Disinfo: Western media propaganda claims that the coronavirus is a project of the Kremlin

Summary

Western media claimed that coronavirus is a Kremlin project. Everything that isn’t about the West is a Kremlin project. The coronavirus, according to the media propaganda, is a Kremlin project. The Kremlin is using it as an instrument.

Disproof

This is a conspiracy theory, presented without evidence. It represents recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about alleged Western "Russophobia" and the coronavirus being a man-made tool of warfare.

While many baseless conspiracy theories have emerged amidst the COVID-19 outbreak, there is no evidence that Western media are deliberately promoting them with malign intent. There is no evidence of any reputable Western media outlet describing coronavirus as a 'Kremlin project'. On the other hand, there is mounting evidence that pro-Kremlin media are spreading disinformation on the disease for political purposes through a coordinated campaign.

Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) comes from a family of viruses originating in animals that include other viruses such as SARS and MERS. It was first reported in the Chinese city of Wuhan in central China and has been rapidly spreading with new cases being reported in the Asia-Pacific region as well as Europe, North America and the Middle East, causing more than 3584 deaths by 8 March 2020. As of 8th March 2020, coronavirus was confirmed in over 100 countries on all continents (except Antarctica). Coronaviruses are known to circulate in mammals and birds, and scientists have already suggested that nCoV-2019 originally came from bats. The South China Agricultural University in Guangzhou says that two of its researchers have identified the pangolin as the potential source of nCoV-2019. This was announced to reporters at a press conference on 7 February 2020.

Read previous disinformation narratives alleging that the emergence of the coronavirus is not accidental and has economic goals, that the coronavirus is a US provocation against China, that the coronavirus is a biological weapon created by the UK, and that a new Chinese coronavirus was likely elaborated in NATO biolabs.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue187
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 22/02/2020
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Russia
  • Keywords: coronavirus, Virus / bacteria threat, West, Propaganda, Anti-Russian, Media, Russophobia

Disclaimer

Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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Ukraine has warned citizens about the reduction of pensions

The Ukrainian government has warned its citizens about the expected reduction in pension coverage. This was reported by Deputy Minister of Social Policy Nataliia Nenyuchenko.

Disproof

Unfounded claims presented without any evidence. Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about reforms in Ukraine.

Deputy Minister of Social Policy of Ukraine Nataliia Nenyuchenko did not say anything about pension reductions in Ukraine. According to the information that was published on the official website of the Ministry of Social Policy, the Deputy Minister noticed that the level of pension for future retirees will not be enough. However, it does not mean that pensions will be reduced. To prevent this, the Ministry of Social Policy has developed a special concept "to create conditions for elderly people to ensure active life and modern, skilled care and decent facilities".

Crimea always has been Russian

The Russian Special Forces imposed control of government institutions in Crimea on 27 February 2014, and Crimea returned to the motherland Russia, according to a referendum held on March 16, 2014.

Crimea has been administratively attached to the Soviet Republic of Ukraine since the early 1950s. In March 2014, Crimea regained its historical Russian identity at the will of its inhabitants.

Disproof

While it is true that Russian Forces imposed their control on government institutions in Crimea by force, the latter narrative is recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation on the annexation of Crimea claiming that Crimean citizens chose to rejoin Russia through a legal referendum and that Crimea has never belonged to Ukraine.

The transfer of Crimea and Sevastopol to Ukraine was first officially agreed on 25 January 1954 at a meeting of the Presidium of the CPSU Central Committee. The members of the Presidium, voting for the transfer of Crimea to Ukraine, took into account objective reasons: “the commonality of the economy, territorial proximity and close economic and cultural ties between the Crimean region and the Ukrainian SSR.”

Crimea rejoined the embrace of Russia

Crimea rejoined the embrace of Russia.

Disproof

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the illegal annexation of Crimea.

Crimea did not "return" to Russia but was illegally annexed by Moscow.