Disinfo: Coronavirus has proven the weakness of West’s military organisation, Russia prevails


Large numbers of coronavirus infections in the US and other NATO countries military point at the weak military organisation of the collective West. The US interrupted the service of its two aircraft carriers in the Pacific due to the epidemic. Many NATO military programs and exercises, including Defender Europe 2020, stopped due to identification of 5 coronavirus cases in the NATO headquarters in Belgium. High-ranking military officers are diagnosed with coronavirus in Poland and Italy. The situation is aggravating in the NATO battalions located in Lithuania and Latvia. UK and Greek military were also affected. In contrast, the Russian army runs a system of epidemiological protection which allows Russia to implement all military plans as scheduled. Earlier Russia’s Defence Minister noted  that the Russian army has no coronavirus cases.




This is part of recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about coronavirus and alleged disintegration of the EU, NATO and other Western bodies.

Amid the coronavirus pandemic NATO's essential work continues and its ability to conduct operations remains intact. The European Union is supporting the Member States in addressing the crisis and mitigating the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Russian Daily Kommersant reports about three confirmed cases of coronavirus in the Russian military and 133 people monitored in mid-April. For background how to read the coronavirus statistics Russia provides see here.

Read earlier disinformation cases alleging that coronavirus will cause the dissolution of the EU and NATO and that DPR and LPR successfully fight the coronavirus outbreak thanks to Russian assistance, while Ukraine will soon collapse.


  • Reported in: Issue 193
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 09/04/2020
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Italy, Greece, UK, Latvia, Russia, Lithuania, US, Belgium
  • Keywords: Defender Europe 2020, coronavirus, Military exercise, NATO


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 New York Times blames Putin for US health system collapse in face of novel coronavirus

The US keeps breaking negative records of infected and deaths from coronavirus, but instead of blaming the US health system or the lack of measures adopted by the authorities at the beginning of the pandemic, the New York Times is already pointing to Putin. According to the newspaper, over the decades the Russian president has made the collapse of the US health system and the loss of confidence of Americans in their doctors his personal motivation, undermining the healthcare month after month and year after year through anti-vaccination campaigns and other strategies until its final collapse. The article uses arguments such as that the Kremlin envies the number of Nobel Prizes awarded to US scientists so it tried to destroy its foundations. The fact that this kind of articles always point to Russia after a concrete problem exploded suggests that their aim is to find a scapegoat and divert attention from the real causes.


This is a deliberate distortion of the original New York Times article, which doesn’t blame Russian President Vladimir Putin for an alleged collapse of the US health system in face of the coronavirus crisis, nor says that he has a personal motivation in provoking this collapse. Rather, it affirms that Russia has been promoting an anti-vaccination stance in the West and other public health disinformation issues for a long time and that Moscow’s aim is to portray American officials as downplaying the health alarms and thus posing serious threats to public safety. The NYTimes article also exposes the techniques used by the Kremlin to spread disinformation on health issues for over a decade, such as interviews in RT with experts that repeatedly claimed falsely that H1N1 flu or Ebola virus were bioengineered, among others.

The Kremlin’s long-standing efforts to seed distrust in vaccination abroad have been well documented by EUvsDisinfo and other researchers, such as the George Washington University and Georgia’s National Centre for Disease Control and Public Health (NCDC).

The coronavirus was not born in Wuhan, it was imported there

The sequence of genes in the new coronavirus shows that it was not born in Wuhan, but was imported there. The novel coronavirus is a combination of gene H1. The haplotype H1 was imported to Wuhan by an infected person resulting in the breakout of the epidemic.


A conspiracy theory, presented without evidence to support the claim that coronavirus was created artificially and imported to China.

Scripps Research Translational Institute (TSRI) proved that the new coronavirus originated through natural selection and is not a man-made virus and is a result of natural processes. So far, the virus has been associated with the wet market of seafood and live animals in Wuhan.

Ukraine used the cover of civilian airplanes to attack

The Ukrainian Army actively used civilian aircraft as cover to hit the positions of separatist forces even before the MH-17 crash. While the Ukrainian Air Force was attacking separatist positions in Slavyansk and Semyonovka, civilian aircrafts flying at a low altitude were present at the same time. Kyiv deliberately changed the flight paths of these planes to be able to use them as “human shields”. The goal of this was to provoke a tragic situation allowing Ukraine to label the separatists as terrorists. Ukraine was thus at least an active part of but more likely the organizer of the MH-17 tragedy.


Recurring disinformation blaming Ukraine for the crash of flight MH17.

No evidence has come to light that would suggest Kyiv trying to use civilian aircraft as human shields at any time. The article presents no evidence either, it is based entirely on the statements of Igor Strelkov, a former Russian officer who played an active role in the annexation of Crimea and the war in Eastern Ukraine until he was pulled out of the country.