Photo: pixabay.com – collage
This post shares two pieces of disinformation at the same time. The first one is that the coronavirus is a hoax, and the second one is that someone is waging war on Russia. The coronavirus, however, is not a fabrication, and it is Russia that started the war in an independent and sovereign country.
Post on Facebook (screenshot here) claims that the coronavirus is a hoax and that those who invented it are now waging war at Russia. This is incorrect, no one invented the coronavirus; No one is waging war on Russia. On the contrary, Russia started a war on Ukraine.
The corona is not a Russian invention. Those who spread this are now at war with Russia; Pick a side, you will need it in the future, states the post.
The post that is the subject of this fact-check shares two pieces of disinformation at the same time. The first one is that the Corona or the Coronavirus is a hoax, and the second one is that someone is waging war on Russia.
The coronavirus is not a hoax
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses known to science. They cause a range of illnesses ranging from the common cold to more serious conditions like Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV).
The virus was identified by the Chinese authorities on 7 January 2020. Shortly afterward, its genetic material RNA was isolated. The World Health Organization (WHO) itself confirmed that the virus was isolated on 7 January 2020.
COVID-19 or SARS-CoV-2 is a defined virus. According to its genomic structure, it belongs to the genus beta-coronaviruses. All human beta-coronaviruses (SARS-CoV-2, SARS-CoV, and MERS-CoV) have similar properties, but they are different in their genomic and phenotypical structure which changes pathogenesis, i.e., the symptoms and signs of the disease, as well as its severity.
There are several sources and scientific studies that prove that the SARS-CoV-2 virus is isolated. However, complete sequencing of the virus genome has also been done. This means that the complete genetic material of the virus causing this disease was isolated from the nasopharynx of a patient, thereby proving its existence as well as its unique genetic material.
Therefore, contrary to the claim that the Corona is a hoax, that is not true, and that is confirmed by the number of infected people and the deaths caused by the virus worldwide in the past three years.
According to WHO official data, 767,726,861 people worldwide have fallen ill from the Coronavirus so far, and as many as 6,948,764 have died from complications (state of affairs from 5th July 2023).
Even today (12.06.2023) on the official website of the WHO, one can see that there are new cases of coronavirus – 168,668 cases have been reported in the last seven days worldwide.
Besides, each of us has either been or have relatives, friends or colleagues who have been infected with the virus. Therefore, one cannot so easily and falsely claim that the virus is a hoax.
Russia is the one that attacked an independent country – Ukraine
The second false claim which is part of the Facebook post is that “he who spread the corona is waging war on Russia.” This is incorrect.
No one attacked Russia. On the contrary, Russia attacked Ukraine, which is an independent, sovereign country with its own territory and internationally recognized guarantees.
On 24 February 2022, Russia launched missile strikes on locations throughout Ukraine, including the capital city of Kyiv. Russian Ground Forces invaded Ukrainian territory, and the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy responded by imposing martial law, disrupting diplomatic relations with Russia and declaring general mobilization. This invasion is the largest military attack in Europe since Second World War and has been the subject of widespread international condemnation, including the introduction of sanctions against Russia.
Russia is the one that is waging war against Ukraine in an attempt to seize as much of its sovereign territory as possible, thereby violating international law. A large number of casualties is the result of military aggression as well.
The UN Charter says:
All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.
The legal concept of “a warring party” originates from the international law of the 19th and early 20th centuries. Becoming a party to a conflict hinges either on a formal declaration of war or direct participation in specific combat operations.
Russia violated that precept with its attack on Ukraine in February 2022. The UN Charter clearly provides that in this case, all countries have the right to defend themselves, individually or collectively. German experts for Deutsche Welle claim that Russia is the only country that abuses international law.
From all the facts stated above, we conclude that neither the coronavirus is a hoax, nor is anyone waging war on Russia.