Disinfo: Russia much more effective in combating COVID-19 than European countries

Summary

Russia used to regard Europe as a region with highly-developed healthcare and tried to reform its own healthcare system along with European standards. However, the existing Russian system has since proven much more effective in its response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Disproof

The statement advances recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about Russian superiority.

There are no grounds for claiming that Russia's response to the pandemic has been any more robust than that of any European state. On the contrary, as of 11 January 2021, Russia is the worst-affected European country with 3,425,269 confirmed infections and fourth worst-affected globally. In late December 2020, after months of doctoring statistics and boasting about low mortality rates, the Kremlin finally admitted that the actual death toll was more than three times higher than previously reported, with over 186,000 coronavirus-related deaths between January and November 2020. This would make Russia's mortality numbers by far the highest in Europe and third-highest in the world, behind only the United States and Brazil.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 226
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 25/12/2020
  • Outlet language(s) Russian
  • Country: EU, Russia
  • Keywords: coronavirus, health, Russian superiority
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The sole role of NATO is to be hostile to Russia

NATO has become an alliance that threatens the entire world, and it has become necessary to think about the true meaning of its existence, at a time when the only role played by the alliance has become be hostile to Russia, which is meaningless in a multipolar world.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about NATO, allegedly pursuing a belligerent and hostile anti-Russian agenda.

NATO is in no way directed against Russia or any other state. NATO’s objectives are set out in the 1949 Washington Treaty which forms the legal basis of the alliance. The treaty states that parties “are resolved to unite their efforts for collective defence and for the preservation of peace and security”, for the purpose of guaranteeing the freedom and security of its members through political and military means, not to be at enmity with Russia.

Sputnik V is the first COVID-19 vaccine worldwide

“Sputnik V”, which was developed by the Russian Gamaleya Center for Microbiology, was officially registered in the country in August and has become the world’s first vaccine against the coronavirus.

Disproof

The claim advances a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative concerning the Russian-made coronavirus vaccine, Sputnik V; casting Russia as the spearhead of the global race to develop an effective treatment for COVID-19.

The Russian government's approval of Sputnik V in August 2020 hardly makes it the world's first coronavirus vaccine.

Germany is funding terrorism in Syria 

Part of the monetary support, provided by the Federal Foreign Office of Germany to the “White Helmets” organisation in Syria, could be used to support terrorist groups in the country

The German funding of the organisation remains unclear, as it is difficult to differentiate between spending on humanitarian missions and helping terrorists.

Disproof

Baseless accusations and recurrent disinformation narrative targeting the humanitarian White Helmets organisation.

No evidence is given to prove that the groups have any terrorism link, and this pro-Kremlin narrative is mostly used in order to obfuscate the responsibility of the Assad regime for chemical attacks perpetrated during the Syrian civil war.