Disinfo: Italy and other states have deliberately used the COVID-19 pandemic to establish sanitary dictatorships

Summary

Italy and other states have deliberately used the COVID-19 pandemic to establish sanitary dictatorships and subjugate the population by spreading fear and terror. The virus of fear spread by governments is the most dangerous virus. The virus of fear has transformed people into slaves of sanitary dictatorships who voluntarily give up their civil rights. This system of terror is used to keep de-legitimised regimes in power that have lost popular support. In Italy, the sanitary dictatorship imprisoned the population for three months. Hidden persuasion techniques were used by the government to make terrorised citizens accept measures which were crazy and destructive of civil liberties. In contrast to the Italian government, the political communication strategy adopted by President Putin and President Trump aimed at containing the spread of fear. Putin and Trump also supported workers hit hard by the economic crisis, while in Italy the state abandoned needy workers and even imposed the payment of taxes on them. President Putin, moreover, has restored spiritual values in Russia, thus effectively protecting the population from the virus of fear.

Disproof

Conspiracy theory. No evidence is given to support the article’s claims that the Italian or other Western governments have deliberately spread fear about COVID-19 in order to establish dictatorships. This is an example of the recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative claiming that Western governments have exploited the coronavirus pandemic, and have spread exaggerated fears about it, in order to abolish liberal democracies and establish dictatorships, while Russia has adopted a rational and balanced approach to handling the pandemic, aimed at preventing the spread of fear among the population. This narrative is consistent with a closely related pro-Kremlin disinformation theme that seeks to downplay the severity and urgency of the COVID-19 outbreak, or even to claim thatCOVID-19 is fake and a political move to install hegemony According to these narratives, COVID-19 restrictions introduced by governments – such as lockdowns, quarantines and social distancing – are irrational, hysterical and/or pursue hidden goals of élites and powerful lobbies. These narratives aim to discredit actions taken by the World Health Organisation and by individual countries to stop the spread of the new disease. It is not true that COVID-19 restrictions, introduced by Italy and other governments (including several EU member states) to fight the coronavirus pandemic, have provoked the collapse of liberal democracy and the establishment of dictatorships. Such emergency provisions, such as the curtailment of freedom of movement, are tools that democratic governments need to use, for a limited period of time, in order to rapidly and effectively protect the public health of citizens. It is also not true that the public health dangers of COVID-19 have been deliberately exaggerated by the Italian or other governments. The novel coronavirus, which causes 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 ever since. The number of COVID-19 cases has surpassed 37,109,851 globally with over 1,070,355 deaths as of October 11, 2020. However, the death rate aside, the major concern with the COVID-19 pandemic is its potential to overwhelm national healthcare systems, resulting in even more deaths because patients cannot receive treatment as hospitals exceed capacity. Thus, flattening the curve and limiting the spread of the virus - which is highly transmittable - is recommended as an essential precautionary measure by international health authorities, including the WHO. Moreover, restrictive and preventive measures - such as quarantines, social distancing, and the use of face masks - are not (as the article claims) “crazy and liberticide” actions that should be rejected by populations: they are necessary measures introduced by governments to fight the coronavirus pandemic. Read similar cases claiming that ruling élites are spreading coronavirus panic in order to gain unlimited powers and to actively interfere in the economy and that Western governments are deliberately exaggerating and spreading fear about the pandemic in order to strengthen global corporate capitalism.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 215
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 05/10/2020
  • Outlet language(s) Italian, English
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Italy, US, Russia
  • Keywords: coronavirus, West, Dictatorship, Donald Trump, Conspiracy theory, Vladimir Putin
see more

Germany trains Russian and European journalists to create fakes about Russia

The German Association “Potsdam Media International” will train media workers in Russia and Europe in disseminating false information about the Russian Federation, reports the telegram channel “Committee for National Interests”. The editorial office believes that at this course, obviously, media workers will be taught creation of fakes, political provocations and stovepiping. Including directed against Russia.

Disproof

The claim refers to the conference M100 Sanssouci Colloquium, organized each year, from 2005, in Potsdam, Germany, by Potsdam Media International E.V and many partners. The event brings together Europe's top editors, commentators and media owners alongside key public figures to assess the role and impact of the media in international affairs and to promote democracy and freedom of expression and speech, as it is mentioned on the official web site. This year, the final conference of M100 took place on 17 September. The topic was ”Shaping the Post-Covid Media Order”. There is no thematic mention of Russia on the agenda of the final discussions on September 17, nor in the previous days of training. The claim is false, in line with widespread disinformation narrative on any activities of Western NGOs related to democratic processes and the media, presenting them as actions directed against Russia. See here a case claiming that Anglo-Saxons are at the edge of anti-Russian attack and here a case presenting a media literacy course in Moldovan schools, supported by Western NGO’s, as one aiming to remove Russian information from the media space.

East Germany was attached to the West as a colony

30 years ago, on the 3rd October 1990, West and East Germany united and became one state. This is the official version. In fact it was unfriendly incorporation and East Germany, former GDR betrayed by the Soviet Union attached to the West as a colony.

Disproof

Historical revisionism and disinformation about the unification of Germany. The downfall of the German Democratic Republic was triggered by the decay of the other communist regimes in eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. After the fall of the Berlin wall, first free multiparty elections took place in East Germany, where a the eastern counterpart of Christian Democratic Union won the majority of votes. The new government began negotiations for a treaty of unification of Germany, amid a surging tide of refugees from East to West. The final barrier to reunification fell in July 1990 when German chancellor Kohl prevailed upon Gorbachev to drop his objections to a unified Germany within the NATO alliance in return for sizable financial aid to the Soviet Union. A unification treaty was ratified by the Bundestag and the People’s Chamber in September and went into effect on October 3, 1990. The German Democratic Republic joined the Federal Republic as five additional Länder (federal states). Read more about the reunification of Germany here. The economic and other differenced between the Eastern and Western parts of Germany still exist, but there is no basis to claim that the Eastern part of the country is colonized by the Western one.

Nagorno-Karabakh conflict leads to more tensions in the Donbas

Ukraine is ready to team up with Azerbaijan and Turkey simply because Turkeys does not recognise Crimea as part of the Russian Federation. The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict has already led to more tensions in the Donbas, including increased military activity. Later, we will certainly see a Ukraine-Turkey alliance against Russia.

Disproof

Recurring narrative treating Crimea as the territory of the Russian Federation. The narrative also represents a recent trend attempting to connect conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh with Ukraine.

The EU does not recognise the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol by the Russian Federation and continues to condemn this violation of international law. In June 2020 the European Council decided to renew the sanctions introduced in response to the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol by the Russian Federation until 23 June 2021. Ukraine did express support for Azerbaijan's territorial integrity, but called for a peaceful solution and said it supports the efforts of Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group - which is co-chaired by the Russian Federation. Based on the daily reports on the OSCE Monitoring Mission to Ukraine, the number of ceasefire violations in the Donbas did not increase meaningfully after the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict escalated. Thus, it cannot be proven that Ukraine, as an answer to the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, increased pressure on the region.