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RUSSIA has been subjected to a smear campaign led by a pro-Nato think tank after it delivered aid and medical supplies to help Italy cope with the spread of coronavirus.
Italy is one of the worst-affected countries, with 11,000 deaths and more than 100,000 cases.
Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte appealed to Russian President Vladmir Putin for support after the European Union failed to answer Rome’s pleas for help to contain coronavirus.
Moscow responded by sending teams of doctors, protective gear and medical equipment, including 600 much-needed ventilators.
But the move alarmed the EU and Nato, with the Western military alliance fearing a loss of influence in the post-coronavirus world.
A string of writers for pro-Nato think-tank the Atlantic Council, including Eto Buziashvilli, Olga Tokaruik and Mark Weiss, have led a co-ordinated campaign to smear the Russian efforts.
Their disinformation stems from a widely discredited article in the La Stampa newspaper, which quoted a single anonymous source as claiming that “80 per cent of the Covid-19 supplies that Russia has sent to Italy are useless.”
Lombardy regional President Attilio Fontana dismissed La Stampa’s report, saying: “I say thanks to the Russians who sent us doctors and other people who can help with disinfection.”
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