“The chemical attack in Idlib in Syria on 7 April this year was a piece of “fake news” and a staged operation from the side of the rebels, which aimed at discrediting Syria’s government forces”. So was the message in a seven minutes long report broadcast last week in Russia by the TV channel and online outlet Zvezda. In order to assess the relevance of Zvezda’s production as a contribution to throwing light on the Idlib attack, it makes sense to ask what kind of outlet Zvezda is and what interest it would have in making this sensational claim.
The atmosphere in talk shows on Russian state-controlled TV channels has become increasingly aggressive over the past three years.
TV Zvezda claims that almost half of Ukraine’s population has left the country and is working abroad. This figure, however, is not supported by any available statistics.
In the course of the past month, two additional incorrect claims were added to the already long list of pro-Kremlin attempts to distort the truth about the MH17 tragedy.
The official outlet of Russia’s Ministry of Defence distorts facts to prove Putin’s alleged popularity in the UK.