Disinfo: In Ukraine, doctors quit en masse because of Ukrainian soldiers with COVID-19

Summary

The medical staff of the city hospital in Mariupol quit en masse due to the hospitalisation of about 200 military personnel of the Armed Forces with suspected coronavirus infection.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Ukraine and the coronavirus.

The City Council of Mariupol told StopFake that the hospital mentioned in this news item doesn't have an infectious department ready to receive patients with suspected COVID-19 or even patients with the disease. For such measures, other hospitals in the city were prepared. Moreover, there was no mass dismissal, or quitting, of doctors in Mariupol.

As of 21 April 2020, 39 cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in the Ukrainian Armed Forces, 2 of these cases were lethal.

Further debunking by StopFake.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 193
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 01/04/2020
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Ukraine
  • Keywords: coronavirus, Eastern Ukraine, Abandoned Ukraine, War in Ukraine, Donbas

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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Dangerous experiments of Americans in Chernobyl worse than fires

The wildfires lasted more than a week in the Chernobyl (exclusion) zone. However, it’s not the worst trouble in that region. The Chernobyl nuclear power plant found itself in difficult conditions because it lost contact with Russian specialists, the opportunity to buy Russian fuel and equipment. But the main danger is in the experiments conducted at the station by Americans.

Westinghouse is trying to get into Ukrainian reactors. They already got into Czechoslovakia, the situation at the Czech station almost ended up in a catastrophe after the Americans began to supply their equipment. Something similar is now happening in Ukraine. This is very dangerous. Much more dangerous than fire. Although fires are also bad.

Disproof

One of the Kremlin's disinformation narratives about a possible "new Chornobyl" in Ukraine, the accusation of Westinghouse and so-called experiments of the West in Ukrainian nuclear plants.

In 2005, Ukrainian Energoatom and the US company Holtec International signed a contract for the construction of spent fuel storage. There was no such storage facility, and the country was forced to spend 200 million dollars annually for services for the export and processing of spent nuclear fuel to Russia. Construction began in 2017. According to the contract, Holtec International will supply special equipment for dry storage of spent nuclear fuel and its transportation, and will also provide Ukraine with technologies that will be applied at its nuclear power plants and also during the transportation of spent nuclear fuel from the plants to this storage.

The fate of Donbas is decided by nationalists not Zelenskyy

The fate of Donbas is not decided by Zelenskyy. The hegemony of nationalists has developed in Ukraine, and Zelenskyy cannot break them.

Disproof

The recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about the alleged power of Nationalists in Ukraine and their influence on the state processes.

All right-wing groups have suffered spectacular defeats in every national election since 2014. In 2019 the far-right "Svoboda" (often described as "ultra-nationalist" or "Nazis" by pro-Kremlin outlets) gained only 2.15% of the vote, far short of the threshold needed to enter Parliament. This demonstrates the public's lack of support for far-right nationalist parties in Ukraine.

The time for a union on equal terms with Russia may be over; Belarus will beg to become a part of Russia

Belarus’s place belongs to the union with Russia only. Furthermore, the time when such a union could be on equal terms is gone. However, if Belarus does not become part of it, after a couple of years in the present-time independent status, Belarus will be begging to become an autonomous region of Russia.

Disproof

This is a classic pro-Kremlin claim consistent with recurring propagandistic narrative about Belarus as an integral part of the Russian world. It promotes a false dilemma for Belarus's development and which paints very bleak prospects for Belarus up to the complete loss of sovereignty and independence in case it does not proceed towards a very close integration format in relations with Russia.

See earlier disinformation cases promoting a similar false dilemma and alleging that Belarus faces either normal development under Russia or a forced Polonization and economic devastation, that the only possible scenario for Ukraine and Belarus to prevent their descent into Nazism through the politicisation of national clothes is to become a Russian western federal area, and that the direction of Belarus and other post-Soviet countries' political development is either a union with Russia or unavoidable degradation.