Disinfo: Italians change EU flags to Russian tricolor

Summary

Italians change EU flags to Russian tricolor.

The Russian aid made Italians think who their true ally is. Calls and demands for the lifting of anti-Russian sanctions began sounding in the country.

Disproof

Misleading headline.

What the pro-Kremlin media portrays as a widespread phenomenon is based on anecdotal evidence. For a more detailed debunk see reporting by BBC Russian service.

EU sanctions are not "anti-Russian". The restrictive measures were gradually imposed in response to the illegal annexation of Crimea and the deliberate destabilisation of Ukraine, by a unanimous decision of all EU Member States.

See more examples of pro-Kremlin disinformation about the coronavirus.

 

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 190
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 24/03/2020
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: EU, Italy
  • Keywords: coronavirus, Sanctions

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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COVID-19: A large-scale sociological experiment to see how much repression the people will accept

The severe measures, justified or not, are a sort of large-scale “sociological experiment” which aims to see how much repression would people be willing to accept, for a vague justification, and how politicized could the entire situation be. It could potentially also show how far people can be pushed before there’s riots on the streets, and the lack of “entertainment” leads to people finding ways to “entertain” themselves. As it has been proven time and again, mob mentality dictates that “entertainment” usually means decapitating the elite.

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 is closing up on 700,000 globally with over 33,000 deaths by 30 March 2020.

Frequent hand washing does not protect you from COVID-19

Doctor: Frequent hand washing does not protect you from COVID-19. Frequent hand washing does not protect against a coronavirus infection. The belief that frequent washing of hands repels the coronavirus does not seem to have a factual basis.

The former chief medical correspondent for NBC and CBS News says the current emphasis on frequent hand washing maintains a myth that has not yet been substantiated. He said: “You can wash your hands all day, but you will still get the coronavirus.”

Disproof

There is no medical evidence to support the claim that hand washing is useless against the coronavirus.

The WHO, the EU and its national health ministries, as well as all major international health organisations, clearly emphasise that "regularly and thoroughly cleaning your hands or washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub demonstrably kills viruses on hands", which helps to contain the spreading of COVID-19.

Coronavirus mortality figures are insignificant

Without wanting to downplay COVID-19, in terms of the global population, the mortality figures are insignificant. The data from China corresponds to natural processes, we should not think that man is immortal.

Disproof

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation attempt to downplay the severity and urgency of the COVID-19 outbreak, which has been classified as a pandemic by the World Health Organisation. Pro-Kremlin media have spread a variety of false claims to push this message, for example that COVID-19 is fake and a political move to install hegemony, that the outbreak is only an attempt to distract the world from real issues, that the virus is safe, and that the reason behind coronavirus scaremongering is a Western effort to weaken China.

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, with cases being reported in 190 countries, territories and areas. The number of COVID-19 cases has surpassed 777,000 globally with over 37,000 deaths as of 31 March 2020.