“The OPCW is not a theatre”, the UK’s OPCW envoy, Peter Wilson, stated on April 26. But trying to discredit the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and use it as a platform for the disinformation campaign was exactly what Russia was attempting last week. As often, children were put in the disinformation spotlight.

First, an interview with a 11-year-old Syrian boy was internationally broadcast on Russia Today, shared on social media through In the Now – an offspring of Russia Today but with no traces of Russia in its branding – and promoted by Russian diplomats. Later the same boy was brought to the Hague to tell what he had experienced.

The interview was presented as “evidence” for the key claim of Russia’s ongoing disinformation campaign: that the chemical attack in Syrian Douma was a fake.The same disinformation was spread in several languages.

First problem is that, contrary to the reporter’s claim, according to the Intercept’s investigation the interview appears to be filmed at a Syrian army facility where Russian military advisers were present.

Secondly, numerous testimonies, findings of medical NGOs, authenticated photographs and videos, and reports from WHO partners, all correspond to gas intoxication of the patients.

And thirdly, contradicting Russia’s claim that there was an organised OPCW briefing on the subject, there was in fact no such thing. Instead, 17 countries stated that “Russia is trying to create the false impression that the OPCW has convened this meeting at Russia’s request. Nothing could be further from the truth”.

The Director General of the OPCW distanced himself from the event and “informed Russia that such a meeting, in which “witnesses” will claim to have been hired to simulate a chemical weapons attack, runs against the work currently being carried out in Syria by OPCW investigators; if these “witnesses” have useful information on the incident, they should first be presented to the FFM to be interviewed.”

Abuse of eye witnesses has a crucial role in Russia’s ongoing disinformation campaign on the Douma chemical attack. There are several reports that Syrian doctors are forced under pressure and threat to say that the chemical attack has not occurred.

See below a timeline on how Russia built two major disinformation campaigns on Salisbury poisoning and Douma chemical attack. Click on the image for interactive links to the debunks and original sources.

Children’s names and photos revealed

There is a deeply rooted tradition to use children in pro-Kremlin disinformation campaigns without following any norms of journalistic ethic and practises. Children’s names and photos are revealed and published and further used to serve the aims of the disinformation campaign. We have seen this earlier with the faked story of a 13-year-old Russian-speaking German girl, Lisa, and with the years’ long disinformation campaign claiming that “Scandinavian countries take kids from Russian families”.

During the past week a further variation of the same disinformation narrative was published in Georgia, claiming that incest has been legalised in Norway and that the UN has issued a new order on “sexualising five-year-old children”. Both claims are false.

 

See all the disinformation cases reported during the past week:

Pilots are resigning from German Air Force – they don’t want to fight against Russia
Additional details: pilots are resigning from German Air Force – they don’t want to fight against Russia.
Language / Targeted audience: English
Disinforming outlet(s): Weaponews.com
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

According to the German media, seven Eurofighter pilots have cancelled their service in Bundeswehr recently. The reports focus on the fact that it is a costly loss for the troops as training of the pilots is expensive. There is no evidence that the pilots resignation would have anything to do with Russia. https://www.welt.de/newsticker/dpa_nt/infoline_nt/brennpunkte_nt/article175922509/Wehretat-Von-der-Leyen-fordert-zwoelf-Milliarden-Euro-mehr.html https://www.bild.de/politik/inland/ursula-von-der-leyen/streitet-mit-scholz-um-12-milliarden-55543692.bild.html http://www.handelsblatt.com/politik/deutschland/verteidigungsministerin-ursula-von-der-leyen-fordert-zwoelf-milliarden-euro-mehr-fuer-bundeswehr/21226456.html https://www.zdf.de/nachrichten/heute/leyen-meldet-zwoelf-milliarden-mehrbedarf-der-bundeswehr-an-100.html

Disinformation is based on one source, Contra Magazin, that speculates that the pilots probably did not have the desire to prepare for war or NATO confrontation with Russia. The author of the article does not show the evidence on which this conclusion is made. Further debunking by Radio Svoboda: https://www.radiosvoboda.org/a/29201276.html

Keywords: Military
Countries: Russia, Germany
More
Douma doctors confirm that there was no chemical attack
Additional details: The Russian Conflict Reconciliation Center claim that Syrian doctors said they did not deal with any cases of patients with signs of chemical poisoning. Also, the rescue driver said: "From 6th to 8th April, we did not have a patient suffering from chemical poisoning. Just ordinary war wounds. "
Language / Targeted audience: Czech
Disinforming outlet(s): http://svobodnenoviny.eu
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

In a joint Statement by Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America called for an end to such unacceptable Russian defamation of the OPCW. They also called the  so-called information meeting at OPCW headquarters that Russia held 'nothing more than a crude propaganda exercise'. https://nl.ambafrance.org/Syria-OPCW-Joint-Statement-26-april-2018

There are several reports that Syrian doctors are forced under pressure and threat to say that the chemical attack has not occurred. Interview with one of the witnesses took place at a Syrian army facility used by Russian military advisers. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/apr/26/obscene-masquerade-russia-criticised-over-douma-chemical-attack-denial, https://theintercept.com/2018/04/26/russia-brings-syrians-hague-make-underwhelming-case-chemical-attack-fake/, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/apr/17/syria-crisis-medics-intimidated-over-douma-gas-attack

See our timeline of the ongoing pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign surrounding the Salisbury poisoning and the Douma chemical attack.

