- Russia is being praised for providing aid to Italy during the coronavirus crisis.
- Russia is the same nation that funded and supported populist movement in Italy.
- The US should be careful accepting aid from Russia and China.
The situation around the globe pertaining to coronavirus continues to escalate. The number of infected continues to rise, including the death toll. At this time, even high ranking politicians are testing positive for COVID-19, the latest being Senator Rand Paul in the US, who tested positive on March 22. As everyone is aware by now, the coronavirus originated in Wuhan, China. Due to the Chinese regime’s failure to identify and contain the virus immediately, the virus spread around the world. Additionally, nations around the globe did not suspend travel in time and it became a full blown pandemic.
However, at this time China is claiming zero new cases of the virus have been recorded. If this is accurate, that is great news for the Chinese populous. At the same, China and Russia continue to engage in a large scale misinformation campaign, including blaming the US military for bringing the virus to Wuhan. Russia is ramping up efforts to increase the divide within the major US political parties via false narratives. It is getting very harsh for European nations as well, to the point that Austria had to deploy a digital crisis team to combat fake coronavirus news.
One of the worst hit European nations amid Coronavirus is Italy. The death toll rises daily and has surpassed the reported number of deaths in China during the height of the virus there. Italy has been under severe quarantine for its citizens and large fines are given to anyone who disobeys the order. Nevertheless, the same nations that are deploying a sinister propaganda campaign are also offering their aid, One of the aid recipients is Italy. Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio tweeted on March 22 that he personally went to the Costa di Mare military airfield near Rome to meet a Russian Defense Ministry aircraft with specialists and equipment to fight the COVID-19 coronavirus infection.
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Yes, Italy is not able to cope alone during this pandemic. Yet, the Italian government should not be praising Russia. In the past few years, Russia has meddled in Italian and Austrian politics, including funding right wing populist movements and supporting Matteo Salvini in the Italian elections.
Now Russia is getting praise? On one hand, Russia used Italy last year to advance the Kremlin’s foreign policy, At the same time they are being treated as heroes in Italy. It is starting to feel like Stokholm Syndrome on the part of the Italian government. Stockholm syndrome is a psychological concept used to explain certain reactions. A person with Stockholm syndrome may start to identify with or form a close connection to the people who have taken him or her hostage.
First Russia wanted to destroy the EU and sabotage their initiatives. Now they are being hailed as a savior to Italy during the coronavirus crisis. It is true EU politics undercut a lot of western nation citizens within the EU in favor of cheap unskilled labor from nations like Poland and Lithuania that flooded the UK, Italy, Germany etc. Yet, the answer is not to allow Putin to undercut EU nations with populism.
China and Russia are also offering help to the US, especially since US President Donald Trump declared coronavirus a national emergency. It is these same nations who routinely utilize cyber warfare against the US. China is constantly trying to steal US classified information– the same country responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic. Both China and Russia try to meddle in US politics. Russia is constantly touting new weapons with underhanded threats.
Hopefully, the US won’t be susceptible to Stockholm Syndrome and politicians in the US will decline any aid from these nations. Since history repeats itself, any aid could also be used for covertly bringing in spyware and getting intelligence officers in the country, under the guise of aid workers, etc.
It is imperative to beat this pandemic, but not at a cost to national security.