Disinfo: White Helmets continue to deceive about the attacks in Syria

Summary

The “White Helmets” is an organization that creates fake videos and photos about the war in Syria. All the work of the “White Helmets” is directed exclusively at a Western audience and does not reflect the real state of affairs in Syria.

Disproof

This is a recurring and enduring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the White Helmets.

The "White Helmets" movement originated in Syria in 2012, when the first detachments of volunteer rescuers appeared in the territories outside of the control of Bashar al-Assad's troops. In 2014, volunteer teams merged into a national organisation, the Syrian Civil Defence, which is the official name of the White Helmets. Volunteers save people from the rubble after bombings, despite the danger of dying themselves as a result of repeated air strikes. Activists have documented the use of chemical weapons in Syria by the Assad government and allied forces. Because of this, they have become the target of an extensive Russian disinformation campaign.

For more fakes about the work of the "White Helmets" read here and here.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 158
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 13/07/2019
  • Outlet language(s) Russian
  • Country: Syria
  • Keywords: White Helmets, Chemical weapons/attack
see more

There is no border between Russia and Ukraine

There is no border between Russia and Ukraine after the latter pulled out of the treaty with Russia.

Disproof

The Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Partnership between Ukraine and the Russian Federation established the principle of strategic partnership, recognition of the inviolability of existing borders, respect for territorial integrity and mutual obligations not to use their territory to the detriment of each other’s security. The agreement was signed in Kyiv on 31 May 1997 by the President of Ukraine, Leonid Kuchma, and the President of the Russian Federation Boris Yeltsin. In fact, the annexation of Crimea by Russia and the military intervention in Donbas violated this agreement both politically and practically. On 6 September 2018, the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine decided not to extend the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Partnership between Ukraine and the Russian Federation, which then expired on 31st March 2019. The expiry of the Treaty doesn’t affect the documented recognition of the Ukrainian borders by Russia - Deputy Foreign Minister Olena Zerkal stressed, since in 2003, Russia and Ukraine signed a separate agreement on the Russian-Ukrainian borders. In addition, UNGA Resolution 68/262 affirmed the United Nations General Assembly's commitment to the territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders and underscored the invalidity of the 2014 Crimean referendum. This message is part pf a recurring disinformation narrative referring to the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Partnership between Ukraine and the Russian Federation. For similar cases see here and here.

Trump and Biden see NATO as an instrument worn on the finger of the United States

Donald Trump and Joe Biden treat NATO as an instrument worn on the finger of the United States. Only Biden really wants to return to the situation of Obama, making NATO a totalitarian pig that completely follows the United States and does what the United States wants.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative, portraying NATO as a dependent organisation, a threat to peace, and having a belligerent agenda. All decisions in NATO are taken by consensus, which means that any decision can only be taken if every single Ally accepts it. Equally, the decision for any country to take part in NATO-led operations falls to that country alone, according to its legal procedures. No member of the Alliance can decide on the deployment of any other Ally's forces. The United States is one of 12 founding members of NATO and plays a crucial role in European and transatlantic security. Nor Donald Trump, nor Joe Biden treat NATO as a puppet, and have not made similar statements.

Kyiv is dissatisfied with the fact that many in Ukraine consider the Crimea Russian

Verkhovna Rada proposed to introduce criminal punishment for not recognising Crimea as part of Ukraine. The emergence of such an initiative may appear because in Ukraine a huge number of people consider Crimea as part of the Russian Federation. Ukrainians acknowledge this fact and treat it with understanding. In this regard, the Ukrainian authorities, despite five years of brainwashing their people, despite the anti-Russian rhetoric, could not overcome absolute reality.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the illegal annexation of Crimea and recognition of Crimea as Russian territory. Only 4% of Ukrainians admit that Crimea is Russian, according to a survey by the Democratic Initiatives Foundation and the Razumkov Centre's Sociological Service. According to the Democratic Initiatives Foundation, since 2016, Ukrainians have consistently expressed the opinion that Crimea should remain in Ukraine, and the proportion of respondents remained stable - 69% of Ukraine's population. Crimea was annexed by Russia following an illegitimate referendum on March 16, 2014, following the deployment of “little green men” across the peninsula beginning in February 2014. Read more about Crimea's annexation and narratives surrounding it here.