Russia organized a misinformation campaign about the pandemic coronavirus in a few English-speaking sites associated with former military intelligence personnel. This was written by the Associated Press (AP) and The New York Times, citing unnamed American officials, reported “Medusa”.
According to sources, the campaign of disinformation involved in the Russian information Agency “Inforos”, which manages three sites: InfoRos.ru (has a Russian and English version) Infobrics.org and OneWorld.press (only have the English version). From late may to early July these sites posted about the pandemic, more than 150 materials, some of which were aimed at “support of Russia and the denigration of the United States.”
The attention of the American officials were particularly interested in the article “the US is using the pandemic to impose their vision of world order” (it cited the statement of Russian foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov that US escalate the confrontation in the world) and “Beijing believes COVID-19 biological weapons” (it is given the suspicions of China’s foreign Ministry that the coronavirus in Wuhan could bring the us military).
According to sources, the AP and The New York Times, these sites operate under the scheme, similar to money laundering. Their articles are written in good English, reflecting a Pro-Russian point of view, distributed on other sites to hide the source of information and increase credibility.
The misinformation campaign on the coronavirus is causing concern in the United States on the eve of presidential elections in November, according to AP. Agency sources are not tied directly misinformation about COVID-19 and presidential elections, but the publication notes that some publications on InfoRos.ru, Infobrics.org and OneWorld.press directed against the arch-rival Donald trump, Democrat Joe Biden.
According to the American authorities, to a campaign of misinformation about the coronavirus involved two Russians — Dmitry Tyurin and Alexander Starunsky. According to AP, before they held senior positions in the Agency “Inforos”. The publication calls them former members of the Russian military intelligence (GRU) and claims that they still have connections in the Department.
In 2018 The Washington Post wrote about the relationship of the Agency Inforos with one of the units of the GRU — the military part No. 54777, which specializiruetsya on conducting “psychological warfare”. In June, 2020 project EU DisinfoLab is a non — profit organization created to identify the fakes on the European Union — said that the Agency “Inforos” connected OneWorld.press and the French website ObservateurContinental.fr.
Publishing OneWorld.press rejected connection from GRU. The Chairman of the Federation Council Committee on international Affairs Konstantin Kosachev in comments to “Interfax” related publications AP and The New York Times to the category of conspiracy theories. Earlier, Russia denied the accusations of the USA and the EU in the dissemination of misinformation about the coronavirus.