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.
Coronavirus destroys the idea of an open and global world. In an attempt to stop the pandemic, countries are taking the most stringent and unprecedented measures – right up to closing borders.
An apocalyptic narrative, depicting the coronavirus as a "plague" that might lead to the end of civilisation as we know it. EU, national and international bodies are coordinating measures to handle the spread of the contagion, treat the infected and maintain societal functions. In fact, the Schengen Borders Code provides Member States with the capability of temporarily reintroducing border control at the internal borders in the event that a serious threat to public policy or internal security has been established. The narrative of the "imminent collapse" is one of the core instruments of pro-Kremlin disinformation outlets, used to sow discord, panic and diminish trust in national authorities, EU and international institutions. Read about the EU's response to the coronavirus here. See more examples of pro-Kremlin disinformation about the coronavirus here.