Disinfo: Moscow Mayor is connected to neo-liberal circles and supports the hysteria over the COVID-19

Summary

[Moscow mayor Sergey] Sobyanin has insisted from the very beginning that strict quarantine must introduced in the capital and has been one of the main supporters of the media hysteria over the COVID-19 threat. Many saw it as a kind of political move to strengthen the power of the circles that include such persons as Moscow major Sergey Sobyanin that includes such controversial persons as Herman Gref (CEO of Sberbank of Russia), Elvira Nabiullina (President of the Central Bank of Russia). This circle is well known for its pro-Western, neo-liberal views and ties with the global elites.

Disproof

An unfounded conspiracy theory, sharing a recurrent pro-Kremlin narrative about "secret elites".

The Mayor of Moscow imposed  increasingly tighter quarantine measures as the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Moscow surpassed 1000, on the 30th of March 2020.  As of April 6th, 2020 there were over 6000 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Russia.

 

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 191
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 06/04/2020
  • Language/target audience: English
  • Country: Russia
  • Keywords: coronavirus, Conspiracy theory
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EU findings on Russian disinformation about COVID-19 are Russophobia

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 West cannot resolve the coronavirus crisis without Russian help

The West cannot resolve the coronavirus crisis without Russian help. China set the standard in how they washed their streets and the way they fought this coronavirus in public places. It turned out that the West simply could not do anything like that. For example, in Bergamo, Russian help was required to achieve the same results.

Disproof

This claim exploits the coronavirus pandemic to push a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the EU's alleged imminent collapse. It also aims to pit EU member states against each other in an attempt to undermine European solidarity - another recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation tactic.

EU Member States are helping each other in this crisis; for example, German hospitals offered to treat critical coronavirus patients from France and Italy, as well as sending ventilators to Spain, whilst the Czech Republic sent masks to Italy.

Ukrainian reforms aim to reduce the country’s population by 15 million people

For the so-called agrarian superpower to be able to feed itself, it is necessary to reduce the Ukrainian population. Rough estimates show that its population should be around 20 million people. Therefore, it has 15 million more people [than needed]. It is already quite obvious how this will be achieved. There is healthcare reform, which is directly aimed at the destruction of the Ukrainian population. There is mass emigration. There is a drop in the birth rate. These are the necessary measures to bring the demographic balance to the [desired] economic model.

Disproof

Conspiracy theory with no evidence given. Pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Ukraine losing its statehood. It is also consistent with a recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about the untenable requirements of the IMF and its work in Ukraine.

The reforms in Ukraine, including the controversial land reform, are aimed at improving Ukraine's economic and social conditions, as well as Ukraine's competitiveness on the world market. The land reform, according to the IMF, is among the reforms that can fundamentally transform the Ukrainian economy. The draft law, inter alia, excludes foreigners and foreign companies from buying land and limits the amount of land each person can buy and own.