Disinfo: Coronavirus is a nail in the coffin of the EU

Summary

This (the situation caused by the coronavirus) is certainly the nail in the coffin of the European Union as an idea and a system. Where is the mutual assistance between EU states? Where are the measures that should quickly and effectively stop the spreading of this pandemic from one country to another? Italians are so furious. They hoped that EU neighbours would help them, but they are being stamped down. They were put in a position where doctors must choose who lives and who dies. (…) Eastern Europe is simply left to its own devices.

Disproof

This claim exploits the coronavirus pandemic to push a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the EU's alleged imminent collapse. It also aims to pit EU member states against each other in an attempt to undermine European solidarity - another recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation tactic. There is no evidence to support the doomsday claim that the pandemic is resulting in the death or obsolescence of the EU. To cushion the blow to people’s livelihoods and the economy, the European Commission has adopted 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 EUR 37 billion Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative to provide liquidity to small businesses and the health care sector. To support scientific research into the COVID-19, the European Commission has earmarked 47,5 million EUR for shortlisted research projects that can improve epidemiology and public health, including preparedness and response to outbreaks. The EU has also created first ever stockpile of medical equipment. EU Member States are also helping each other in this crisis, for example German hospitals offering to treat critical coronavirus patients from France as well as taking in patients from Italy, and the Czech Republic sending masks to Italy. Read more about the EU's response here and here.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 189
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 19/03/2020
  • Outlet language(s) Russian
  • Country: Slovakia, Hungary, Italy, Czech Republic, Poland, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia
  • Keywords: Central Europe, Eastern Europe, European Union, European values, Europe
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Russia prevents the Black Sea from turning into NATO's zone of influence

The security guarantor of Crimea is already a nuclear power, Russia. The Crimean peninsula has turned into a solid military, naval fist. Which is also a powerful blow to NATO’s plans to turn the Black Sea into NATO’s “internal sea” or zone of influence. Crimea will never again be a part of Ukraine.

Disproof

The alleged encroachments of NATO on the Ukrainian peninsula are among the most common disinformation narratives, to justify the illegal annexation of Crimea. Russia's disinformation uses all sorts of controversial arguments: geopolitical, military, historical, to defend the Russian annexation of Crimea. There is no evidence that NATO was planning to deploy weapons system in Crimea, which was part of a sovereign Ukraine.

NATO expansion is also a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative. NATO does not "expand" in the imperialistic sense described by the Kremlin leadership and Russian state media, but instead considers the applications of candidate countries that want to join the defensive alliance based on their own national will. NATO enlargement is not directed against Russia. The claim that NATO was planning to base ships and missiles in Crimea is fiction. The idea has never been proposed, suggested or discussed within NATO. In the Statement by the North Atlantic Council on Crimea on 18 March 2019, NATO condemned Russia's ongoing and wide-ranging military build-up in Crimea, and expressed concern by Russia's efforts and stated plans for a further military build-up in the Black Sea region. Here are another cases claiming that Crimea was supposed to become a NATO base, or Crimean population was always eager to reconnect with their Russian homeland, or "one of the main goals, why Maidan was conceived: to have a NATO base in Crimea", Crimea reconnected with Russia to avoid NATO troops. Further debunking on The Insider.

The French government systematically lied to the population

In France for 50-60 years when there were health crises, the government lied to society. When Chernobyl happened in 1984, the German authorities told to be careful and to protect oneself, and the French minister said all is well, the Chernobyl cloud stopped at the French border.

Disproof

Recurring disinformation narrative that Western governments cannot be trusted to manage a major accident/crisis. The narrative that the "Chernobyl cloud stopped at the French borders" is so well spread in France that is accepted as a cliché. In the early days after the nuclear accident, in April 1986 not 1984 as stated on Sputnik, environmental associations and journalists spread the idea that the French Minister of Health or Pierre Pellerin, the Director of the Central Service for Protection against Ionising Radiation, said that the "cloud stopped at the French borders". This statement was never made. Pierre Pellerin won several defamation cases against NGOs and Media on this matter. Newspapers such as Le Parisien or Le Point admitted their mistake and explained how this false rumour started. See a previous case implying that the French government is incompetent.

Mainstream media ignores the fake news campaign against Russia

No mainstream media outlet is reporting a massive ‘coronavirus’ fake news campaign, which targeted Russia itself. Apparently, this does not fit the narrative. This campaign comes jointly with an increase of activity of various Western-funded anti-government organizations inside Russia.

Disproof

An unfounded claim and a recurring pro-Kremlin narrative presenting all activities of NGOs, media or civil society activists as measures to overthrow the power in post-Soviet states.