Disinfo: In conditions of an epidemic, the EU continues to promote the concept of the “Russian enemy”

Summary

The Russian aid to Italy was perceived in quite a strange way by some European media – French President Emmanuel Macron had also shown concerns about it. This situation shows that the EU continues to keep the concept of the Russian enemy alive. A similar concept of the “Chinese enemy” appeared in the USA as there were attempts to call the Coronavirus a “Chinese virus”. It is pure racism – unfortunately, there will be no quick reconciliation.

Disproof

This message is part of the Kremlin’s disinformation campaign around the Coronavirus epidemic and the alleged Russophobic policies of the European Union. It promotes the idea that in the situation of the Coronavirus pandemic, the West should forget about all existing political disagreements with Russia.

Evidence is emerging that there are significant shortcomings with the aid sent by Russia, with one report estimating that up to 80% of this aid is ineffective. The Russian aid delivered to Italy is mainly composed of various equipment for disinfecting the streets. This type of equipment is not urgently required in Italy and has been described as a Russian “geopolitical and diplomatic charm offensive”.

See other disinformation messages connected to the Coronavirus epidemics such as Coronavirus will cause the dissolution of the EU and NATOPentagon-funded biological laboratories involved in creation of CoronavirusThe Baltic states may not survive the coronavirus-related economic crisis and Germany called for lifting sanctions against Russia because of Coronavirus.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue191
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 31/03/2020
  • Language/target audience: Polish
  • Country: EU, Italy, China, Russia
  • Keywords: coronavirus, Conspiracy theory, Emmanuel Macron, Anti-Russian, Russophobia

Disclaimer

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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NATO has completely exhausted its reasons to exist during the Coronavirus pandemic

NATO has completely exhausted its reasons to exist. Today, it is some kind of a structure, which realises the commercial interests of the American military-industrial complex. In the situation caused by the pandemic, it is possible that the Americans may lose their interest and faith in the maintenance of this organisation. Particularly, if NATO member states will revise their budgets reducing their expenses for defence.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation message about NATO as a geopolitical project of the US. NATO is presented as an instrument used by the American military-industrial complex for the promotion of its commercial interests.

The statement that the USA may lose interest in NATO because its member states may reduce their defence budgets because of the Coronavirus pandemics is a conspiracy theory.

Europe’s failure to deal with the coronavirus is due to its sense of ideological superiority

Europe has experienced a long period of peace and prosperity. Its whole society feels entitled to prosperity and security without having to strive for it. Many people have forgotten that freedom means above all responsibility and respect for others. They are under the impression that they have the right to do anything they want, and that the state is obliged to solve problems they cause. This, too, was the reason behind the carefree attitudes of many politicians and the public in the early stages of the epidemic.

Europe’s failure was largely due to the fact that, thanks to a sense of ideological superiority, it failed to follow the logical steps taken in Asia and see the impending risks. Taking experience and assistance from these countries does not mean taking over their political system. However, a majority of politicians and the public have not yet realised this.

These Asian countries did not even consider the possibility of taking a herd immunity approach, as was adopted in some other countries, mainly because of their traditional respect for old age and family.

Disproof

A recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the collapse of democracy and the West amid the coronavirus crisis, also building on the longstanding pro-Kremlin theme of the West's alleged moral decay, characterised by hedonism, materialism, and hostility to traditional religion, which Western governments allegedly seek to undermine and to replace with pseudo-religions (such as LGBT ideology and feminism). See similar cases that liberalism has facilitated the spread of the coronavirus, and that the coronavirus "war" is finally forcing Western ultraliberals to finally care for vulnerable people.

The notion of "threatened values" is one of the master narratives used in pro-Kremlin disinformation, in order to suggest that those committed to decency and traditionalism are under attack from liberal “tyranny”.

US state medical team that banned hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19 lacks qualification

The US state of Nevada’s medical team, which banned FDA-approved malaria drugs chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine to treat the coronavirus, lacks qualification.

Disproof

This is part of the pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign around the coronavirus, and specifically its efforts to spread false or misleading health information related to COVID-19, its prevention, and its treatment. See similar false claims like that COVID-19 can be cured with saline solution, that treatment for COVID-19 will lead to forced vaccination, that handwashing is useless for preventing the spread of the virus, and that we have "nothing to lose" by making hydroxychloroquine publicly available without testing. False and misleading health claims are the most dangerous and irresponsible aspect of coronavirus-related disinformation, as they can have a direct impact on people’s health and even their lives.

This article baselessly accuses a US state medical team of lacking professional qualifications in order to provoke doubt about the state's decision to ban the use of anti-malarial drugs chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine for the treatment of COVID-19. These drugs have not yet been tested for their effectiveness against COVID-19 and are not recommended for this purpose by health authorities, including the WHO and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which states that as of yet "there are no FDA-approved therapeutics or drugs to treat, cure or prevent COVID-19." The FDA is currently investigating whether chloroquine "can be used to treat patients with mild-to-moderate COVID-19 to potentially reduce the duration of symptoms, as well as viral shedding, which can help prevent the spread of disease."