For background:

On 7 April 2018, a high number of civilians were killed in the besieged Syrian city of Douma, with evidence pointing towards another chemical attack by the regime, according to the EU.

See also Bellingcat's open source survey on the suspected chemical attack: https://www.bellingcat.com/news/mena/2018/04/11/open-source-survey-alleged-chemical-attacks-douma-7th-april-2018/ https://www.bellingcat.com/news/mena/2018/04/29/pieces-matter-syrias-chlorine-bombs-douma-chemical-attack/

On April 10 Russia vetoed a U.S.-drafted U.N. Security Council resolution that would have created a new inquiry to ascertain responsibility for chemical weapons attacks in Syria.

UN-OPCW Joint Investigative Mechanism found Syria’s Government responsible for last year’s attack in Khan Shaykhun.

In September 2017, the UN Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic summarized 33 separate incidents where it had found use of chemical weapons. Since then there have been several additional suspected chemical attacks. Between March 2013 and March 2017, the Commission documented 25 incidents of chemical weapons use in the Syrian Arab Republic, of which 20 were proven to have been perpetrated by government forces and used primarily against civilians. 

http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/IICISyria/Pages/IndependentInternationalCommission.aspx

 

Keywords: Douma, OPCW, Chemical weapons/attack
Countries: Russia, Syria
More
Novichok, which poisoned Sergey Skripal and his daughter Julia, was produced and patented in the US
Additional details: Representative of Russia in the OPCW Alexandr Sulgin brought a document from the Patent and Trademark Office, which serves as evidence that novichok was manufactured and patented in the US. According to him, in the Google.patents.com search engine, according to the keyword "Novichok", over 140 patents issued in the US linked to the use and protection against toxic substance A-234 can be found.
Language / Targeted audience: Czech
Disinforming outlet(s): http://ac24.cz
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

No evidence given. The Russian MFA Spokesperson Zacharova previously stated that Novichok could have come from Great Britain, Slovakia, Czech Republic or Sweden. The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sweden forcefully rejected her statements, and so did the competent authority on the topic in Sweden (the Swedish Defence Research Agency). https://www.svt.se/nyheter/utrikes/ryssland-giftet-som-anvandes-mot-skripal-kan-ha-kommit-fran-sverige Later on, the Russian ambassador to Sweden stated that it was "a guess" without any facts supporting it https://www.svt.se/nyheter/utrikes/ambassadoren-backar-efter-giftutspel

Also the Czech Foreign Minister Martin Stropnicky on Saturday denied Moscow's accusation that the nerve toxin used against a former Russian double agent and his daughter in southern England came from the Czech Republic. https://mobile.reuters.com/article/amp/idUSKCN1GT0ML?__twitter_impression=true

The nerve agent has been identified as Novichok (which means newcomer in Russian). It is known to be more powerful than VX and was developed in Russia in the 1970s and 1980s https://www.voanews.com/a/british-prime-minister-russia-poisoning-spy/4294683.html It's so unusual, that very few scientists outside of Russia have any real experience in dealing with it and no country outside of Russia is known to have developed the substance https://edition.cnn.com/2018/03/13/europe/what-is-novichok-nerve-agent-intl/index.html

In its statement, the European Union expressed shock at the offensive use of any military-grade nerve agent, of a type developed by Russia, for the first time on European soil in over 70 years. http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2018/03/19/statement-by-the-foreign-affairs-council-on-the-salisbury-attack/

Keywords: Sergei Skripal, Chemical weapons/attack
Countries: UK, US
More
Eastern Ukraine ceasefire ends because of Kyiv
Additional details: The "ceasefire" between Kyiv and Donetsk is over after 38 days because of the Ukrainian government breaching the ceasefire agreement.
Language / Targeted audience: Hungarian
Link to the disinformation: balrad.ru/2018/04/26/donbassz-357/
Disinforming outlet(s): Bal-rad
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

No evidence given, the statement was made by a party to the conflict. The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine notes ceasefire violations, but does not attribute responsibility for them in its reports: https://www.osce.org/special-monitoring-mission-to-ukraine/379057

 

 

Keywords: Donetsk, Eastern Ukraine, War in Ukraine
Countries: Ukraine
More
The US controls Angela Merkel and approves the statements of high-ranking German officials
Additional details: We must understand that a lot of what almost any [other] European politician is able to talk publicly - even about problems linked to migration, Merkel cannot afford to talk about it publicly. Just because it is Germany and they are the Germans and because the statements of high-ranking German officials are approved in America.


Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: www.youtube.com/watch?v=LTfCu2STGY4
Disinforming outlet(s): Vremya pokazhet @Pervyi kanal, 21:20
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation of Germany as US "puppet". https://euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/?text=germany+us&disinfo_issue=&date=&offset=20

No evidence given. Germany is an independent state with its Chancellor and Bundestag deputies elected through democratic voting.

Keywords: Angela Merkel
Countries: US, Germany
More
The UK violates international law by denying Russian embassy in London any access to Yulia Skripal
Additional details: We do not need to prove anything because the UK grossly violates Article 36 of the 1965 Convention signed by the USSR - it is functioning now - and Great Britain according to which a consular officer has the right to unimpeded contacts with a citizen of his country in the situation when something happens to him.

