is part of the recurring pro-Kremlin narrative on secret labs and biological weapons. It is also consistent with the narrative that the spread of coronavirus is in the interest of the US to weaken China and Russia economically. Stock markets globally have been impacted by the virus, not just in China.

There is no evidence to suggest that the novel coronavirus 2019-nCoV is used as a weapon against other states. Many countries have so far been affected by the new virus.

The World Health Organisation is working with global experts to combat the virus. To boost global preparedness, prevention and containment of the virus the EU announced an aid package worth €232 million. US companies are working on a vaccine and an experimental coronavirus vaccine has already been shipped to US government researchers for testing.

Read previous disinformation narratives alleging that the Emergence of coronavirus is not accidental and has economic goals, Coronavirus is a US provocation against China, The coronavirus is a biological weapon created by the UK, and A new Chinese coronavirus was likely elaborated in NATO's biolabs.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 187
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 29/02/2020
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Russia
  • Keywords: coronavirus, Conspiracy theory
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Suppression of media freedom is the norm in the Baltic States

Suppression of media freedom and violation of the rights of national minorities have become a norm in the Baltic States. Extremist parties, movements and groups that spread the ideology of Nazism, racial superiority, discrimination and xenophobia are feeling more and more at ease.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the Baltic States. Consistent with the narrative that the West is dominated by fascist/ Nazi groups and ideology.

Estonia ranks 11th in the World Press Freedom Index, 2019. Latvia and Lithuania rank 24th and 30th accordingly. Russia currently ranks 149th out of 180 countries, one place down since the last year.

The West collectively develops a hostile attitude towards Russia

Russia, along with China, is still considered a rival, if not an enemy. Russia is still accused of all kinds of invented, unproven sins, from interference in internal affairs and elections to assassinations.

There has been no qualitative change in the collective West’s attitude towards Russia. The hostile attitude of the collective West towards Russia obviously refutes the ‘Westlessness’ thesis. The West appears united here. While dollar bills have “In God We Trust” written on them, the West could sum up its attitude towards Russia in the words: “In hostility towards Russia we unite”.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Russophobia and about Western belligerence towards Russia.

While aware of pro-Kremlin disinformation campaigns, the West is trying to keep open channels of communications and cooperation with Russia. For instance, NATO as the Western organisation created cooperation bodies – the Permanent Joint Council and the NATO-Russia Council – to embody its relationship with Russia. It also invited Russia to cooperate on missile defence. The Warsaw Summit Communique 2016 describes NATO's official policy towards Russia: "The Alliance does not seek confrontation and poses no threat to Russia. But we cannot, and will not, compromise on the principles on which our Alliance and security in Europe and North America rest."

West is increasingly decadent, will look like Sodom and Gomorrah in the future

American society and the entire West are showing increasing signs of moral, human and material decadence. Their future will be not be peace and prosperity, but will look more like Sodom and Gomorrah.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about the West’s moral decadence, materialism and hostility to traditional religion, which Western governments allegedly seek to undermine and to replace with pseudo-religions (such as LGBT ideology).

These narratives aim at portraying the West as depraved, an immoral actor that fights against traditional values, promotes deviant sexual behavior and endangers societies.