Disinfo: Amesbury poisoning: Distraction from the Trump-Putin summit

Summary

Amesbury poisoning: With the upcoming meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump, the new Novichok incident is a very interesting coincidence, as though someone decided that we need a distraction. The poisoning might have been the result of an internal control problem at the Porton Down.

Disproof

Many competing and contradictory stories promulgated by Russian state-controlled media, the only connecting thread being to confuse their audience and exclude any possibility of Russian involvement. https://euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/?text=sergei+skripal&disinfo_issue=&date= On 4 July paramedics were called twice to a flat in Amesbury not far from Salisbury. Scientists at the UK's military research lab, Porton Down, found the couple had been exposed to the same nerve agent as the Skripals, Novichok. One of the victims passed away on 9 July. The toxin was identified as a nerve agent at Porton Down, which is Britain's military research base. They have not done tests with nerve agents since 1989, but are still able to identify these toxins, in order to protect British civilians and troops from attacks http://www.bbc.com/news/av/uk-43335148/porton-down-britain-s-secret-research-facility The nerve agent has been identified as Novichok (which means newcomer in Russian). www.opcw.org/news/article/opcw-issues-report-on-technical-assistance-requested-by-the-united-kingdom/, and www.gov.uk/government/news/novichok-nerve-agent-use-in-salisbury-uk-government-response, 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, https://theconversation.com/what-we-know-about-novichok-the-newby-nerve-agents-linked-to-russia-93264 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/

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 115
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 05/07/2018
  • Language/target audience: English
  • Country: Ukraine, Russia
  • Keywords: Amesbury poisoning, Sergei Skripal, Chemical weapons/attack, Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin
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Kiev is preparing an information attack on Crimea to disrupt the tourist season

The Ukrainian government is allegedly preparing an information attack on the occupied Crimea in order to disrupt the tourist season there. This is proven by a letter from the head of the Ukrainian Ministry of temporarily occupied territories Vadim Chernysh to the head of the Ministry of Information Policy Yuri Stetsyu. In it, Chernysh suggests to Stetsyu that the holiday season on the peninsula can be disrupted with the help of media and bloggers.

Disproof

The press service of the Ministry of Information Policy reported that this information is a fake. The ministry explained that the signature of the head of the Ministry of Temporarily Occupied Territories Vadim Chernysh is counterfeit, and the document itself has a number of inconsistencies with the norms adopted in the official correspondence. Further debunking by Stopfake www.stopfake.org/fejk-v-kieve-gotovyat-piar-ataku-na-krym-dlya-sryva-turisticheskogo-sezona/,

The truth about Russia from the mouth of a British journalist in Sweden caused hysteria among Estonian students

A summer school at Uppsala University invited among other lecturers British journalist Vanessa Beeley, the author of the leading independent blog on the conflict in Syria. She talked about the methods of the Western media using deliberately false information, and stated that Russian journalists cover events more objectively than their Western counterparts Beeley cited as an example the fake about chemical weapons allegedly used by the Syrian authorities in the Syrian city of Duma.

Disproof

Vanessa Beeley is a well-known pro-Assad and pro-Kremlin public figure. She has eg visited Regime-held areas of Syria, often under the supervision of Syrian MPs and the Syrian Army. A piece purporting to expose the “egregious western media chemical weapon fraud in Eastern Ghouta” inadvertently details how regime officials are her only source and shepherd her around, ensuring they control what she is able to witness. www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/vanessa-beeley-syria-white-helmets_uk_5ad9b6cae4b03c426dad48a9?22, In her lecture, she voiced many of the usual pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives which was highlighted and criticised later both by Swedish local media and Estonian professors and students attending the class. For example, she stated that 'The Soviet Union and its legal successor Russia have always tried to promote peace in the world', 'There was a free election over whether to join Russia in Crimea', 'There was no chemical attack in Douma this April. The attack was staged by the White Helmets' and 'Human Rights Watch is a zionost front organisation run by George Soros'. See our debunks about these pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives on our website eg here, here and here. The Swedish University has issued a public apology for inviting Vanessa Beeley to the summer school and claims it was a mistake, something the Tsargrad article does not mention. 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 responsiblefor 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

A video shows a major influx of migrants to Prague

A video is showing a huge number of migrants who came to the Prague train station from Germany.

Disproof

The video was not from Prague, but from the English town Brighton and did not show migrants but regular rush hour, as shown by Dennik.sk. The video was deleted by Facebook later on. Further debunking by Dennik.sk here. Update: Screenshot link corrected on 25 September 2019.