   
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: www.youtube.com/watch?v=NNKRWnwMY10
Disinforming outlet(s): Vremya pokazhet @Pervyi kanal, 2:51
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

Russian citizen Yulia Skripal has said that she did not wish to take up the offer of assistance from the Russian embassy in London. http://news.met.police.uk/news/statement-issued-on-behalf-of-yulia-skripal-302508

For background:

Many competing and contradictory stories promulgated by Russian state-controlled media on the Skripal poisoning https://euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/?text=sergei+skripal&disinfo_issue=&date=

On Sunday 4 March Sergei and Yulia Skripal were poisoned in Salisbury with a military-grade nerve agent of a type developed by Russia.

For the UK response see: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/novichok-nerve-agent-use-in-salisbury-uk-government-response

The OPCW have confirmed the UK findings in the case. "The results of the analysis by the OPCW designated laboratories of environmental and biomedical samples collected by the OPCW team confirm the findings of the United Kingdom relating to the identity of the toxic chemical that was used in Salisbury and severely injured three people." https://www.opcw.org/news/article/opcw-issues-report-on-technical-assistance-requested-by-the-united-kingdom/

Keywords: Sergei Skripal
Countries: UK, Russia
More
West manipulates history and reduces the number of victims of the extermination camp in Croatia
Additional details: The number of Croatian extermination camp victims during WWII was at least 700,000 and not just 100,000, as the West and Wikipedia put it. It is a sign that the West is waging war against all, against Russia, the Jews, the Serbs and the Christians. The Russians betrayed the Serbs, and the West is now doing what they want with the country and its history, so Russia has to endure and not give up on Syria.
Language / Targeted audience: Czech
Disinforming outlet(s): aeronet.cz
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia, created and edited by volunteers around the world and hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation. It is not controlled in any way by "the West".

Furthermore, the Jasenovac memorial itself states that 83,155 people (of which more than half Serbs) were documented to die in this camp.

http://www.holocaustresearchproject.org/othercamps/jasenovac.html
http://www.jusp-jasenovac.hr/Default.aspx?sid=6284
https://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10005449
http://www.navychod.cz/articles.php?id=15a7fcf2-8dad-11df-aa30-00304830bcc4

Keywords: Yugoslavia, Historical revisionism, The West
Countries: Croatia, Serbia, Russia, Syria
More
PACE is a propagandistic assembly that deals with Russophobia at all levels
Additional details: PACE has transformed from a parliamentary to a propagandistic assembly that deals with Russophobia at all levels. And the accusations that we have just heard, are the same primitive Russophobic stamps: Donbass, Ukraine.


 
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: www.youtube.com/watch?v=VfQY5GZs1Js
Disinforming outlet(s): Mesto vstrechi @NTV TV-channel, 1:55:56
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

No evidence given. Repeating recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation on Russophobia https://euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/?text=&disinfo_issue=&disinfo_keywords%5B%5D=77113&date= and PACE https://euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/?text=pace&disinfo_issue=&date=

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), declaring that Russia’s annexation of Crimea was “in clear contradiction with the Statute of the Council of Europe” and the commitments Russia made when it joined the organisation in 1996, decided to suspend the voting rights of the Russian delegation, as well as its right to be represented in the Assembly’s leading bodies, and its right to participate in election observation missions, in April 2014. In a resolution adopted by 145 votes in favour, 21 against and 22 abstentions, after a three-hour debate, the Assembly said the military occupation of Ukrainian territory, threat of military force, recognition of the illegal so-called referendum and annexation of Crimea “constitute, beyond any doubt, a grave violation of international law”. http://assembly.coe.int/nw/xml/News/News-View-EN.asp?newsid=4982&cat=8

Keywords: Council of Europe, Anti-Russian
Countries: Europe, Russia
More
There was no chemical attack on Syrian Douma, witnesses say
Additional details: On April 26, an OPWC press conference was held in Hague, where 17 witnesses of the Syrian Chemical “non-attack” testified that the chemical attack had not occurred. The attack was cast with White helmets. Witnesses from the video clearly confirmed that nothing happened to them.
Language / Targeted audience: Czech
Disinforming outlet(s): novarepublika.cz
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

In a joint Statement by Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America called for an end to such unacceptable Russian defamation of the OPCW. They also called the  so-called information meeting at OPCW headquarters that Russia held 'nothing more than a crude propaganda exercise'. https://nl.ambafrance.org/Syria-OPCW-Joint-Statement-26-april-2018

There are several reports that Syrian doctors are forced under pressure and threat to say that the chemical attack has not occurred. Interview with one of the witnesses took place at a Syrian army facility used by Russian military advisers. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/apr/26/obscene-masquerade-russia-criticised-over-douma-chemical-attack-denial, https://theintercept.com/2018/04/26/russia-brings-syrians-hague-make-underwhelming-case-chemical-attack-fake/, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/apr/17/syria-crisis-medics-intimidated-over-douma-gas-attack

See our timeline of the ongoing pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign surrounding the Salisbury poisoning and the Douma chemical attack.

For background:

On 7 April 2018, a high number of civilians were killed in the besieged Syrian city of Douma, with evidence pointing towards another chemical attack by the regime, according to the EU.

