Mark Twain once said history never repeats, but it often rhymes. So it proved 30 years after Chornobyl with the first cases of Covid-19. In China, adopting a “nothing to see here” attitude eerily reminiscent of Soviet authorities after Chornobyl (Chernobyl), officials in Beijing and Wuhan misled their own citizens and blocked outside investigators. Just like the Soviet leaders tried to conceal Chornobyl, the CCP attempted to carry on with its business as usual. It got rid of crucial evidence, detained or imprisoned citizen journalists, scrubbed social media, silenced local officials and engaged in vicious accusatory diplomacy whenever a foreign official dared criticize China in public.
Looking back over 2020, the parallels between the two catastrophes keep piling up.
Michael Bociurkiw will elaborate on these parallels, speak to how Russia increasingly operates from China’s playbook and how Ukraine - caught in China’s vaccine diplomacy embrace - faces an extremely grim next few months as the virus exploits weaknesses and government missteps.
Michael Bociurkiw, Author of Digital Pandemic: Covid-19: How Tech Went From Bad to Good; Regular contributor to CNN Opinion; Global affairs analyst; Former spokesperson for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine
Moderated by Serhii Plokhii, HURI
More information: https://huri.harvard.edu/event/2021-bociurkiw