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1/ OK, time to make myself unpopular. Yes, in broad terms, #Russia considers itself at #politicalwar with the West, but so much of the overheated current coverage of a supposed use of #COVID19 in infowar is questionable + dangerous. A thread.
2/ Stop conflating Moscow + Beijing. #China is absolutely staging a coordinated disinformation campaign to minimise its responsibility for the pandemic. But the “China + Russia” formulation implying they are the same or coordinating just doesn’t work
3/ Yes, all kinds of toxic conspiracy theory in some of (state-ctrlld) Russian media. But that doesn’t mean it is Kremlin-mandated. These talking heads are paid controversialists who come up with all kinds of nonsense all the time on all subjects w/o any guidance
4/ Kremlin active measures campaigns are usually evident bcs they COMBINE media/methods – rubbish in media is magnified by MFA + govt spox, intel svcs spt w covert actions, etc. I haven’t seen this coordination on covid
5/ If anything, Moscow is being v circumspect on covid – no hints of foreign conspiracy from any official sources, no major magnification efforts, big ‘we are all in this together’ push etc
6/ This is not bcs the Kremlin is getting soft + fluffy IMO, just that it has alternative agenda: knows it may need help in the future + hopes to wring some soft power advantages out of this (eg, aid to Italy), esp Putin hopes to get G20 to back ‘moratorium on sanctions’
7/ (Let’s face it – Russians are not the only to seek advantage from crisis – and there are anti-Russian forces or professional ‘disinfo hunters’ who also want to use against Kremlin inc baseless claims covid was *Russian* bioweapon)
8/ Just to restate: yes, Kremlin does generally seek to subvert + divide West thru disinfo, cyberattack, etc. But not always, on every issue, + I see no evidence of serious campaign in THIS case. END THREAD
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