The leader of Russia’s Communist Party said he believes that an eventual vaccine against the new coronavirus is part of a capitalist plot to implant microchips into humans and ensure their “digital enslavement,” wading into a viral social media conspiracy theory.

The false claims allege that U.S. billionaire Bill Gates plans to use microchip implants to show who has been tested for or vaccinated against the coronavirus. Earlier this month, Russian prosecutors shot down speculation that Covid-19 was artificially created to implant microchips.

Communist leader Gennady Zyuganov, in a recent column on the “crisis” facing ethnic Russians, attacked “capitalist globalism” for what he called an attempt to “subject all national cultures to a single cosmopolitan and, in fact, anti-cultural standard.”

“The globalists are ready to use the most sophisticated technologies of digital enslavement: Among them, a covert mass chip implantation under the pretext of a mandatory vaccination against coronavirus,” Zyuganov said.

“The ideologues of digital fascism have allies among the owners of major corporations, bank executives and high-ranking officials, including in our country,” he wrote in the May 14 screed on the party’s media website.

Zyuganov’s remarks followed a high-profile controversy in Russia over a popular film director’s show which accused Gates of trying to inject microchips into people to control the population. The director, Nikita Mikhalkov, accused the state-run Rossia 24 broadcaster of censorship after it pulled reruns of his show.

“The ‘fifth column’ whose representatives were named in the show outed themselves and confirmed: Mikhalkov was spot on!” Zyuganov said in his column.

Russia last month passed a law punishing those who spread “intentionally false” information about the coronavirus with up to five years in prison. A number of Russian social media users have been fined and several anti-lockdown protesters have been charged under the law.