Disinfo: Russophobic German media trust in the corona regime

Summary

What do Taz and Spiegel have in common? Both newspapers can be considered mainstream: well-behaved Russophobes and trusting in the corona regime. At the moment the Basic Law, the basis of state order in Germany, is de facto overruled by a small group of politicians and media owners: the legally guaranteed freedom of assembly is abolished. They (the two publications) rely on the Russophobia that has been common in Germany since Hitler.

Disproof

No evidence given. Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative that portrays any outside criticism of Russia as a symptom of Russophobia. The article also contains elements of conspiracy theory about the coronavirus pandemic. Taz and Der Spiegelare prominent and respected German media; they represent a wide range of political opinions and do not have a single editorial policy for any country or topic. There is no "corona regime" - this is a baseless conspiracy theory and part of the Kremlin’s ongoing disinformation campaign around the coronavirus, well documented by both media and governments. The novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) comes from a family of viruses 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, with new cases being reported in more than 200 countries of the world. There are now more than 5,500,000 confirmed coronavirus cases globally. More than 350,000 people died because of Covid-19. An updated situation report from WHO on the coronavirus pandemic can be found here. Read similar disinformation cases alleging that coronavirus pandemic is exaggerated in order to turn countries into fascist hygiene dictatorships, that the Masters of Darkness invented the COVID-19 and seek world domination and that German media are Russophobic.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 199
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 12/05/2020
  • Outlet language(s) German
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Germany, Russia
  • Keywords: coronavirus, West, Mainstream media, Human rights, Anti-Russian, Adolf Hitler, Conspiracy theory, Russophobia
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NATO does not help member states to fight against coronavirus

Criticism of NATO is more and more heard in the West, because of insufficient assistance to member states of the military bloc, for example to Spain and Italy. Experts note the failure of the alliance in a pandemic. It turns out that NATO is fighting only with the far-fetched “Russian threat”. But when it comes to real danger, the bloc shows its inefficiency. Coronavirus has proven the futility of NATO.

Disproof

This is one of several recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about the inability of NATO and the EU to assist their member states in fighting the coronavirus and about the alleged disintegration of the EU, NATO and other Western bodies. NATO has been doing a great deal to assist all member states in the fight against COVID-19. This includes facilitating the airlift of crucial medical supplies and equipment, matching requests for support with offers from allies and partners, setting up field hospitals. Many Allies, including the Czech Republic, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, North Macedonia, Romania, Slovakia, and Spain have benefited from this support. NATO’s Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre (EADRCC) has helped facilitate medical aid to Allies. Allied airlift capabilities have delivered hundreds of thousands of tons of medical equipment, and Allied armed forces are playing an essential role in the civilian response to COVID-19. For example, in response to Spain and Italy’s requests for assistance made through the EADRCC, the Czech Republic bilaterally provided both countries with medical supplies, including 10,000 protective medical suits each. Through the same mechanism, Turkey provided Italy and Spain with medical supplies such as masks, personal protection equipment and disinfectants. “NATO was created to deal with crises. So we can help and our Alliance is playing its part, the NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg said. The Alliance is already coordinating and supporting national efforts against the pandemic with logistical, transport and medical help. Read similar cases claiming that the coronavirus has proven the weakness of NATO, that in the present coronavirus crisis NATO has completely exhausted the reasons for its existence,that NATO did not help Spain fight coronavirus, that NATO members have been unable to deal collectively with the coronavirus pandemic. More about NATO response to the pandemic can be found here.

Leaked documents cast doubt on evidence in MH17 trial

The JIT’s evidence in the MH17 trial is mainly based on conversations intercepted by the Ukrainian Security Service, anonymous witness testimony, and Internet images found by the research collective Bellingcat. However, even this evidence is at odds with two documents leaked from the Dutch military intelligence body (MIVD) and published by Bonanza Media. These documents show that there were twelve BUK missile installations — nine Ukrainian and three Russian — in the wider area of the crash site. The closest installation in use was Ukrainian. This was 98 km away from the spot where MH17 was hit. The nearest operational Russian installation was located 106 km away, on the Russian side of the Russian-Ukrainian border. The MIVD concludes that none of these installations could have hit MH17, based on the locations where they were seen according to the information of MIVD. The BUK-M1 type has a range of up to 42 km.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the MH17 investigation. The documents published by Bonanza do not prove Russian non-involvement in the crash. See detailed refutations of this claim here and here. As such, the results of the investigation of the Joint Investigation Team remain unchanged: flight MH17 was shot down by a missile from the 9M38 series, which was launched by the BUK TELAR system. The system was transported from the Russian Federation to an agricultural field near the city of Pervomaiskiy in eastern Ukraine, from where the rocket was launched. After firing, the system with one missing missile returned to the Russian Federation. On May 24 2018, JIT announced in its conclusion that the Buk belongs to the 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade, a unit of the Russian armed forces in Kursk, Russian Federation. The public hearing started on 9 March 2020 in the Netherlands.

Belarusian opposition tried to disrupt the Victory Day military parade with the help of US money

The Belarusian opposition tried hard to disrupt the Victory Day military parade but did not succeed. Opposition members strongly dissuaded people from attending the parade and even offered real green dollars from Uncle Sam and the US State Department’s money for this. As soon as the Victory Day parades stop in the post-Soviet space, Americans will buy the victory from our ancestors. The Belarusian opposition easily trades the historical victory with the West.

Disproof

These are unfounded claims intended to discredit the US / West and the Belarusian opposition through baseless accusations of bad intentions towards the Victory Day military parade. This story is consistent with pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about the West's continuous attempts to undermine Belarusian society through a subservient Belarusian opposition and Western-funded NGOs. There is no proof that the US paid the Belarusian opposition to disrupt the parade or that the opposition paid people not to attend the public event. In late March 2020, an online petition was created asking Belarus' Ministries of Health and Defence to cancel the Victory Day military parade to mitigate the coronavirus epidemic and to finance hospitals instead. Over 7,000 citizens signed the petition by March 31. The Ministry of Defence's response read that the epidemiological situation allowed for the parade to go ahead. The WHO recommended that the Belarusian authorities cancel the parade and expressed concern about its organisation amid the epidemic. See earlier disinformation cases alleging that the coronavirus epidemic prevented a NATO deadly attack against Belarus, that Belarusian opposition, civic activists and independent journalists make kill lists for Western security bodies, that the West finances the Belarusian opposition and NGOs to disrupt Belarus-Russia relations, and that it promotes propaganda of feminine men in Belarus.