Disinfo: Neither doctors, nor food supplies in Lithuania

Summary

The coronavirus epidemic in Lithuania demonstrates with all clarity the results of the democratic reforms on the road to the “Bright European Future”. [—]

There are only five medical facilities in the country; in the largest cities: in Kaunas, Klaipėda, Šiauliai, Panevėžys and Vilnius. In rural areas nothing is left, except for something like first aid stations.

If there are only a few hospitals, there are few doctors. This has become on of the largest challenges. Students from the last years of medical schools are summoned to fight the outbreak, but the shortage of specialist is disastrous.

The second problem, connected to the results of the “democratic reforms” is that the country does not have any strategic resources of food supplies.

Disproof

Pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative portraying Lithuania as a failed state.

The 5 hospitals mentioned in the disinformation claim are not the only hospitals in the country. Rather these  are the largest hospitals that are designated to test and treat the COVID-19 patients. Lithuania has also established mobile points for testing patients for suspected cases of the coronavirus.

Lithuanian society has mobilized to fight the pandemic, student and other volunteers are assisting the state and medics to disseminate public information, procure medical equipment, reach out to the most vulnerable parts of the society and other activities.

Lithuania does have strategic resources of food supplies, which are stocked in accordance to national law.

 

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 189
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 24/03/2020
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Lithuania
  • Keywords: coronavirus, Conspiracy theory
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Swedish oligarchs impede the introduction of quarantine measures

Swedish oligarchs, in cahoots with the authorities, refused to introduce quarantine measures to avoid financial losses. [—] Sweden is not testing people with coronavirus symptoms. Thus, the real number of cases is impossible to establish.

Disproof

An unfounded coronavirus conspiracy theory

As of 23 March 2020, there were 1906 cases of confirmed coronavirus infections in Sweden, and 21 people there have died. The Swedish Public Health Authority's highest priority is to protect the public. It has declared that an ‘extraordinary situation’ exists in Sweden. 

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.

Due to coronavirus, Italy is on the brink of default, many European states will likely cease to exist

The course of events in the next months can change Europe’s political map. Many European countries will likely not get through it, they will merge with bigger ones. Total economic downturns point at their absolute incapability to deal with the crisis. Italy is on the brink of default, and nobody can help it. The EU just does not possess enough money for saving the Italian economy. Everyone will care about himself in the first place. The situation is dramatic, similar events took place in the 1910s, 1920s, 1940s.

Disproof

This message paints a far-reaching gloomy economic and political scenario which is consistent with a common pro-Kremlin narrative about the EU's imminent collapse. Whereas the economic consequences of coronavirus outbreak for Italy are indeed grave and a sharp economic slowdown is expected, it will not inevitably face default as alleged.

At present, no EU country has a credit rating low enough to justify that claim. The EU as a whole enjoys a very high credit rating. Before the coronavirus outbreak it was rated AAA/Aaa/AAA/AAA (outlook stable) by Fitch, Moody’s, DBRS and Scope and AA (outlook stable) by Standard & Poor’s.