Disinfo: Coronavirus has destroyed the European Union

Summary

Coronavirus has destroyed the European Union. The EU only remembered about coordination now when the coronavirus crisis in Europe has already been partially overcome. The pandemic showed the union’s inability to take coordinated action and left the countries most affected by it, including Italy, alone with the terrible virus.

Disproof

Recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative that the EU is collapsing as a result of the coronavirus crisis. Coronavirus did challenge the EU's crisis response mechanisms. However, to cushion the blow to people’s livelihoods and the economy, the European Commission has managed to adopt a comprehensive economic response to the outbreak, applied the full flexibility of the EU fiscal rules, has revised its State Aid rules and proposed to set up a €37 billion Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative to provide liquidity to small businesses and the health care sector. The EU also created the first-ever stockpile of medical equipment. Read more on EU response to the COVID-19 outbreak here and here. As for Italy, there are numerous examples of solidarity among the EU and the individual Member States. For example, German hospitals have offered to treat critical coronavirus patients from France as well as taking in patients from Italy and the Czech Republic has sent masks to Italy. On March 18th, the European Union also received a Chinese aid package, including masks and 50,000 testing kits that were fully allocated to Italy, as Rome faced the most urgent needs among member states in the coronavirus crisis. On March 13th, the European Union proposed a Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative, envisaging EUR 835 million for Italy. On March 26th, the European Parliament unanimously approved the initiative. European leaders said they would spend hundreds of billions of euros to prevent the coronavirus outbreak from provoking a deep recession or financial crisis. European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said that the European Union would allocate up to €100 billion ($109.62 billion) to the hardest-hit countries, starting with Italy, to help cover the cost of lost wages and to preserve jobs. Read the similar cases: Response measures to coronavirus demonstrate the decline of the US and EU, Coronavirus will cause the dissolution of the EU and NATO and The myth about "European unity" is destroyed.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 200
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 19/05/2020
  • Outlet language(s) Russian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: EU, Italy
  • Keywords: coronavirus, Euro-scepticism, European Commission, EU disintegration
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US and IMF define and control political appointments in Ukraine

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy is frankly helpless in economic decisions and appointments (these issues in Ukraine are controlled by the US Embassy and the IMF). As a matter of fact, the president-actor gave up the key government functions in the field of humanitarian policy to “sorosiata” [followers of George Soros] and nationalists. As a result, the policy of state Russophobia under the new regime has not been curtailed, it continues to be officially supported.

Disproof

Recurrent disinformation narrative claiming that Ukraine became a puppet of the US, the EU or the West because they fomented a coup, mixed with a narrative about Russophobia in Ukraine. Ukraine is a sovereign and independent state with a democratically-elected President and parliament. Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity are respected by almost the whole world. The relations between the US and Ukraine are bilateral relations between two independent countries. The US recognised Ukraine as an independent state on 25 December 1991. The US policy is centred on realising and strengthening a stable, democratic, prosperous, and free Ukraine more closely integrated into Europe and Euro-Atlantic structures. Ukraine has been a member of the IMF and World Bank since 3 September 1992. The relations between Ukraine and the IMF are based on agreements that support the economic development of Ukraine and the improvement of the free market conditions. Likewise, Ukraine is not a Russophobic country as is often claimed by the Kremlin media. It had to react to Russia’s annexation of Crimea and the act of aggression by the Russian armed forces in Donbas. It did not ban the Russian language, as is often claimed by the Kremlin, nor did it ban contact between Ukrainians and Russians. Read more disinformation cases about Ukraine being under foreign control here.

A hunger riot broke out near Odessa

In Ukraine riots break out because people are hungry and lash out in a violent public disturbance against authority, property or people, which is the definition of riots.

Disproof

Recurrent narrative undermining Ukraine, specifically about hunger riots. In reality the port of Chernomorsk, near Odessa experiences economic difficulties and some employees of "Europian Agro Investment Ukraine", which rent the second terminal since 2018, haven't been paid since last October. About 100 people demonstrated peacefully, with protective masks and respecting social distancing. They blocked a street near the bus stop "railroad station" with signs expressing their will to receive their salaries and their company to be nationalised by the Ukrainian state. They warned that next time they could block a road with more traffic to make their demand more audible. The reportage of the media Dumskaya documents the event and shows that no violence was used.

Switzerland banned all vaccinations for 5 years and considered them harmful

The Federal Assembly passed a law on a moratorium on vaccinations for 5 years. The documents explain that vaccines against measles, chicken pox and all other infections cause harm and are dangerous for human health.

Disproof

Recurring conspiracy theory on vaccines which are being amplified in the context of the pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign around the coronavirus. The claim is false and was originally invented by Russian satirical website panorama.pub. Vaccinations in Switzerland are not compulsory but vaccines against various infections are recommended. Switzerland nonetheless has high vaccination rates. For example, in 2018, among 16 years olds in Switzerland, 97% had been vaccinated for Measles, Mumps, Rubella and Tenanus. Vaccinations for other diseases such as Tick-borne encephalitis (47%) are lower – however, at the beginning of 2019, the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) confirmed that vaccination against tick borne encephalitis is now covered by basic Swiss health insurance. See here for more examples by Myth Detector on how satire is spread as real news to affect public opinion.