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21 Feb, 2020 13:20

Fake email ‘from outside the country’ made Ukrainians throw stones at Wuhan evacuees, BuzzFeed report implies

Fake email ‘from outside the country’ made Ukrainians throw stones at Wuhan evacuees, BuzzFeed report implies

Violent protests in Ukraine over the evacuation of its citizens from infection-stricken China was triggered by a foreign psyop, a report at BuzzFeed wants reader to believe. Well, what isn’t Russia’s fault?

On Thursday, local residents in a small Ukrainian town tried to stop buses carrying people evacuated from Wuhan, China. Panicked beyond all reason, they erected roadblocks, burned tires, and ultimately pelted the vehicles carrying evacuees with stones – a reaction that left many people in the country and elsewhere disgusted.

Sure, a woman shouting “we will torch [the hospital] with the sick people inside” is not a pleasant sight to see. But if you read BuzzFeed, you might assume the culprit in this mess was Russia. “A Viral Email About Coronavirus Had People Smashing Buses And Blocking Hospitals,” reads the headline of the story.

The email in question falsely reported five confirmed cases of infection in the country, and claimed to be a warning from the Health Ministry and was investigated by the SBU, Ukraine’s security service, which, BuzzFeed said, found it “had actually originated from outside Ukraine.” Do you see where things are going with this one?

Well, for starters, the SBU said: “Even now we can state that the letter was sent with the use of a foreign email service and had sender address falsified.” And nothing about its origin.

Also on rt.com Ukrainian villagers STONE buses bringing countrymen evacuated from Wuhan to coronavirus quarantine (VIDEOS)

In the last few years, Ukrainian officials and public figures have accused Russia of so many things: from stealing toilets from seized ships, to being the secret force behind the Maidan protests. But accuracy was not BuzzFeed’s forte this time. It didn’t mention that similar panicked protests in the Lvov and Ternopol regions started days before the ‘viral email’, and the only apparent reason they didn’t turn violent is that the evacuees were taken to the Poltava region.

Nor did it elaborate on why the Ukrainian people have so much mistrust toward official sources of information and the state of its healthcare system. Or explain how sensationalist Ukrainian media get away with profiting on the coronavirus panic apparently undeterred by the government. In any case, the ‘Russia-did-it’ interpretation doesn’t seem to sell the story much better.

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