See also Bellingcat's open source survey on the suspected chemical attack: https://www.bellingcat.com/news/mena/2018/04/11/open-source-survey-alleged-chemical-attacks-douma-7th-april-2018/ https://www.bellingcat.com/news/mena/2018/04/29/pieces-matter-syrias-chlorine-bombs-douma-chemical-attack/

On April 10 Russia vetoed a U.S.-drafted U.N. Security Council resolution that would have created a new inquiry to ascertain responsibility for chemical weapons attacks in Syria.

UN-OPCW Joint Investigative Mechanism found Syria’s Government responsible for last year’s attack in Khan Shaykhun.

In September 2017, the UN Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic summarized 33 separate incidents where it had found use of chemical weapons. Since then there have been several additional suspected chemical attacks. Between March 2013 and March 2017, the Commission documented 25 incidents of chemical weapons use in the Syrian Arab Republic, of which 20 were proven to have been perpetrated by government forces and used primarily against civilians. 

http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/IICISyria/Pages/IndependentInternationalCommission.aspx

See our timeline of the ongoing pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign surrounding the Salisbury poisoning and the Douma chemical attack.

Keywords: Douma, OPCW, White Helmets, Chemical weapons/attack
Countries: Russia, Syria
More
The West is making ethnic Russians "the Jews of the 21st century" accusing them of all mortal sins and misfortunes
Additional details: The Western accusations now make the Russians "Jews of the 21st century" accusing Russians of all mortal sins and all misfortunes. Russia answers to these accusations by defending its own interests. It brought 17 witnesses to OPCW who proved that the videos on Douma chemical attack were fabricated.


     
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: www.youtube.com/watch?v=EzvSzb3qbCk
Disinforming outlet(s): Vecher c Vladimirom Solovievym @Rossia 1, 57:54
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

Repeating recurring disinformation equalling the West with the Nazis. https://euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/?text=russia+jew&disinfo_issue=&date=  and on chemical attack in Douma, Syria. https://euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/?text=douma&disinfo_issue=&date=

17 countries stated that Russia's so-called information meeting at OPCW headquarters was "nothing more than a crude propaganda exercise."

"The authenticity of the information gathered to date on the chemical attacks that occurred in Duma on 7 April, through numerous testimonies, is unassailable. Medical NGOs have found traces of chemical agents on the victims. Photographs and videos, numerous and mutually reinforcing, have been authenticated. The symptoms of more than 500 patients who presented on the same day of the attack in health care facilities undoubtedly corresponded to gas intoxication. The WHO has expressed its concern at reports from its partners of patients exhibiting signs and symptoms consistent with exposure to toxic chemicals. We expect this information to be tested and verified by the FFM through its independent examination." https://nl.ambafrance.org/Syria-OPCW-Joint-Statement-26-april-2018

For background:

On 7 April 2018, a high number of civilians were killed in the besieged Syrian city of Douma, with evidence pointing towards another chemical attack by the regime, according to the EU.

See also Bellingcat's open source survey on the suspected chemical attack: https://www.bellingcat.com/news/mena/2018/04/11/open-source-survey-alleged-chemical-attacks-douma-7th-april-2018/ https://www.bellingcat.com/news/mena/2018/04/29/pieces-matter-syrias-chlorine-bombs-douma-chemical-attack/

On April 10 Russia vetoed a U.S.-drafted U.N. Security Council resolution that would have created a new inquiry to ascertain responsibility for chemical weapons attacks in Syria.

UN-OPCW Joint Investigative Mechanism found Syria’s Government responsible for last year’s attack in Khan Shaykhun.

In September 2017, the UN Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic summarized 33 separate incidents where it had found use of chemical weapons. Since then there have been several additional suspected chemical attacks. Between March 2013 and March 2017, the Commission documented 25 incidents of chemical weapons use in the Syrian Arab Republic, of which 20 were proven to have been perpetrated by government forces and used primarily against civilians. 

http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/IICISyria/Pages/IndependentInternationalCommission.aspx

Keywords: Douma, Chemical weapons/attack, Jews, Syrian War, Ethnic Russians
Countries: Russia, The West, Syria
More
The West has decided to bypass Russia's veto at the UN - in contradiction with the Charter of Fundamental Rights
Additional details: Moscow has blocked the Security Council's decision against the Syrian government more than ten times. That is why the UN countries want to use the resolution of "Unity for Peace" dated November 3, 1950, which, in the case of the approval of 9 out of 15 members of the UN Security Council, bypass Russian veto and passes the question to the General Assembly. However, this resolution is not in accordance with the Charter of Fundamental Rights. According to paragraph 3 of Article 27, decisions on all issues, except for procedural matters, are deemed to be adopted if the "corresponding number of permanent members of the Council" votes for them.
Language / Targeted audience: Czech
Disinforming outlet(s): novarepublika.cz
Reported by: European Values
Disproof note:

No evidence given.  The 1950 “uniting for peace” route was explicitly designed to be used when the security council could not meet its responsibilities over maintenance of peace. http://ask.un.org/faq/177134

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/apr/24/syria-western-nations-may-seek-to-bypass-russian-veto-at-un

