While the European Union has failed to provide coordinated assistance to Italy in time to prevent the virus, Russia has filled in and dispatched military health workers, virologists and equipment to help the country handle the pandemic.
A video went viral of an Italian man replacing a European Union flag with a Russian one, in a gesture of gratitude to Moscow for helping combat the coronavirus crisis.
Federico Cane, of Omegna in northern Italy, on Monday posted a video to Facebook of himself defiantly removing an EU flag from a floor stand.
He holds up a piece of paper reading in Italian, “Thank you Putin. Thank you Russia,” before he places a Russian tricolour next to an Italian flag.
The video has racked up almost 450,000 views and 40,000 shares as of Tuesday.
Dante Cattaneo, a Matteo Salvini ally and deputy mayor of the commune of Ceriano Laghetto in Lombardy, has shared a video of himself thanking Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Russian people for their help. In what he called a symbolic gesture, he put on a sweat jacket sporting the word “Russia”.
Another video that praises Russian assistance and derides the EU’s lack of response shows Russian planes landing in Italy followed by a clip of European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen showing how to wash hands. “A friend in need is a friend indeed,” reads the caption. “And Europe is washing its hands.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday promised to send medical…