Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Viral Disinformation: The Kremlin’s Coronavirus Disinformation Operation in Ukraine

By: George Barros

Key Takeaway: Likely Russian actors conducted a disinformation campaign against Ukraine exploiting COVID-19 fears related to the Ukrainian government’s evacuation of its citizens from Wuhan, China. The campaign’s tactics, timing, and nature all point toward Kremlin involvement. The campaign’s false information increased distrust of the Ukrainian government, caused protests in at least five different towns, and forced the resignation of a Ukrainian governor. The campaign is likely part of the Kremlin’s efforts to press Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky for more concessions in the war in Donbas. This campaign may be part of a global Russian information operation on COVID-19.

Read the full analysis on ISW's website here.