A journal is claiming that the Russian government was using the Covid-19 outbreak to strengthen anti-EU feelings, make propaganda gains, and gather intelligence at the heart of NATO. Although this report has gained traction, what is this statement really saying and who is saying it?

According to a recent news report, Russia is using the Covid-19 crisis to undermine NATO and the European Union. The report, published on April 2 at CodaStory.com, a journal that claims to uncover fake news and expose “disinformation,” argues that Russia’s aid operation to Italy was a cynical ploy by President Putin to destabilize the European Union and that it was also an undercover spy operation. According to Sergio Germani, director of the Gino Germani Institute for Social Sciences and Strategic Studies, a Rome-based think tank, the “From Russia with Love” aid program was “half-propaganda, half-intelligence operation.”

Mr. Germani claimed that the Russian government was using the Covid-19 outbreak “to strengthen anti-EU feelings and to reinforce the impression that the EU is crumbling, to make propaganda gains and gather intelligence at the heart of NATO.”

Although this report has gained traction, being cited by Radio Poland as part of the mini-Cold War currently being fought between Poland and Russia, what is it really saying and who is saying it?

As for what it is saying, the answer is not much. No actual evidence of Russian spying was presented, merely the assumption that they must be spying because that’s what Russians do. As for the fact that President Putin might hope that the aid operation would soften people’s attitude towards Russia, is this news? Any government that offers aid might reasonably expect a modicum of gratitude in return. As for “anti-EU feelings,” these are caused by the EU itself, as is “the impression that the EU is crumbling.” Attempting to shift the blame for EU tyranny and incompetence onto Russia is not merely absurd but smacks of the age-old ploy of seeking a scapegoat.

Considering that the article said so little of any substance while simultaneously conveying a pro-EU and anti-Russian agenda, it would be intriguing to know who is behind such vacuous and vicious pontificating. What exactly is CodaStory.com and who is behind it?

A search of the website reveals that Coda Story is a 501(c)3 U.S non-profit organization with offices in New York City and Tbilisi, Georgia. Since it relies on donations in order to operate, it would be good to know which foundations and corporations are funding Coda Story. Such information is not readily available. It is clear, however, that one of the agendas it serves is that of the Pride movement and the radical relativism, secularism, and transhumanism which it advocates. Coda Story’s founder, Natalia Antelava, who co-authored the article on the Russian aid program in Italy, also produced a documentary entitled Russia’s New Scapegoats which purported to expose “Russia’s growing anti-LGBT propaganda movement.” This is the real reason, one suspects, for Coda Story’s anti-Russian agenda. The Pride movement has shown itself to be completely intolerant of any opposition to its radical agenda, silencing all dissident voices wherever it has the power to do so, such as on college campuses. It will not tolerate Russia’s resistance and will whip up fake news to demonize Russia in the eyes of the West.

Ironically, Coda Story claims that it exists to fight fake news and what it calls “disinformation campaigns that are feeding the war on truth” whereas, in fact, it is agenda-driven and no doubt financed by those who drive the agenda. It fights what it calls fake news with fake news and counters disinformation with disinformation; it makes war on truth in the name of the war on truth. Those who have read George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four will know that the name for this duplicity is doublethink.

And what of the “expert” who made the unsubstantiated claims about Russia’s spying and political subversion under the cover of its aid mission to Italy? Who exactly is Sergio Germani of the high-sounding Gino Germani Institute for Social Sciences and Strategic Studies, described in the article as “a Rome-based think tank”? A simple web search reveals that he is an author at Disinfo Portal, an anti-Russian propaganda website, which is seeking to resurrect the Cold War through its equating of Vladimir Putin with Josef Stalin.

It would be good to discover or uncover the wealthy donors who are bankrolling this disinformation campaign against Russia. One suspects that the European Union is funding the “Rome-based think tank” which would explain its strident pro-EU propaganda, and there’s no doubt that the EU is funding Disnfo Portal, as its list of partners illustrates. As for Coda Story, it would be good to know who is pulling its strings. It would be tempting to see the grubby fingerprints of George Soros on the dollars donated to spread this disinformation, or, in any event, others of his prideful and plutocratic ilk. It would be good were Coda Story to prove its self-proclaimed transparency and independence by disclosing its source of funding. It would be good but let’s not hold our breath.

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