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

Russian media have deployed a "significant disinformation campaign" against the West to worsen the impact of the coronavirus, generate panic and sow distrust.

That's according to a European Union document seen by Reuters.

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.

The European External Action Service said an EU database has recorded almost 80 cases of disinformation about coronavirus since the 22nd of January.

It also noted Russian efforts to amplify Iranian accusations online, cited without evidence, that coronavirus was a U.S. biological weapon.

Most scientists believe the disease originated in bats in China before passing to humans.

On Wednesday (March 18), the Kremlin denied the allegations, saying they were unfounded and lacked common sense.

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