For background: http://legal.un.org/avl/ha/ufp/ufp.html

On 3 November 1950, the General Assembly adopted resolution 377 A (V), which was given the title “Uniting for Peace”. The adoption of this resolution came as a response to the strategy of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) to block any determination by the Security Council on measures to be taken in order to protect the Republic of Korea against the aggression launched against it by military forces from North Korea. At the initial stage of this armed conflict, in June 1950, the Security Council had been able to recommend to the Members of the United Nations to “furnish such assistance to the Republic of Korea as may be necessary to repel the armed attack and to restore international peace and security in the area” (resolution 83 (1950) of 27 June 1950). The resolution could be passed because the USSR, at that time, boycotted the meetings of the Security Council with the aim of obtaining the allocation of the permanent Chinese seat to the communist Government in Beijing. It assumed that in its absence the Security Council would not be able to discharge its functions since Article 27, paragraph 3, of the Charter provides that substantive resolutions of the Security Council require an affirmative vote of nine members “including the concurring votes of the permanent members”. The majority of the members of the Security Council, however, were of the view that absence from the meeting room could not prevent the key organ of the United Nations from acting validly, a view that was later endorsed by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) (Legal Consequences for States of the Continued Presence of South Africa in Namibia (South West Africa) notwithstanding Security Council Resolution 276 (1970), Advisory Opinion, I.C.J Reports 1971, p. 16, at para. 22).

---

Although the shifting of responsibilities to the General Assembly may not be consistent with the original intentions of the drafters of the Charter, it is today fully accepted that emergency special sessions have become an integral part of the legal order of the United Nations.

Keywords: UN, Syrian War
Countries: West, Russia, Syria
More
Sergey and Julia Skripal were not poisoned by Novichok but by a different gas called BZ
Additional details: Sergei and Yulia Skripal were poisoned by an immobilizing substance called 3-Quincucnidnyl Benzilat (BZ), Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said. It was discovered by the Swiss laboratory Spiez, an internationally recognized institution. At the same time, the report says that this substance does not come from Russia but was used by the United States and the United Kingdom.
Language / Targeted audience: Czech
Disinforming outlet(s): svobodnenoviny.eu
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

No evidence given. The laboratory has answered that is has "no doubt that Porton Down has identified Novichock". https://twitter.com/SpiezLab/status/985243574123057152

The OPCW have confirmed the UK findings in the case. "The results of the analysis by the OPCW designated laboratories of environmental and biomedical samples collected by the OPCW team confirm the findings of the United Kingdom relating to the identity of the toxic chemical that was used in Salisbury and severely injured three people." https://www.opcw.org/news/article/opcw-issues-report-on-technical-assistance-requested-by-the-united-kingdom/

 

Keywords: laboratory, OPCW, Sergei Skripal
Countries: Switzerland, UK, Russia, US
More
The Nazis have seized power in Ukraine
Additional details: Cancer cannot be cured with aspirin. Cancer is treated only by surgical intervention. It is a cancer tumour called "Nazism", which seized power in Ukraine, and which can be cut off by surgical means. In plain language: by military operation.      
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: www.youtube.com/watch?v=EzvSzb3qbCk
Disinforming outlet(s): Vecher c Vladimirom Solovievym @Rossia 1, 1:32:00
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

Repeating recurring pro-Kermlin disinformation on Ukraine and Nazis. https://euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/?text=ukraine&disinfo_issue=&disinfo_keywords%5B%5D=77101&date=

As witnessed by the democratic Early Parliament elections held on 26 October 2014, Ukraine is governed by a democratically elected Parliament. The OSCE characterized the elections as “an important step in Ukraine’s aspirations to consolidate democratic elections in line with its international commitments”, offering voters “real choice” and “a general respect for fundamental freedoms”. According to the OSCE, the only areas where serious restrictions were reported were those controlled by separatists, who undertook increasing attempts to derail the process. There was no possibility also to carry out the elections in the Crimean Peninsula annexed by Russia the same year http://www.osce.org/odihr/elections/ukraine/132556?download=true   The far-right ‘Right Sector’ (often depicted as "fascists" or "Nazis" by pro-Kremlin outlets) gained only 1.8% of the votes, far short of the threshold needed to enter parliament. Ukraine's electorate clearly voted for unity and moderation, not separatism or extremism, and the composition of the parliament reflects that http://bit.ly/2dFFEdi  .

Keywords: Ukraine, War in Ukraine, Nazi/Fascist
Countries: Ukraine
More
Masses of pilots are resigning from German Air Force – they don’t want to fight against Russia
Additional details: Masses of pilots are resigning from German Air Force – they don’t want to fight against Russia.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): MK.ru, Sputnik, News Front, Argumenti, others
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

According to the German media, seven Eurofighter pilots have cancelled their service in Bundeswehr recently. The reports focus on the fact that it is a costly loss for the troops as training of the pilots is expensive. There is no evidence that the pilots resignation would have anything to do with Russia. https://www.welt.de/newsticker/dpa_nt/infoline_nt/brennpunkte_nt/article175922509/Wehretat-Von-der-Leyen-fordert-zwoelf-Milliarden-Euro-mehr.html https://www.bild.de/politik/inland/ursula-von-der-leyen/streitet-mit-scholz-um-12-milliarden-55543692.bild.html http://www.handelsblatt.com/politik/deutschland/verteidigungsministerin-ursula-von-der-leyen-fordert-zwoelf-milliarden-euro-mehr-fuer-bundeswehr/21226456.html https://www.zdf.de/nachrichten/heute/leyen-meldet-zwoelf-milliarden-mehrbedarf-der-bundeswehr-an-100.html

Disinformation is based on one source, Contra Magazin, that speculates that the pilots probably did not have the desire to prepare for war or NATO confrontation with Russia. The author of the article does not show the evidence on which this conclusion is made. Further debunking by Radio Svoboda: https://www.radiosvoboda.org/a/29201276.html

Keywords: Military
Countries: Russia, Germany
More
Incest is legal in Norway
Additional details: Incest has been legalized in Norway. Hence, it would be better if Norwegians, who pollute the world, would not have been born at all.
Language / Targeted audience: Georgian
Link to the disinformation: TV show
Disinforming outlet(s): TV Objektivi
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

Incest is illegal in Norway, punishable with prison up to 6 years. 

