The job of EU’s European Sratcom Task Force is to dig on the internet to find something, no matter how small and insignificant, that can be presented as an example of the Russian disinformation through which Russia allegedly intends to destroy Europe. After analysing their report on an alleged Russian disinformation campaign on coronavirus, it’s clear that they had to resort to sites as “relevant” as izborsk.md, rubaltic.ru or tsargrad.tv. If we check those sites on SimilarWeb, we see that they reach positions as “influential” as 274,238 for New Eastern Outlook, 179,731 for Geopolitica.ru or 31,524 for Southfront.org. They only could find barely known sites written in languages as extended in the EU as Armenian, Belarusian or Latvian. And while they admit that there are conspiracy theories and colourful opinions in many countries and on a site hosted in Canada about say aliens pulling the strings at the UN – a project of a hermit with an internet connection – a similar site hosted in Russia is part of a massive governmental disinformation campaign. ESTF proved once again that their goal is not to clean the information space from fake news, but of news coming from Russia.
The YouTube clip deliberately distorts the content of the ESTF report on a Kremlin-led disinformation campaign on coronavirus to portray it as biased and irrelevant. The presenter opts to ignore that many of the articles described in the report and hosted on the EUvsDisinfo database appeared in highly influential outlets like RT English (ranked in position 311 in SimilarWeb) or the different versions of Sputnik. Contrary to the claim, the database also features dozens of disinformation articles in widely spoken languages in the EU like English, French, Italian, Spanish, German, Czech, Bulgarian or Arabic. All the disinformation cases exposed in both the ESTF report and database were published or broadcasted in outlets linked directly or indirectly to the Russian state.
The Kremlin's ongoing disinformation campaign around the coronavirus has been well documented by both media and governments, and some of its elements were widely reported by Russian and international publications and by the European External Action Service.