Disinfo: The US ambassador was evacuated from Moldova

Summary

Diplomats from the US embassy in Moldova and the citizens of the United States were evacuated. More than that, the US Ambassador to Moldova, Dereck Hogan, went overseas on March 16, one day before the state of emergency was announced. Did he know anything?

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."

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 189
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 22/03/2020
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Moldova
  • Keywords: coronavirus
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In Kyiv, during the quarantine, the far right will check transport and documents of citizens

The ultra-right-wing organisation “Municipal Guard” will monitor order in Kyiv during the quarantine period. The “Guard” is ordered to “ensure public order and the implementation of restrictive measures in Kyiv.” Also, nationalists from the Guard will check transport to ensure no-one travels without special passes.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Nazi Ukraine, the influence of far-right movements and its power. It's also one of the narratives about COVID-19 trying to disparage, or question, measures taken to curb the spread of the virus.

In fact, the mayor of Kyiv, Vitaliy Klitschko, said that during quarantine at least two National Police officers and one representative of the “Municipal Guard” would be present in all public transport.

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.