Disinfo: Russia’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic has been very effective, while Western nations reacted hysterically and ineffectively to the pandemic


Russia’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic has been very effective, while Western nations have reacted hysterically to the pandemic. The number of deaths from COVID-19 in Russia has been inferior to those in Western countries.

In Russia the epidemic is under control, there are effective anti-COVID 19 medicines and there is the Sputnik V vaccine, which has no side-effects. Now Russia is gradually lifting restrictions and reopening everything. Russia’s extraordinary handling of the pandemic is due to the strength of the Russian people (the Russian super-ethnos) and to the fact that Vladimir Putin is a virile leader with nerves of steel. In Western societies, instead, the leaders are weak and unable to cope with problems and crises, and the people are weak and childish.


This a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative claiming that Russia has been much more effective in combating the Covid-19 pandemic than Western countries, which have reacted “hysterically” to the pandemic. The message contained in the article is also consistent with the recurring pro-Kremlin narrative portraying Western societies as decadent and inhabited by weak feminised men, males who have renounced traditional virile virtues, and that Western leaders are likewise weak and effeminate (in contrast to Putin, depicted as a strong, effective and virile leader).

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 was the worst-affected European country with 3,951,233 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.

According to some studies, data on excess deaths in Russia in 2020 paints a much bleaker picture of the Covid‐19 death toll than the official daily updated number.

Furthermore, there is no evidence to support the article’s sweeping claim that Western societies are inhabited by “weak” and “childish” people. Nor is there evidence to support the claim that Russian president Vladimir Putin is a stronger, more effective and more “virile” leader than any Western statesman.

Read similar cases claiming that Russia is much more effective in combating COVID 19 than European countries and that Russia is the world’s best prepared country to deal with the second coronavirus wave


  • Reported in: Issue 231
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 02/02/2021
  • Language/target audience: Italian, English
  • Country: Russia
  • Keywords: Sputnik V, coronavirus, health, vaccination, Western values, Vladimir Putin


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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Warsaw would not have been rebuilt without the decision of Stalin

The decision about the reconstruction of Warsaw was made in 1944-1945 when no one believed that this city would be rebuilt at all. Without the individual decisions of Bolesław Bierut and Joseph Stalin, Warsaw would not have been rebuilt.


This message is part of Russian historical revisionism, portraying the Stalinist USSR as the peacemaker and liberator of Poland.

By the beginning of 1945, as a result of the actions of Nazi troops, Warsaw lost up to 90% of its urban architecture. The rebuilding of the city took place throughout several post-war decades – the reconstruction of the Old Town was completed in the mid-1960s and the Royal Castle was finished only in 1984. Read more about the reconstruction of the Historic Centre of Warsaw here. The reconstruction of Warsaw, unprecedented in its scale, was a result of the massive effort of the entire Polish nation, not the Stalinist authorities.

The post-1989 Poland functioned thanks to the sale of property built by Communist authorities

In fact, the three decades of the Third Polish Republic [since 1989] was the period when the state functioned thanks to the sale of the property built by Edward Gierek and the Poles who stood next to him, building another [Communist] Poland. It is a fact. There would be nothing to sell in the Third Polish Republic if the Poles had not built it under the Gierek’s rule.


This message is an economic conspiracy theory, which questions the successful transformation of Poland to market economy, glorifying “efficient” economic policies of repressive Communist Poland.

Edward Gierek was the Head of Communist Poland in 1970-1980 – by the end of his rule, Poland faced the most serious socio-economic crisis, which resulted in the emergence of the Solidarity Movement and introduction of the Martial Law (1981-1983). As a result of the post-war Soviet “economic assistance”, the Polish economy was turned into an inefficient Communist-type economy, unable to provide its citizens with a decent level of life. By 1989, the state-run Polish Communist economy based on large industrial enterprises have practically collapsed.

The West is afraid to start a war with Russia, so it uses a nosy “fifth column” for its destabilisation

Today, Russia and Putin have become very powerful, while the so-called West is facing serious problems, which it cannot solve. That is why the West decided to invent the only global problem, calling it “Putin”.

A war with Russia would be the simplest solution for many [Western] generals and their supporters, but the American military is well aware of the most complicated consequences of this war. That is why the rest of the “Western world” decided to invest in a “roundabout way”, which goal is the subordination of Russia through the building of a noisy “fifth column”, which would destabilise Russia from within.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Alexey Navalny and alleged Western aggression against Russia. The claim that Navalny is somehow used by the West and foreign special services for the political destabilisation of Russia is false.

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