Disinfo: Kyiv stops public transport, Nazis are patrolling the streets

Summary

Kyiv stopped public transportation except for essential personnel. The local authorities will involve organizations with a membership consisting almost exclusively of Nazis. These “activists” will check the travel permits of Ukrainian citizens, whether they use a mask and their IDs.

Disproof

Recurring disinformation narrative about the involvement of Nazis in various layers of Ukrainian public life. In fact, the mayor of Kyiv, Vitaliy Klitschko, said that during quarantine at least two National Police officers and one representative of the “Municipal Guard” would be present in all public transport. “Municipal Guard” was established in 2015 as a public organisation for law enforcement. The mayor of Kyiv, Vitaliy Klitschko, noted that the creation of such a unit is “the first step towards the emergence of the municipal police in the Ukrainian capital.” It was not set up as a right-wing organisation; among its members are veterans who have returned from Donbas and want to help ensure the rule of law in Kyiv. Read similar case claiming that in Kyiv, during the quarantine, the far-right will check transport and documents of citizens.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 191
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 22/03/2020
  • Outlet language(s) Hungarian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Ukraine
  • Keywords: coronavirus, Nazi/Fascist
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There is not a single example of disinformation coming from Russian media

On March 16th 2020, the European External Action Service published a report namely accusing Russia of spreading disinformation, to lower the confidence of Western citizens in their state and public health system. The report did not include a single example of disinformation and was published for internal political goals. Since the EU and national state failed to address the health crisis caused by the coronavirus, Russia was used as a scapegoat to distract the attention of Europeans. Russia is used as a scapegoat in the West for many issues such as elections, climate change, coronavirus….

Disproof

Recurring narrative from the Kremlin and editors of Russian state media claiming that the EEAS did not give any examples of disinformation. The cases the report referred to are listed in this very database, documenting the most common disinformation narratives and examples in many different languages by pro-Kremlin media: more than two hundred are on the coronavirus. The EEAS did not publish a report accusing Russia of spreading disinformation on March 16th. However, some parts of an internal report were leaked to news agencies and were subsequently commented on by the Kremlin. The report itself included several examples of disinformation. A shorter version of the original report was published on March 19th on the EUvsDisinfo website. It summarises the trends of disinformation narratives about COVID-19 for different audiences. An update was published on April 1st.

COVID-19 is a fake, it's a political move to install hegemony

COVID-19 is a fake, it’s a common and not deadly virus. All those deaths in Italy cannot be because of the coronavirus. It’s a political move to destroy small businesses and install deep state hegemony. US is adopting fascist measures to limit people’s freedom.

Disproof

An unfounded conspiracy theory, sharing a recurrent pro-Kremlin narrative about "secret elites" controlling world leaders. COVID-19 comes from a family of viruses originating in animals that include other viruses such as SARS and MERS. It was first reported in the Chinese city of Wuhan in central China and has been rapidly spreading across the world, with cases being reported in 190 countries, territories and areas. The number of COVID-19 cases surpassed 300,000 globally with over 14,000 deaths (with 5,476 only in Italy) by 23 March 2020. Many other claims have been pushed by pro-Kremlin media since the outbreak started in January, for example, that governments overestimate the threat, that it was born in a laboratory to infect Chinese, that it is an element of hybrid warfare and that the remedy has been developed in Ukraine.

Latvia protects Nazi criminals

Due to coronavirus the march of Latvian SS legionnaires was cancelled. At the same time, Russia has announced the names of 96 Nazis criminals from Latvia who are alive and respected in Latvia. They managed to avoid responsibility by hiding in Nazi-loyal states.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Nazi/Fascist Baltic states, consistent with broader efforts of historical revisionism, to whitewash the role of the Soviet Union in the WW2. For more information about the March 16 events in Latvia read here. See related disinformation cases alleging that the Baltic States laugh at the memory of those who perished in Holocaust; that Nazis are in power in Latvia; that the Baltic authorities associate themselves with Hitler.