Those opposed to vaccinations claim that a rally that took place in Adelaide was “hijacked” by pro-Russian protesters and misrepresented by Russian news outlets, turning what was supposed to be a “day of remembrance” for those who, in their opinion, had been hurt by the COVID-19 vaccine into “a rally in support of Russia”.
Last Saturday, over 500 protesters assembled on the steps of Parliament House and then marched down North Terrace toward the East End of the City while carrying white crosses to represent those who allegedly suffered health issues after getting COVID-19 mRNA vaccines.
A member of the Ukrainian community in South Australia told the ABC that when she was at the demonstration, “fewer than 10” people were waving Russian flags.
Stefania stated, “I attended what was an anti-vaccination demonstration that was honoring vaccine harm”.
“Speakers discussed their own experiences with vaccination harm. A few hundred of the people I saw appeared to be regular, everyday Australians, and I also noticed a few people carrying Russian flags”
“later I discovered a completely different image online. I came across many articles in both English and Russian”.
“Russians in Australia Protest Against Violation of their Rights,” read the headline of an item on the website Russkiy Mir, which was published on February 25.
The event was described as a “large-scale march for freedom and in favor of Russia” on other Russian news websites that were both in Russian and English.
Several of the attendees wore T-shirts with the “Z” symbol, indicating support for Russian forces in Ukraine, while others carried Russian flags.
Robert Horvath, a senior lecturer at La Trobe University and an authority on Russian politics, claimed that Vladimir Putin’s government routinely misrepresents international events in Russian media.
“It shows how the Putin regime’s propagandists are trying to neutralize worldwide condemnation of the war in Ukraine by spreading the notion that, despite what Western governments may say, the average person in the West sympathizes with Putin and the war that Russia is waging,” he added.