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4 Mar, 2020 13:01

Putin: Foreign misinformation BOTS spreading fears about coronavirus on Russian social media

Putin: Foreign misinformation BOTS spreading fears about coronavirus on Russian social media

False stories about the extent of coronavirus in Russia are being spread from abroad as part of a disinformation campaign. That's according to Vladimir Putin who says his intelligence services have proof.

It comes after warnings that fake messages about Covid-19 are being distributed on VKontakte and other websites and apps, targeting mothers with children in kindergartens and schools.

The majority of fake reports about Coronavirus mainly come from foreign sources, Putin warned on Wednesday at a government meeting.

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"In regards to [distribution] of provocative stories, the FSB reports that they are mainly organized abroad, but this unfortunately always [is blamed] on us," Putin said.

The President is concerned that distributing fake news about the virus are done in order to create panic among the populace, and can only be dealt with by keeping the Russian people reliably informed, and in a timely manner. "People should know the real situation," he said.

In February, officials from the US said that accounts with links to Russia were creating unfounded rumors that the disease originated in America. The Russian Foreign Ministry's spokeswoman called the accusation a "deliberate fake."

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