Disinfo: Amesbury poisoning incident fuels another wave of anti-Russian hysteria

Summary

A new poisoning incident on UK soil has given British politicians a perfect reason for launching another McCarthian witch hunt on dissent.

It is a worrying trend that some British officials are quite willing to limit the freedom of speech of their own fellow citizens by telling them who they may or may not speak to.

Disproof

The UK are on place number 40 in the world ranking Press Freedom Index for 2018 rsf.org/en/ranking,

It is not the first time that disinformation is being excused by being freedom of speech. euvsdisinfo.eu/propaganda-inundation/, euvsdisinfo.eu/four-factors-affecting-press-freedom-in-russia/,

Background:

Many competing and contradictory stories promulgated by Russian state-controlled media on the Skripal poisoning and the subsequent poisoning of two UK citizens in Amesbury 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 laboratory has answered to Russian claims about BZ 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/

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.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue115
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 05/07/2018
  • Language/target audience: English
  • Country: UK, Russia
  • Keywords: Sergei Skripal, Russia Today (RT), Chemical weapons/attack, Freedom of speech

Disclaimer

Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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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.

Amesbury poisoning: British officials are lying in saying they have asked Russia for help

British officials are lying in saying they have asked Russia for help. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov says Moscow has no information on what the compound is that caused the latest incident. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova says it is all a fit-up for political reasons.

Disproof

Both the European Union and the UK have previously urged Russia to start cooperating with the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons’ investigation into the poisoning of a former Russian spy in Salisbury. www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/apr/04/chemical-weapons-watchdog-meets-russian-spy-poisoning-salisbury-sergei-skripal,

Berezovsky more useful to the British intelligence services dead than alive

Berezovsky, a fugitive Russian oligarch, was once an irreconcilable enemy of Putin who rethought a lot of things by the end of his life. Berezovsky lived in the UK but wanted to come home to Russia. His fatal mistake was that he began to talk about this to other people. It is then quite understandable why a dead Berezovsky became more useful to the British intelligence services. Berezovsky knew too much about them. The oligarch was found dead in his home in England. The death of Berezovsky could have been a cover-up by the UK security services.

Disproof

No evidence given. Some investigative journalists have suggested that the death of Berezovsky was ordered by the Kremlin  www.buzzfeed.com/heidiblake/from-russia-with-blood-14-suspected-hits-on-british-soil?utm_term=.iaqp20kkV#.dmx14JRRy,