Disinfo: The French government systematically lied to the population

Summary

In France for 50-60 years when there were health crises, the government lied to society.  When Chernobyl happened in 1984, the German authorities told to be careful and to protect oneself, and the French minister said all is well, the Chernobyl cloud stopped at the French border.

Disproof

Recurring disinformation narrative that Western governments cannot be trusted to manage a major accident/crisis. The narrative that the "Chernobyl cloud stopped at the French borders" is so well spread in France that is accepted as a cliché.

In the early days after the nuclear accident, in April 1986 not 1984 as stated on Sputnik, environmental associations and journalists spread the idea that the French Minister of Health or Pierre Pellerin, the Director of the Central Service for Protection against Ionising Radiation, said that the "cloud stopped at the French borders". This statement was never made. Pierre Pellerin won several defamation cases against NGOs and Media on this matter. Newspapers such as Le Parisien or Le Point admitted their mistake and explained how this false rumour started.

See a previous case implying that the French government is incompetent.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue189
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 18/03/2020
  • Language/target audience: French
  • Country: France
  • Keywords: fake news, Chernobyl
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The US ambassador was evacuated from Moldova

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Disproof

This is a false claim that capitalises on the coronavirus pandemic to spread a conspiracy theory about the US and specifically the US ambassador to Moldova. Spreading conspiracy theories about US in context of the coronavirus has emerged as a recurring theme in the pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign around the outbreak.

After speculation emerged that Ambassador Dereck J. Hogan was leaving the country, the US Embassy published the following statement on its Facebook page: "The United States Embassy in Chisinau continues to operate. Ambassador Dereck J. Hogan and the Embassy's American and Moldovan staff members remain in Chisinau, working to maintain the strong bilateral relationship the United States and Moldova have enjoyed for years."

Germany called for lifting sanctions against Russia because of coronavirus

Germany called for the lifting of sanctions against Russia because of the coronavirus. Germany should rethink its attitude towards Russia and lift unproductive sanctions in light of the new coronavirus pandemic.

Disproof

Misleading title and the text that give readers the false impression that lifting sanctions on Russia is the position of the German authorities. It also pushes a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative that sanctions against Russia are senseless and ineffective.

In fact, the sanctions from the US and the EU (including Germany) do not aim to punish Russia or the Russian people but were introduced to send a clear signal to the Russian government after Russia's illegal annexation of the Crimean peninsula, deployment of armed formations in eastern Ukraine, and the downing of the Malaysian passenger plane MH17.

The coronavirus will provoke the definite, rapid and irreversibile collapse of globalisation

The coronavirus will provoke the definite, rapid and irreversibile collapse of globalisation. If the spread of the virus is not contained in one and a half-two months, the entire global order will collapse from one day to another.

Disproof

Emerging pro-Kremlin narrative claiming that  the coronavirus pandemic will soon lead to the breakdown of globalisation and the collapse of the global economic system. The narrative of  “imminent collapse”  is one of the core instruments of pro-Kremlin disinformation outlets, used to spread demoralisation and self-doubt among target audiences, as well as to sow discord, panic and diminish trust in national authorities, the EU and international institutions.

The article provides no evidence to support its apocalyptic claims about the imminent collapse of global order and the breakdown of globalisation. The COVID-19 pandemic is halting travel and commerce across the globe. Its spread will slow the global economy which is heavily dependent on international production and global supply chains. While the pandemic is a challenge for globalization, it will not bring the end to this long-term process. Globalisation has brought significant benefits for billions of people, and most of the world will not be eager to do away with these benefits and with the free movement of people, goods and capital.