Disinfo: EU findings on Russian disinformation about COVID-19 are Russophobia

Summary

Members of the European Parliament said that Russia is conducting a disinformation campaign about COVID-19. However, they do not refer to any specific case of the alleged disinformation. MEPs simply quote the so-called findings of the EU’s East StratCom Task Force and note that these findings reflect their views. Quarantine in the European Parliament cannot defeat the incurable disease, i.e. Russophobia. In this situation, only Russia and China are helping Italy, which has become the centre of the fight against coronavirus in Europe.

Disproof

The claim consists of multiple pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives. Also consistent with the narrative on Russophobia. The EEAS issued a special report on narratives and disinformation around the COVID-19 pandemic, counting at least 150 cases of pro-Kremlin disinformation on novel coronavirus. The cases are public and can be accessed here in the EU vs Disinfo database. The European Commission has approved a €50 million Italian aid scheme to support the production and supply of medical devices, as well as to help Italy provide the necessary medical treatment to those infected. On March 18, the European Union also received a Chinese aid package, including masks and 50,000 testing kits that were fully allocated to Italy, as Rome faces the most urgent needs among member states in the coronavirus crisis. On March 13, the European Union proposed a Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative, envisaging EUR 835 million for Italy. On March 26, the European Parliament unanimously approved the initiative. More on the EU's support can be read here.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 191
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 30/03/2020
  • Outlet language(s) Georgian
  • Country: EU
  • Keywords: coronavirus, Russophobia
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The COVID-19 outbreak means the end of Europe; Russia and China will rise

The EU is at its end, which is painfully clear. Like in the old Roman Empire, the Vandalen brought upheaval to the Empire and eventually it broke down. This is what we see right now. The EU countries are unable to help each other, getting help from Russia and China instead, which the EU governments try to label as propaganda. The healthcare system has broken down a long time already. They don’t have masks, no electronic fever thermometers, and are imposing martial law. When they continue with the lockdown, it will be the end of Europe as we knew it. Russia and China will rise, and more and more EU countries know that “brotherhood” is non-existent.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the disintegration of the European Union. The European Union is supporting the Member States in addressing the crisis, and mitigating the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. 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 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. Read more about the EU's response here and here.

The coronavirus disinformation campaign is the beginning of the heist of the century

The current disinformation campaign accompanying the coronavirus pandemic is the beginning of the “heist of the century”. As a result of this con, assets and savings of many nations, companies and individuals will end up in the hands of the current oligarchy, more specifically hundreds of the richest and most powerful families. The substantial portion of global wealth they already own will only increase as the rich always want more.

Disproof

An unfounded conspiracy theory, sharing a recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about "secret elites" controlling world leaders. The novel coronavirus, which cases the COVID-19 disease, belongs to a family of viruses originating in animals that include others such as SARS and MERS. It was first reported in the city of Wuhan in central China in late 2019 and has been rapidly spreading across the world, with cases being reported in 190 countries, territories and areas. The number of COVID-19 cases has surpassed 777,000 globally with over 37,000 deaths as of 31 March 2020. See more examples of pro-Kremlin disinformation about the coronavirus here.

380 Belgians caught COVID-19 through a massive act of group sex

The Health Minister of Belgium has declared that she will forbid group sex activities, including more than three persons. The reason behind the decision is the highly contagious coronavirus. The minister had to act resolutely, as Belgium had a reputation of “the binge drinking and group sex capital of Europe”. The minister decided to forbid sexual acts, including three or more, as last week 500 people were taking part in a coronavirus party that turned into a mass orgy, and 380 of the participants caught the deadly infection.

Disproof

This is a satire which was misrepresented as factual information. The Belgium minister said no such thing. The parody text first appeared in the World News Daily Report and was extensively debunked by the international media. It was relayed by a Russian humor account, and then uncritically reprinted by Nationalist Zavtra. See a previous instance when the pro-Kremlin media has presented satire as facts. See more examples of pro-Kremlin disinformation about the coronavirus.