Portraying Nordic countries as especially immoral has been a recurring narrative in pro-Kremlin disinformation in Georgia and other orthodox countries. The story is in line with similar disinformation stories about moral decay in Europe. Thus, a particularly persistent claim is that sexual abuse of children is a norm in Norwegian families, and Russian nationwide TV has spent airtime explaining that embracing LGTBI rights paves the way for accepting paedohilia.https://euvsdisinfo.eu/no-denmark-is-not-legalising-sexual-abuse-of-animals/

More on specific narratives used in pro-Kremlin disinformation in Georgia can be found here https://idfi.ge/public/upload/Meri/Giorgi%20Lomtadze/Policy%20Paper.PDF

Further debunking by Mythdetector.

Keywords: Western values
Countries: Norway, Georgia
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The UN issues an order in Georgia to sexualise five-year-old children
Additional details: The UNESCO’s revised edition of the International Technical Guidance on Sexuality Education abolishes parental rights, demoralizes children and “imposes depraved ideology of homosexuals on them.” In addition “the comprehensive recommendations endorsed by the Americans” oblige kindergarten and school teachers to teach children about “gender ideology of homosexuals widespread in the West and their perverted sexual practice.”
Language / Targeted audience: Georgian
Disinforming outlet(s): Geworld.ge
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

No evidence given. UNESCO does not have authority over UN Member States in matters relating to sexual education. Recurring disinformation about UN organs working in Georgia https://euvsdisinfo.eu/report/soros-and-unicef-prohibiting-boys-to-be-boys-and-girls-to-be-girls-in-georgia/ https://euvsdisinfo.eu/report/georgian-kindergartens-receive-directives-from-unicef/

More on specific narratives used in pro-Kremlin disinformation in Georgia can be found here https://idfi.ge/public/upload/Meri/Giorgi%20Lomtadze/Policy%20Paper.PDF

Further debunking by Myth detector.

 

 

Keywords: Western values, UN
Countries: Georgia
More
Chemical weapon attacks in Syria are western provocations
Additional details: Bashar al- Assad did not use chemical weapons and he did not deed it at all.

Father and daughter Skripals were double agents. The British government said that they had been ''poisoned'' by Putin and ''died'', however it turns out that both feel wonderful, have no problems and nothing threatens them. Now, the British Special Services have decided to hide them. What is going on is shameful. How many times Russia should defeat the West? We all know why the West started this misfortune in Syria.
Language / Targeted audience: Georgian
Disinforming outlet(s): Asaval-Dasavali
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

Repeating recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation about Sergei Skripal poisoning, and chemical attack in Douma, Syria. https://euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/?text=&disinfo_issue=&disinfo_keywords%5B%5D=77329&date=, https://euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/?text=sergei+skripal&disinfo_issue=&date=, https://euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/?text=syria&disinfo_issue=&disinfo_keywords%5B%5D=77353&date=

On April 7, a high number of civilians were killed in the besieged Syrian city of Douma, with evidence pointing towards another chemical attack by the regime, according to the EU.

See also Bellingcat's open source survey on the suspected chemical attack: https://www.bellingcat.com/news/mena/2018/04/11/open-source-survey-alleged-chemical-attacks-douma-7th-april-2018/

See our timeline of the ongoing pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign surrounding the Salisbury poisoning and the Douma chemical attack.

On April 10 Russia vetoed a U.S.-drafted U.N. Security Council resolution that would have created a new inquiry to ascertain blame for chemical weapons attacks in Syria.

Joint Investigative Mechanism found Syria’s Government responsible for last year’s attack in Khan Shaykhun.

In September 2017, the UN Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic summarized 33 separate incidents where it had found use of chemical weapons. Since then there have been several additional suspected chemical attacks. Between March 2013 and March 2017, the Commission documented 25 incidents of chemical weapons use in the Syrian Arab Republic, of which 20 were proven to have been perpetrated by government forces and used primarily against civilians.

http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/IICISyria/Pages/IndependentInternationalCommission.aspx

Keywords: Douma, Sergei Skripal, Chemical weapons/attack, The West, Bashar al-Assad
Countries: UK, Georgia, Syria
More
Plans for ethnic cleansing in Latvia
Additional details: American special operations forces will carry out ethnic cleansing of Latvians that are native Russian language speakers during a military exercise that begins on May 12.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Facebook post
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

No evidence given. No NATO exercise is scheduled to take place in Latvia during that time, nor is any U.S. Army Europe-led exercise. This is playing into a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative aimed at alienating the Russian speaking minority in Latvia https://euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/?text=Latvia&disinfo_issue=&disinfo_keywords%5B%5D=77163&date=

For an in-depth analysis of the story, see the DFRLab.

