Snegovaya: We should not trust the data that comes from authoritarian regimes

PONARS Eurasia
30 Mar 2020

(The Globe & Mail) Russia and China have launched what experts say are disinformation campaigns against the West, seeking to change the global narrative about where the coronavirus pandemic originated, and which countries are leading the fight against it.

The subplot to the stories Moscow and Beijing are selling is one of Western societies in decline, with authoritarian systems proving themselves superior to democratic ones in managing the crisis. [...]

Maria Snegovaya, a post-doctoral research fellow at Johns Hopkins University who focuses on Russia and Eastern Europe, said the public should be skeptical about both China’s and Russia’s versions of the story.

“Definitely, we should not trust the data that comes from authoritarian regimes. This is somewhat true about China, and particularly true about Russia." [...]

“The way this is portrayed in pro-Russian media is, ‘See, the EU is so weak and the U.S. is unreliable. Only Russia and China are coming to help them,’ ” said Ms. Snegovaya. “It’s a typical [Russian security services] disinformation campaign. It’s very convenient that the West is weakened at this moment, so you try to undermine it further.”

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