Disinfo: The EU did not give any attention and support to Italy, where people were dying without any help

Summary

The EU did not support Italy. There was simply a terrible situation in the north of the county, people were dying without getting any help. Here we see the noble acts of the President of Russia, who sent military doctors, virologists, a huge amount of medical equipment, ventilation machines. The global epidemic displayed the need for international cooperation, and Russia provided the worst struggling countries with humanitarian aid.

Disproof

Speculative claim about "abandoned Italy" and that the EU left Italy to fight coronavirus alone. This claim exploits the coronavirus pandemic to push a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the West's crumbling solidarity. While Russia did sent a military team to Italy, there are numerous examples of solidarity in the Western world, including among the EU and individual Member States as follows. The European Commission has approved a €50 million Italian aid scheme to support the production and supply of medical devices, as well as to help Italy provide the necessary medical treatment to those infected. On March 18th, the European Union also received a Chinese aid package, including masks and 50,000 testing kits that were fully allocated to Italy, as Rome faced the most urgent needs among member states in the coronavirus crisis. On March 13th, the European Union proposed a Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative, envisaging EUR 835 million for Italy. On March 26th, the European Parliament unanimously approved the initiative. Furthermore, the European Central Bank announced a 750 billion euro ($820 billion) asset purchase programme in an effort to help mitigate the impact of the coronavirus outbreak, as the death toll in Europe continues to rise. As part of the programme, investors will purchase Italian securities to help the country counter the serious risks of the coronavirus. Since the hospitals are overcrowded in Italy, Germany has started to accept coronavirus patients from this harder-hit country.The report on the comprehensive economic policy response to the COVID-19 pandemic can be found here. Read more about the EU's response here and here. Read further debunking on Myth Detector. Read similar cases claiming that the the EU is dead because it abandoned Italy, and only Russia, China and Cuba gave a helping hand, and that Italy is alone face to face with an invisible and terrible enemy.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 205
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 06/07/2020
  • Outlet language(s) Russian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: EU, Italy, Russia
  • Keywords: coronavirus, humanitarian aid, Vladimir Putin
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Disinfo: The West is trying to review the results of the Nuremberg trials

We see many attempts to present history in a completely different way. For example, Western officials, summing up the results of World War II, only talk about the contribution of the USA and Great Britain, deliberately ignoring the key role of the USSR in the victory over fascism. They try to revise the results of the Nuremberg Tribunal.

Disproof

Recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation on World War II and historical revisionism, accusing the West of rewriting history and trying to deprive Russia of its glorious victory over Nazi Germany. The claim about the attempted revision of the results of the Nuremberg trials, is speculative with no evidence provided. This disinformation narrative baselessly accuses Western countries of rewriting history and labels anyone daring to challenge the Kremlin’s version as “Russophobic”. Western historians acknowledge the role played by the USSR in defeating Nazism and do not question the Soviet contribution to the victory in WWII and the status of the USSR as a country which had won in WWII. See other examples of Russian disinformation narratives on WWII in our database, claiming that Western countries revise history to avoid responsibility for allowing Hitler to attack the USSR; that the USSR had no role in the outbreak of the war; that Western democracies are primarily responsible for this conflict; or that by defeating Nazism, Stalin atoned for crimes against his own people, European countries try to rewrite history of the WWII – Russia preserves the truth, that Ukraine revises the verdict of the Nuremberg trials or Belgium installed a Waffen-SS memorial, violating the Nuremberg tribunal’s decisions.

Disinfo: Ukraine threatens Russia with war

Ukraine threatens Russia with war. Kyiv threatens Russia with its Neptune missile system and may strike Sevastopol.

Disproof

The Ukrainian authorities did not threaten Russia with war. Russian media distorted the statement of the commander of the Naval Forces of Ukraine, Oleksiy Neizhpapa, that the Ukrainian military is strengthening its defensive positions in sea cities. The Commander of the Naval Forces of Ukraine does not exclude the possibility that Russian troops will try to break out of the occupied Crimea and into another Ukrainian region, neighbouring Kherson. That is why Ukraine continues to strengthen its position in the area of ​​the occupied peninsula - both from the sea and on land. "Now we are improving reinforcements at sea. The President and the Minister of Defence gave the Navy carte blanche: a project is being developed to build new fleet-based locations - we can’t only be in the small harbour in Odessa and in the small harbour in Ochakov ... Decisions are being made, land plots are being transferred on the shores of the Black and Azov Seas to create decent bases ... Now my task is to ensure the main strike we can make is not just from the shore, but also on the sea. We must make sure that the enemy is on his shore, knowing that we are strong," said the commander of the Ukrainian Navy. Read similar case claims that Ukraine is going to launch a missile strike on Russia.

Disinfo: Russia is world's best-prepared country to deal with second coronavirus wave

Russia has proven so effective in containing the pandemic that, in the event of a second wave of COVID-19, it will be better-prepared for it than virtually anyone else. They have tests and medicines; they are working on a vaccine; they have built and equipped new hospitals; they have exceptional doctors and a healthcare system which has proven its effectiveness. All things considered, they are the best in the world.

Disproof

The claim advances recurring pro-Kremlin narratives concerning the coronavirus pandemic and Russian superiority. As is the case with any other country, Russia's preparedness for a potential second wave of coronavirus is difficult to gauge, given that the pandemic is a new and ongoing crisis. That said, Russia's efficiency so far in containing the pandemic hardly qualifies as "the best in the world." As of 7 July, Russia is by far the worst-affected European country with 694,230 confirmed cases of COVID-19, and fourth worst-affected country worldwide. Nonetheless, the number of coronavirus-related deaths in Russia has been strikingly low with 10,494 deaths (a mortality rate of approx. 1.5%), which has invited widespread skepticism both within and outside the country. This anomaly can hardly be attributed to the quality of Russian healthcare. In a 2016 analysis by Bloomberg, Russia's healthcare system was billed the least-efficient out of all 55 countries included in the study. Instead, available evidence suggests that the unusually low number of deaths is the result of manipulated statistics and top-down state pressure, particularly at the regional level. In May 2020, 233% more patients in at least two Russian regions died from COVID-19 than was reported in the official overall state count. That same month, the governor of Lipetsk was caught on tape instructing his staff to massage local coronavirus statistics, lest "people...think bad things about [the] region." According to media, an analysis of death certificates issued in St Petersburg throughout May indicates that "hundreds of deaths tied to the pandemic are not reflected in the city’s official coronavirus death toll." The following month, the WHO issued a rebuke calling on Russia to review its COVID-19 death toll, saying that "Russia's low coronavirus mortality is 'hard to understand.'" Notably, mistrust of government statistics even extends to Russian doctors, most of whom believe official figures to be inaccurate. Against this background, Russian doctors indeed deserve praise. Amid bureaucratic confusion and chronic shortages of protective equipment, at least 489 healthcare workers had died of coronavirus as of 18 June.