Disinfo: The COVID-19 outbreak is only an attempt to distract the world from the real issues

Summary

One might suspect that the hysteria [around the COVID-19 outbreak] is an attempt to distract from the real issues. The time selected for this is ideal, and this is not a coincidence.

Disproof

An unfounded conspiracy theory, sharing a recurrent pro-Kremlin narrative about "secret elites" controlling world leaders.

See related pro-Kremlin disinformation cases about the coronavirus.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 188
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 17/03/2020
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: US
  • Keywords: coronavirus, Conspiracy theory
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Americans were ill with coronavirus in September 2019 and hid it

There was a case in September 2019 when a group of Japanese went to Hawaii. They returned home infected [with the coronavirus]. They have never been to China.

Disproof

An unfounded claim, presented without sources or evidence. This is one of many pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about the coronavirus.

COVID-19 is not a biological weapon and there is no proof that it would have been artificially created. This coronavirus 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 150 countries, territories and areas by 16th of March 2020.

Crimea regained its Russian identity at the will of its population

The Crimean dependency was transferred from Russia to the Ukrainian Soviet Republic in the early fifties. In 2014, Crimea regained its Russian identity at the will of 96.77 percent of its population.

Disproof

This is recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation on the illegal annexation of Crimea claiming that Crimean citizens chose to rejoin Russia through a legal referendum and that Crimea has never belonged to Ukraine.

While it is true that the transfer of Crimea and Sevastopol to Ukraine was first officially agreed on 25 January 1954 at a meeting of the Presidium of the CPSU Central Committee, the members of the Presidium, voting for the transfer of Crimea to Ukraine, took into account objective reasons: “the commonality of the economy, territorial proximity and close economic and cultural ties between the Crimean region and the Ukrainian SSR.”

Coronavirus could have originated from Latvia

Latvia, which has enough talented biologists and pharmacists, could have created the coronavirus. Covid-19 can be used as a pretext to limit people’s freedom, so they couldn’t organize protests, and as an opportunity to justify an economic recession.

Disproof

No evidence given. This is another unfounded pro-Kremlin conspiracy theory about the coronavirus.

COVID-19 is not a biological weapon and there is no proof that it would have been artificially created. This coronavirus 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 150 countries, territories and areas by 16th of March 2020.