Stop Fake: “Behind Russian aid to Italy there are German Neonazis”

The delivery of Russian aid to Italy was coordinated with the help of German “neonazis”, the Italian version of Stop Fake, the famous web operation whose statutory mission is to unmask fake news, has claimed.

Russia sent several planes with medical equipment and doctors to Italy on Sunday, in an effort to help the country most severely affected by the new coronavirus outbreak.

It appears that Russia’s aid was mediated by the German MP Ulrich Oehme, who belongs to the Alternative für Deutschland or Alternative for Germany fraction, as the German politician has revealed in a Facebook post. “The Italian politician Paolo Grimaldi has asked for help in a WhatsApp group that belongs to the European Conservatives”, Mr Oehme wrote.

Alternative for Germany, which stands for tighter migration controls and has been often critical of the EU in the past, is a right wing party. It is, however, not a neonazi party. Neonazi political organizations are explicitly forbidden by the German constitution. In their report, Stop Fake calls Alternative for Germany “a political force of markedly neonazi tendencies”.

AfD, as the party is known, members have 89 seats in the German parliament and the party is associated with the European Identity and Democracy group, an right wing association of parties across several European countries that includes the Italian League too, another euroskeptical party.

On March 20, two days before aid from Russia, arrived in Italy, Mr Oehme wrote a former letter to the Russian journalist and the deputy in Moscow city parliament Roman Babayan. As the Italian politician Grimaldi revealed, Oehme’s letter somehow reached Putin himself, who after a call with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte agreed to deliver the aid.

“Who rules Italy now?”, asks rhetorically Stop Fake. “Is there already a form of supernational control?”

“Who are the people that have been sent? Where are they? Do we have the list of all these ‘Russian angels’? Or do we need to be afraid that there are spies and secret agents?”, goes on the author of the article. Stop Fake argues that the Russian planes arrived with the Italian government being barely aware of the operation.

Stop Fake is a Ukrainian initiative that was started by the school of journalism at the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy in the aftermath of the Maidan revolution of 2014, officially to counteract Russian propaganda and fake news. After having obtained international recognition, in 2015 Stop Fake officially became a recepient of funds from Vidrodzhenia (Ukrainian for “Renaissance”), that belongs to George Soros, and the National Endowment for Democracy, among others.

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