Keywords: ethnic cleansing, ethnic tension, NATO, Ethnic Russians, Baltic states
Countries: Latvia, US
More
New evidence has been found in Douma suggesting that the suspected chemical attack was staged
Additional details: New evidence has been found in the Syrian town of Douma suggesting that the viral video showing the aftermath of the suspected chemical attack was staged. The yellow gas cylinders allegedly containing chlorine which were said to have been dropped by Syrian aircraft had actually been brought into the house manually.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Vesti @Rossija 1, 00:06; TV Zvezda
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

Repeating recurring disinformation  on chemical attack in Douma, Syria. https://euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/?text=douma&disinfo_issue=&date=

Bellingcat has debunked the claims about "cylinders brought into the house manually":https://www.bellingcat.com/news/mena/2018/04/29/pieces-matter-syrias-chlorine-bombs-douma-chemical-attack/

In a joint Statement by Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America called for an end to such unacceptable Russian defamation of the OPCW. They also called the  so-called information meeting at OPCW headquarters that Russia held 'nothing more than a crude propaganda exercise'. https://nl.ambafrance.org/Syria-OPCW-Joint-Statement-26-april-2018

See our timeline of the ongoing pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign surrounding the Salisbury poisoning and the Douma chemical attack.

For background:

On 7 April 2018, a high number of civilians were killed in the besieged Syrian city of Douma, with evidence pointing towards another chemical attack by the regime, according to the EU.

See also Bellingcat's open source survey on the suspected chemical attack: https://www.bellingcat.com/news/mena/2018/04/11/open-source-survey-alleged-chemical-attacks-douma-7th-april-2018/ https://www.bellingcat.com/news/mena/2018/04/29/pieces-matter-syrias-chlorine-bombs-douma-chemical-attack/

On April 10 Russia vetoed a U.S.-drafted U.N. Security Council resolution that would have created a new inquiry to ascertain responsibility for chemical weapons attacks in Syria.

UN-OPCW Joint Investigative Mechanism found Syria’s Government responsible for last year’s attack in Khan Shaykhun.

In September 2017, the UN Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic summarized 33 separate incidents where it had found use of chemical weapons. Since then there have been several additional suspected chemical attacks. Between March 2013 and March 2017, the Commission documented 25 incidents of chemical weapons use in the Syrian Arab Republic, of which 20 were proven to have been perpetrated by government forces and used primarily against civilians. 

http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/IICISyria/Pages/IndependentInternationalCommission.aspx

 

Keywords: Douma, Chemical weapons/attack, Syrian War
Countries: Russia, Syria
More
Ukraine to become nuclear waste dump
Additional details: Foreign companies will soon be dumping their nuclear waste in Ukraine, the country will be turned into a nuclear burial ground of Europe and the world - the members of the Ukrainian parliament have put an end to the health of  Ukrainians.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Novostnoye Agentstvo Kharkov
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

Recurring disinformation about Ukraine .

On April 17 proposed legislation on improving the management of radioactive waste was given its first reading in the Ukrainian parliament. During parliamentary discussions of the proposed legislation Minister Semerak reported that most of the nuclear waste that needs to be stored in Ukraine was generated after the Chornobyl accident. He also emphasized that there is no nuclear waste from other countries being brought to Ukraine and would not be in the future as it is prohibited by law. The proposed new classification has absolutely no bearing on this.

According to Energoatom, the company that operates all four of Ukraine’s nuclear power stations, the disposal of nuclear waste can occur only in the country of origin.

Further debunking by Stopfake.org.

 

Keywords: Nuclear issues, Abandoned Ukraine
Countries: Ukraine
More
Ukraine recognizes it cannot return Crimea
Additional details: Ukraine has admitted that it is incapable of returning Crimea to Kyiv’s rule. Ukraine is one step away from recognizing Crimea as Russian.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: novorosinform.org/717339
Disinforming outlet(s): Novorossinform
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

No evidence given. The disinformation stories originated in the deliberate falsification of comments by the Ukrainian Deputy Minister for the temporarily occupied territories Heorhiy Tuka during an appearance on Ukrainian television channel 112, where he stated that Ukraine currently could do very little to eject Moscow from Crimea but must continue to work through diplomatic and political channels to rectify the situation. Tuka goes on to say that Russia will at some point not only have to answer for Crimea’s illegal annexation, but will also have to return the peninsula. Further debunking by Stopfake.org.

Keywords: Ukrainian disintegration, Crimea, Ukrainian statehood
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
More
New law bans the U.S. from aiding Syria
Additional details: The House of Representatives has adopted a law banning the U.S. from aiding Syria
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: ria.ru/syria/20180425/1519345978.html
Disinforming outlet(s): RIA Novosti
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

The legislation in question is H.R. 4681, proposed last December by a group of Republican lawmakers and passed by the House Foreign Relations Committee on April 24.

The headline of RIA Novosti’s piece failed to make clear that the bill does not ban the U.S. from providing aid to Syria, but simply limits the type and beneficiaries of such assistance. These restrictions apply to Bashar al-Assad’s government and its allies.

Further debunking by Polygraph.info

Keywords: Western values, Syrian War, Bashar al-Assad
Countries: Russia, US, Syria
More
Russia rates higher than the US and EU in effectiveness of government
Additional details: Russia bypassed the US and the European Union in the rating of the effectiveness of governments. According to the survey of residents of 52 countries, Russia took the 16th place, and the leaders were the Philippines, Vietnam and India. Of the EU countries, Poland has the highest result - 21st place, - and the USA took 41st place, between Greece and Armenia.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: ria.ru/politics/20180426/1519429184.html
Disinforming outlet(s): RIA Novosti
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

The study, whose short results are published on the website of the holding company "Romir", is not at all a rating of the effectiveness of governments but a survey of public opinion in 52 countries on the attitude of residents to the leadership of their states (the Russian word "government" in this case is an inaccurate translation, since the English government means not only the cabinet of ministers, but also the system of public administration as a whole).

