[Moscow mayor Sergey] Sobyanin has insisted from the very beginning that strict quarantine must introduced in the capital and has been one of the main supporters of the media hysteria over the COVID-19 threat. Many saw it as a kind of political move to strengthen the power of the circles that include such persons as Moscow major Sergey Sobyanin that includes such controversial persons as Herman Gref (CEO of Sberbank of Russia), Elvira Nabiullina (President of the Central Bank of Russia). This circle is well known for its pro-Western, neo-liberal views and ties with the global elites.
The next step appears to be the criminalisation of “lies” related to the coronavirus and parallel censorship of corona-scepticism in the media, including on social network. The European Commission and the European Parliament are moving in this direction.
An unfounded conspiracy theory, sharing a recurrent pro-Kremlin narrative about Western governments deliberately exaggerating the coronavirus pandemic in order to advance the interests of “globalist élites” and multinational corporations. The article also contains the recurrent pro-Kremlin narrative claiming that EU efforts to counter coronavirus-related disinformation are attempting to censor dissenting views and/or are motivated by Russophobia. The European Union's commitment to respect the freedom and pluralism of the media as well as the right to freedom of expression - which includes the right to receive and impart information without interference by public authority - are enshrined in Article 11 of the EU's Charter of Fundamental Rights. The proliferation of disinformation and misinformation around COVID-19 throughout the world has potentially harmful consequences for public health and effective crisis communication. Therefore, the EU has been trying to counter disinformation, including through detection, analysis and exposure of disinformation campaigns related to the pandemic. The EU does not plan to "criminalise" nor censor coronavirus lies. In the EU and elsewhere, coordinated disinformation messaging seeks to frame vulnerable minorities as the cause of the pandemic and to fuel distrust in the ability of democratic institutions to deliver effective responses. Many disinformation messages are specifically targeting the EU by claiming that the EU is failing to deal with the pandemic, that the EU is about to collapse and that EU is selfish and betrays its own values.