Disinfo: The COVID-19 crisis is manufactured by media and might lead to the breakup of Russia

Summary

The current crisis, which caused the pandemic of fear additionally to the COVID-19 pandemic, is the result of the specific media coverage and political-motivated decisions of particular actors. […]

The specific of the Russian political culture, a complex tangle of contradictions within the Russian regional and federal elites, as well as the fact that a significant part of the Russian elites is affiliated with the collective West contribute to this scenario.

Therefore, the developments triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic may lead to the deformation of the political and administrative structure of the Russian Federation, and lead to notable social and economic tensions. If this scenario turns into reality, the stability of the entire Eurasian region will be undermined.

Disproof

An unfounded conspiracy theory, sharing a recurrent pro-Kremlin narrative about the COVID-19 outbreak as a Western scheme to crush Russia and China.

COVID-19 comes from a family of viruses originating in animals 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 across the world, with cases being reported in 190 countries, territories and areas. The number of COVID-19 cases is closing up on 1,200,000 globally with over 72,000 deaths by 7 April 2020.

The claim is also consistent with an unfounded perspective of Russia being under attack by foreign forces.

See more examples of  pro-Kremlin disinformation about the coronavirus here.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 191
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 02/04/2020
  • Language/target audience: English
  • Country: Russia
  • Keywords: coronavirus, Conspiracy theory
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The coronavirus epidemic proves that the EU has abandoned Ukraine

It is an ironic twist that what is crushing Ukraine right now is not the “Russian aggression”. The epidemic will force one to pay for their sins. Europe has closed the borders and left its “partners” behind. The Ukrainians have been warned for years that Europe doesn’t care about them. The current situation is an excellent proof, that the European dreams that the Maidan Elites have lied to the Ukrainians about do not exist.

Disproof

Another story about the "civil war" in Ukraine, Russia's aggression against Ukraine is in no way connected with the worldwide outbreak of coronavirus, also subject to a disinformation campaign from Russia.

The EU will continue to support Ukraine even in the face of the global crisis caused by the pandemic. The first support package for Ukraine for the pandemic is approximately €80 million to support the health system. The EU can help address social issues: helping older people, online education, child care and providing credit support to small and medium-sized businesses.

Dr. Fauci, an admirer of Hillary Clinton, threatened Trump with a major epidemic before 2020

In 2017, a few days before the inauguration of Donald Trump,  Anthony Fauci, the director of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), in an Interview to Healio threatened the new president that a major epidemic will hit the US by 2020. Furthermore Wikileaks revealed that Anthony Fauci was an admirer of Hillary Clinton. Those strange prophecies materialized before 2020 elections, what a coincidence!

Disproof

This is yet another unfounded conspiracy theory about the coronavirus pushed by pro-Kremlin outlets as part of their disinformation campaign around COVID-19, which also involves attempts to undermine expert medical guidelines and the public health response. In this case, the focus is on discrediting Dr Anthony Fauci, the director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, who has been the leading expert voice of the US administration's pandemic response, by falsely and absurdly suggesting that he "threatened" President Trump with an epidemic as a result of personal sympathies towards Hillary Clinton. The article thus insinuates that the coronavirus may have been intentionally engineered by the US Deep State - a frequent pro-Kremlin disinformation trope - in order to undermine Donald Trump.

Dr. Fauci, a career immunologist, has led the NIAID for more than three decades. In this capacity, he has dealt with the outbreaks of multiple infectious diseases, advising six US presidents on HIV/AIDS and many other domestic and global health issues. He was one of the main architects of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), a program that has saved millions of lives throughout the developing world. Since becoming the face of the US pandemic response, Dr. Fauci has become popularly known as America’s Doctor.

All European doors were closed to Italy

At a time of distress, Italy fell under an embargo as if it were facing leprosy and all European doors were closed.

Disproof

A pro-Kremlin narrative consistent with disinformation narrative that the EU is collapsing as a result of the coronavirus crisis.

The COVID-19 outbreak challenged EU’s response capabilities, but a claim that "EU has done nothing" is false.