Disinfo: New OPCW-report questions official findings about chemical attack in syrian Douma

Summary

A new report written by an engineer from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) emerged. The report challenges the official OPCW report from March, which accused Damascus of being behind the Douma incident from last April. However, the new report now suggests that the gas canisters were placed by hand at the site of the attack, possibly by rebels active in the area. In the West, these revelations were virtually ignored. Several prominent activists criticised the mainstream media for their lack of coverage. In addition, the White Helmets operate exclusively in areas controlled by militants and are accused of cooperating with extremists and staging chemical attacks.

Disproof

Recurring disinformation narratives deflecting blame for chemical attacks from the Assad regime; painting the White Helmets as cooperating with extremists; and aiming to discredit the OPCW. The "never-before-seen-report" appears to be an engineering assessment carried out by one individual who, contrary to RT Deutsch's false claim, was never a member of the Fact-Finding Mission and is not currently employed by the organisation. The individual, however, was affiliated with the OPCW as an engineer and apparently had access to materials gathered in the course of the Douma FFM, and based his/her conclusions on the same evidence pool. An OPCW press statement confirms that "all information was taken into account, deliberated, and weighed when formulating the final report regarding the incident in Douma." The OPCW Technical Secretariat is conducting an internal investigation about the unauthorised release of the document in question. Regardless of the leaked document's authenticity, its conclusion that the cylinders could not have been dropped from helicopters: a) has been addressed in the actual OPCW report on Douma (Annex 6, pp. 55-56); b) does not support the outlandish claim that the incident was staged "and designed to frame the Syrian government." The White Helmets have not once been "busted" staging anything, see our debunking on the subject for more details.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 151
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 22/05/2019
  • Outlet language(s) German
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Syria
  • Keywords: false flag, White Helmets, Chemical weapons/attack, Syrian War
see more

There is no evidence of Russian intervention in Ukrainian elections

A panel of experts from the American Atlantic Council and Ukrainian NGOs has prepared a report stating that Russia allegedly intervened in the presidential election in Ukraine. However, specific examples or evidence of this theory are not given, and the document itself contains only general information about the anti-Russian character and the statements of Kyiv officials.

Disproof

This is another attempt to deny Russia's attempts at interference in elections and referenda. The Atlantic Council, the Victor Pinchuk Foundation, and the Transatlantic Commission on Election Integrity established the Ukrainian Election Task Force. Working with other Ukrainian institutions — StopFake and the Razumkov Centre — the three partners created a rapid-response team with the ability to monitor, evaluate, and disclose the full range of foreign subversive activities in Ukraine, and to propose suitable responses. Regarding disinformation: "According to task force monitors and analyses the majority of disinformation messages targeted at the Ukrainian elections stemmed from the grand narrative claiming that the elections would be rigged, illegitimate, and should not be trusted no matter the result." Also: "Kremlin outlets voiced many false accusations about the alleged spread of Nazism in Ukraine, or about the Ukrainian state planning terror attacks and contract killings on its territory in order to influence the elections. In one of the more erratic attacks, the Ukrainian army was accused of cannibalism and occultism." See here for other disinformation cases about Russian interference in different elections.

The report highlighting Russian interference in Ukrainian election is preparation for further aggravation of relations with Moscow

Russian experts suggest that the joint report of the US Atlantic Council and Ukrainian NGOs on alleged Russian interference in the Presidential election in Ukraine could be part of preparation for a new aggravation of relations between Moscow and Kyiv.

Disproof

No evidence given.

The Atlantic Council, the Victor Pinchuk Foundation, and the Transatlantic Commission on Election Integrity established the Ukrainian Election Task Force. Working with other Ukrainian institutions—StopFake and the Razumkov Centre—the three partners created a rapid-response team with the ability to monitor, evaluate, and disclose the full range of foreign subversive activities in Ukraine, and to propose suitable responses. There is no goal to aggravate relations with Moscow with this report.

Ukraine is under foreign control

A panel of experts from the American Atlantic Council and Ukrainian NGOs has prepared a report stating that Russia allegedly intervened in the presidential election in Ukraine.

Russian experts stressed that it would be much more interesting to conduct a study on the impact of the EU and the US on elections and other processes in Ukraine. Ukrainian experts say straightforwardly that the country is under external control.

Disproof

No evidence given. Recurring Kremlin narrative about Ukraine, which allegedly is under external control from the US or EU.

Ukraine is a sovereign state, not controlled by any foreign government. Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity are respected by almost the whole world, including the EU.