Disinfo: Russia is being falsely accused of waging a disinformation campaign on coronavirus

Summary

China’s coronavirus is another page of the US playbook on “evil Russia.” After years of repeating the mantra of the “Russian interference”, White House officials are now claiming that Russia is trying to sow chaos digitally by blaming the US of the coronavirus outbreak. Russia’s Foreign Ministry denied US accusations, which seem a deliberate falsification.

Disproof

Russia’s disinformation campaign on coronavirus has been well documented by both media and governments, and some of their elements were widely reported by Russian and international publications.

EUvsDisinfo database has more than 50 Kremlin-linked disinformation cases on this subject, such as claims that Bill Gates and George Soros are sponsoring the Wuhan coronavirus, that it is a UKUS or NATO creation and Americans have its cure, that it is an artificial disease which specifically targets Chinese DNA, that it was created with economic goals while big pharma companies are spreading panic for their own profits, that it is a biological weapon against Russia and China, that it will wipe out Ukraine’s population in a few days or that it was predicted by Nostradamus and others.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue186
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 23/02/2020
  • Language/target audience: Spanish, Castilian
  • Country: Russia, US
  • Keywords: coronavirus, Conspiracy theory, Anti-Russian

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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The Hague court recognised Crimea as Russian

In the Netherlands, they proved that Crimea is Russian. The Permanent Court of Arbitration denied Ukraine’s attempt to denounce Russia’s sovereignty over Crimea. The court in The Hague supported Russia in all key positions.

Disproof

Part of the recurring pro-Kremlin narrative that Crimea is Russian territory.

Ukraine filed a lawsuit against Russia on 16 September 2016, concerning the Kremlin's violations of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea in the Kerch Strait and the Sea of ​​Azov. The Kremlin appealed that the Permanent Court of Arbitration does not have jurisdiction to consider this case, but the court rejected Russia's objections on 21 February 2020 and determined it would hear Ukraine's claims. Ukraine insists in its lawsuit that since 2014, Russia has hindered Ukraine from using natural resources from its own marine areas: including fish resources and huge oil and gas reserves. Also, that Russia impedes free navigation through the Kerch Strait.

There is no Ukraine, only Ukrainism as a disorder of the mind

There is no Ukraine but “Ukrainianism”, a specific disorder of the mind. Surprisingly, the passion for ethnography is brought to extreme degrees. Such a bloody local history. Muddle instead of the state. There are Borscht, [Stepan] Bandera, there is the bandura. But there is no nation. There is a brochure “Independent Ukraine”, but there is no Ukraine. The only question is, has Ukraine already gone, or has it not yet emerged?

Ukraine has not yet emerged. But over time, it will appear. Ukrainians are stubborn guys, they will carry it out. However, what kind of Ukraine will it be, in what borders will it exist, and even, maybe, how many Ukraines there will be is an open question. And one way or another, Russia will have to participate in resolving these issues.

Relations with Ukraine were never simple, even when Ukraine was part of Russia. Ukraine has always been troublesome for the imperial and Soviet bureaucracy. Coercion by force to fraternal relations is the only method that has historically proven effective in the Ukrainian direction.

Disproof

Recurrent Russian propaganda statement on Ukraine, which "does not exist". Ukraine is a well-defined nation-state which preserved language, literature and identity, despite foreign rule for long periods. It is a sovereign State whose borders are guaranteed by international agreements, de facto violated by Russia, which started a war in Ukraine.

The "all-Russian nation"narrative is an imperial Russian and Russian irredentist ideology aimed at weakening the national identity of Ukrainians.

Western liberal civilisation is decadent, materialistic, hedonistic and perverse

Ayatollah Khomeini warned Mikhail Gorbachev, the Soviet Union’s last leader, that Russia, after its liberation from godless atheistic communism, should not fall into the trap of Western liberalism, a decadent, materialistic, hedonistic and perverse civilisation. Gorbachev did not heed Khomeini’s warning and Russia fell into the trap of liberalism. Russia would have died in this trap had it not been for Vladimir Putin, who saved everything in Russia that could still be saved.

Disproof

This message is in line with a recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about the West's moral decay aimed at portraying Russia as superior to the West in terms of values and morals. This narrative often claims that President Vladimir Putin saved Russia’s values and identity  from the threat of  Western decadence and that he is the only world leader that protects  traditional European and Christian values. “Threatened values” is one of the most common narratives used by pro-Kremlin outlets.

The article seeks to discredit liberal democracy by repeating  the pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about the West’s moral decadence, materialism, perverted values, and hostility to traditional religion, which Western governments allegedly seek to undermine and to replace with pseudo-religions (such as LGBT ideology).