Australian online anti-vaccine groups switch to Putin praise and Ukraine conspiracies
Separately, the United Australia party faces questions about a second candidate defending Russian president
Australian anti-vaxxer groups are awash with conspiracy theories praising Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as an attack on the “deep state”, with some followers of the Covid-sceptic movement expressing admiration for Vladimir Putin.
Separately, just days after the United Australia party disendorsed a candidate in Melbourne for his pro-Putin views, the party is now facing questions about another candidate apparently defending the Russian president.
Sean Ambrose, a UAP Senate candidate for New South Wales, appeared to defend Putin in a tweet on Saturday, in response to another post critical of the Russian leader being a member of the World Economic Forum. The global organisation has been a key focus of online conspiracy theories, particularly those about a supposed “great reset” plot against humanity.
“I was initially of the same opinion but let us not forget that he [Putin] expelled the Rothschild Banking families from Russia and is now shutting down the child sex and human trafficking and the U.S. biological weapons facilities in the Ukraine,” Ambrose tweeted.
The Poynter Institute has debunked widespread claims on social media regarding US biological weapon facilities operating in Ukraine.
The cover image on Ambrose’s Twitter profile carries the slogans “No mandatory vaccinations” and “No vaccine passports”.
He tweeted on Sunday that the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky, “is a stooge for Klaus Schwab”, the founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum. He also wrote “Media telling lies again” when retweeting a post stating that an Australian news story on the invasion had used a fake photograph of an injured Ukrainian. But the woman, Olena Kurilo, was interviewed by the Daily Mail about the attack on her home, and an image of her was widely published.
Last week the UAP disendorsed its Macnamara candidate, Jefferson Earl, for his pro-Putin views, with the party leader, Craig Kelly, saying: “It is very important that the entire world is united in condemning Putin’s conduct to the Ukraine.”
Kelly and Ambrose were contacted for comment.
The UAP did not respond to Guardian Australia’s request for comment.