Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Russia deploying coronavirus disinformation to sow panic in West, EU document says

Fake blood is seen in test tubes labelled with the coronavirus (COVID-19) REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

By Robin Emmott

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Russian media have deployed a “significant disinformation campaign” against the West to worsen the impact of the coronavirus, generate panic and sow distrust, according to a European Union document seen by Reuters.

The Kremlin denied the allegations on Wednesday, saying they were unfounded and lacked common sense.

The EU document said the Russian campaign, pushing fake news online in English, Spanish, Italian, German and French, uses contradictory, confusing and malicious reports to make it harder for the EU to communicate its response to the pandemic.

“A significant disinformation campaign by Russian state media and pro-Kremlin outlets regarding COVID-19 is ongoing,” said the nine-page internal document, dated March 16, using the name of the disease that can be caused by the coronavirus.  Read more >>