Disinfo: The coronavirus might be an act of Anglo-Saxon revenge

Summary

Prince Charles’ recent recovery from coronavirus, his successful reunion to his family, who for a while publicly kept a distance from their future king, bears witness of an antidote [against the COVID-19]. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s recover demonstrates the same. [—] Should the Anglo-Saxons just desert the dominating position they have held for hundreds of years? No, this is not in the genes of the descendants of pirates like Drake and Morgan! Now is a suitable time to restore London’s authority and influence. Global networks fall apart, new will appear in new forms and shapes. This is time for the British Crown [“Korona” in Russian]. All this lends to the question: are we observing the revenge of the Anglo-Saxons in real time? Great Britain will have vengeance for China’s cunning actions in Hong Kong; for the Yank’s “indecent proposals”, suggesting a leash around the neck of the proud Britons, and for “all good things”, that the Brits had to endure from an ever growing pressure from the bureaucrats in Brussels, all still very much in fresh memory. Can you even imagine that Her Majesty should yield to the instructions from the Brussels’ bureaucrats, especially as they lack “noble blood”?

Disproof

Conspiracy theory, presented without any evidence. A pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative linking Britain and Russophobia. The article is published by Mezhdunarodnaya Zhizn, the journal of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, but was removed from the journal's website. The text is obtained from an archived version of the article. BBC Russian Services has investigated the presence of conspiracy theories in official Russian media.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 192
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 06/04/2020
  • Outlet language(s) Russian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: UK
  • Keywords: coronavirus, Conspiracy theory
see more

Coronavirus exposes the weakness of European humanism

Coronavirus has tested the resilience of Western democracies and above all of European solidarity. They both proved to be hollow. The critical point was the coronavirus outbreak in Italy which was left helpless by its European partners. Czechia seized a cargo of Chinese medical gear destined for Italy, Spain turned against Italy, and Germany preferred to close its borders. European inaction was also manifested by the comments made by Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vucic, who accused the Europeans for leaving his country helpless.

Disproof

This message is part of the Kremlin’s disinformation campaign around the Coronavirus epidemic – it promotes a narrative of the imminent collapse of the EU due to the problems caused by the Coronavirus epidemic. The EU is accelerating procurement and distribution of medical equipment for its Member States. The joint procurement of personal protective equipment launched by the European Commission is one of the major initiatives undertaken. Additionally, the Commission wants to directly support the healthcare systems of EU Member States in their fights against the coronavirus pandemic. To finance this action, the Commission is mobilising €3 billion from the EU budget, of which €2.7 billion will be channelled through the Emergency Support Instrument and €300 million though the rescEU medical equipment capacity. The Commission has also decided to create a strategic EU stockpile of medical equipment such as ventilators and protective masks to help EU countries. As far as it concerns the Western Balkans countries, a €38 million package in immediate support to tackle the health emergency caused by coronavirus was announced. Furthermore, the Commission decided to reallocate €374 million to help the socio-economic recovery of the region.

The global liberal world has collapsed

The global liberal world has collapsed before our very eyes, just as the USSR and the world socialist system fell in 1991.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the disintegration of the European Union and the collapse of the Western system. The European Union is supporting the Member States in addressing the crisis, and mitigating the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. To cushion the blow to people’s livelihoods and the economy, the European Commission has adopted a comprehensive economic response to the outbreak, applied the full flexibility of the EU fiscal rules, has revised its State Aid rules and proposed to set up a EUR 37 billion Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative to provide liquidity to small businesses and the health care sector. To support scientific research into the COVID-19, the European Commission earmarked 47,5 million EUR for shortlisted research projects that can improve epidemiology and public health, including preparedness and response to outbreaks. The EU has also created first ever stockpile of medical equipment. Read more about the EU's response here and here.

Removal of Soviet Marshal Konev's statue in Prague is immoral and illegal

The monument to the Soviet Marshal Ivan Konev, whose troops liberated the Czech capital from the Nazis in 1945, was dismantled in Prague. The Marshal was not defeated in Prague, but he was stabbed in the back 75 years later – dismantled during an epidemic when it is forbidden to gather in groups of more than two, and everyone who could protest is at home. The main message is here: in 1968, Konev allegedly participated in the preparation of the invasion of Czechoslovakia. This myth has been repeatedly debunked by Russian historians and representatives of the Ministry of Defense. The agreement on cooperation between Russia and the Czech Republic contains a clause on obligations to protect and care for military monuments. Russian diplomats demanded that their Czech colleagues comply with this agreement and now the Czech Foreign Ministry is obliged to provide explanations.

Disproof

This is a recurring disinformation narrative about the statue of Marshall Konev in Prague. It is also consistent with common pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about Russophobia and the supposedly hostile anti-Russian intentions of the West, based on which Russia can cast itself as the victim. In the dispute over the statue, Russia has argued that under the Czech-Russian mutual agreement of 1993, the Czech Republic is obliged to leave the statue in place on Prague's Interbrigade Square. However, this is an intentionally false and misleading interpretation of the terms of the agreement (full text available here). The monument is municipal property, belonging to city district Prague 6, and the 1993 agreement therefore does not apply to this case. The statue of Konev, erected in 1980, is not a military grave or memorial and therefore it was not protected by international treaties. The democratically elected municipal council of Prague 6 voted for the removal of the statue. Basing on the protocol of the Politbureau's assembly, Czech historians established that on 8-14 May 1968, Konev chaired the Soviet military delegation sent to Prague to prepare the military invasion of Czechoslovakia. Konev was also chief of the Soviet troops in East Germany during the Berlin wall crisis in 1961. In other words, the Red Army brought not only liberation but also terror to Czech Republic, as the mayor of Prague 6, Ondřej Kolář reminded. Kolář said that he respects the role of Konev-led forces in liberating Prague, and the sacrifice of Soviet armies liberating Europe from Nazism. "We will strive for an art competition for a memorial to the liberators of Prague at the end of World War Two instead of the marshal Konev statue," he said before the vote. "At the same time we will secure a dignified - and let me stress that, dignified - placement of this art piece (Konev) in a memorial institution. I think this is a consensual solution we have called for a number of years.". The removal of the statue was planned for April 2020 in advance and is not due to coronavirus quarantine. The monument to Marshall Konev was erected in 1980 during the "normalisation" period in communist Czechoslovakia. The leadership of Prague's Municipal District 6, which retains legal ownership of the statue, has voted to move the monument to a museum and replace it with a memorial commemorating Soviet sacrifices in the fight against Hitler in general, and the liberation of Prague in particular. More information available here.