Following the poor performance of the West with regard to the help towards its allies and other countries in need, Russia is promoted as a success story. The mortality rate of COVID-19 in Russia is 7,5 times lower than the global percentage – a “success” which allegedly turned Western media outlets to discredit Russia’s performance and its medical achievements. This narrative we have already encountered in Moldova.
Pro-Russian local media & Public figures
Vadim Rabinovich, an oligarch and member of the pro-Russian Opposition Platform – For Life has stressed on several occasions for pro-Russian media Newsone that Ukraine should follow Russia’s system on how to fight against the new coronavirus. He is critical of the current government and praises Putin’s speeches which presents clearly steps to be undertaken to help citizens in vulnerable situations.
Promoting the Russian success story, the pro-Russian parties take advantage of the positive image of Russia and work to consolidate their own image. Thus, 112 Ukraine – the TV channel allegedly controlled by the pro-Russian Ukrainian oligarch, Viktor Medvedchuk, displays news on how Medvedchuk provides aid to hospitals, as well as how the youth organization of his party launched initiatives to distribute protection masks all over Ukraine.
Family of Viktor Medvedchuk and Oksana Marchenko handed over protection equipment for doctors for 9 hospitals
Activists of the youth wing of the Opposition Platform – For Life distribute free protection masks throughout Ukraine
The narrative is appealing to pro-Russian audience.
Even though Russia boasts around about its efficiency in tackling coronavirus, non-governmental media points out that a fake is being propagated. Russian independent media outlet TV Rain explored the topic in an interview with a renowned journalist and civic activist. Thus the situation in Russia is said to be worse as the official statistics cannot be trusted (some say that in Moscow the official statistics do present the reality as the Moscow administration was exposed to pressure from civil society and journalists to be transparent). In remote regions there is lack of proper medical devices, as well as lack of human resources. It is rather the media and PR at the regional and federal level that are doing their work well by presenting the situation in the colors the Kremlin wants to.