Germany’s COVID sceptics fuelled by Russian media and far-Right conspiracies | openDemocracy

RT DE, the German branch of Russia’s state-controlled media network, Russia Today, ranked as the sixth most shared media outlet in the Telegram groups and channels, ahead of German news publications such as Der Spiegel. The Russian state news agency Sputnik, known in Germany as SNA, came eighth, while Pravda, a Russian newspaper, ranked 11th.

One video produced by RT DE, titled ‘Dr Claus Köhnlein on “fatal coronavirus experiments” by the WHO [World Health Organization]’, was viewed more than 200,000 times on the Telegram channels analysed. It received 1.5 million views on YouTube in less than six months and is still available on the platform. RT DE did not respond to a request for comment.

‘Alternative’ German publications, some of which are staunchly pro-Russia, were also prominent on the list. Compact, which ranked tenth, is a far-Right magazine that has previously organised conferences alongside the Kremlin-backed Institute for Democracy and Cooperation.

Source: Germany’s COVID sceptics fuelled by Russian media and far-Right conspiracies | openDemocracy