For a rating of the effectiveness of public administration, based on objective factors, rather than on the opinion of the population, see e.g the World Bank report (Russia occupies the 117th place out of 208) or the Freedom House report (Russia is labeled "not free").

Further debunking by the Insider

Keywords: Democracy, Human rights
Countries: Russia, EU, US
More
Sports Arbitration Court exposed Rodchenkov and withdrew all charges from Russian sport
Additional details: the Sports Arbitration Court in Switzerland has decided for a full rehabilitation of Russian sport and puts shame on the "whistleblower"  of the Russian doping system, Rodchenkov.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Pervyi Kanal
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

The decision by the court only concerns the case of Alexander Legkov, not all Russian Olympians. The court found the evidence against this individual Russian skier inadequate. In fact, the ruling by the court states that;

867. In reaching these conclusions, the Panel wishes to underscore what it has not decided in this appeal. The Panel has not made a ruling on whether and to what extent the alleged doping scheme during the Sochi Games existed and how it operated even though it recognizes that there is significant evidence that it was in place and worked. Moreover, the Panel did not consider it possible to conclude that the existence of a general doping and cover-up scheme, even if established, would inexorably lead to a conclusion the Athlete committed the ADRVs alleged by the IOC. 868. What the Panel, in the appeal of an individual athlete against the finding of various ADRVs, did decide is simply this: for all of the reasons outlined in this award, the evidence presented before the Panel does not justify the conclusion to the comfortable satisfaction of the Panel that the Athlete, through acts or omissions, individually committed any of the alleged ADRVs. http://www.tas-cas.org/fileadmin/user_upload/Award__5379__internet.pdf 

Further debunking by the Insider

Keywords: Olympics, Doping, WADA
Countries: Switzerland, Russia
More
New evidence has been found in Douma suggesting that the suspected chemical attack was staged
Additional details: An 11-year-old boy called Hassan Diab, who appeared in a video shortly after the alleged April 7 chemical attack in Douma, Syria, was interviewed and stated that rescue workers staged the video of him in the hospital. The boy was not coerced in any way during his interview which took place in Douma.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Rossiya 1, 04:40
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

The video has been investigated by the Intercept, who can show that the interview actually took place at a Syrian military facility used by Russian officers. https://theintercept.com/2018/04/23/russian-tv-interview-syrian-boy-secretly-conducted-army-facility/

In a joint Statement by Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America called for an end to such unacceptable Russian defamation of the OPCW. They also called the  so-called information meeting at OPCW headquarters that Russia held 'nothing more than a crude propaganda exercise'. https://nl.ambafrance.org/Syria-OPCW-Joint-Statement-26-april-2018

There are several reports that Syrian doctors are forced under pressure and threat to say that the chemical attack has not occurred. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/apr/26/obscene-masquerade-russia-criticised-over-douma-chemical-attack-denial, https://theintercept.com/2018/04/26/russia-brings-syrians-hague-make-underwhelming-case-chemical-attack-fake/, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/apr/17/syria-crisis-medics-intimidated-over-douma-gas-attack

See our timeline of the ongoing pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign surrounding the Salisbury poisoning and the Douma chemical attack.

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ack

For background:

On 7 April 2018, a high number of civilians were killed in the besieged Syrian city of Douma, with evidence pointing towards another chemical attack by the regime, according to the EU.

See also Bellingcat's open source survey on the suspected chemical attack: https://www.bellingcat.com/news/mena/2018/04/11/open-source-survey-alleged-chemical-attacks-douma-7th-april-2018/ https://www.bellingcat.com/news/mena/2018/04/29/pieces-matter-syrias-chlorine-bombs-douma-chemical-attack/

On April 10 Russia vetoed a U.S.-drafted U.N. Security Council resolution that would have created a new inquiry to ascertain responsibility for chemical weapons attacks in Syria.

UN-OPCW Joint Investigative Mechanism found Syria’s Government responsible for last year’s attack in Khan Shaykhun.

In September 2017, the UN Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic summarized 33 separate incidents where it had found use of chemical weapons. Since then there have been several additional suspected chemical attacks. Between March 2013 and March 2017, the Commission documented 25 incidents of chemical weapons use in the Syrian Arab Republic, of which 20 were proven to have been perpetrated by government forces and used primarily against civilians. 

http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/IICISyria/Pages/IndependentInternationalCommission.aspx

 

Keywords: Douma, Chemical weapons/attack, Syrian War
Countries: Russia, Syria
More
White Helmets are the classic propaganda action of the US-UK-Israel coalition
Additional details: White Helmets are a logistical and propaganda Syrian branch of Al Qaeda. It is a group of terrorists who support ISIS and sometimes participate in the execution of soldiers of the Syrian army.
Language / Targeted audience: Czech
Disinforming outlet(s): http://ac24.cz
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Keywords: White Helmets, Chemical weapons/attack, NGO, Al-Qaeda
Countries: Israel, UK, US, Syria
More

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