Disinfo: OPCW ignores evidence proving Douma chemical attack was staged by White Helmets


In March 2019, the OPCW issued a report on the Douma incident, asserting that chlorine was “most likely” the chemical agent used in the alleged chemical weapons attack, despite evidence provided by Russia and Syria suggesting that it was staged by the White Helmets NGO.


Recurring disinformation narratives deflecting blame for chemical attacks from the Assad regime, and painting the White Helmets as terrorists. The claim is made without evidence and follows the pattern of unsubstantiated accusations regarding the White Helmets' complicity in chemical attacks in Syria. Available evidence on such attacks has yet to link a single incident to any other party than the Assad regime. The White Helmets are a staple topic of pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives on the Syrian civil war, having already been accused of numerous other provocations and war crimes including organ trafficking; aiding terrorist organizations; staging and/or perpetrating chemical attacks, sometimes with the help of Western intelligence agencies. A majority of these claims are unburdened by evidence and often rely on meaningless formulations such as "according to information provided by X," "there are reasons to assume," and so forth. For more information about the importance of the White Helmets in pro-Kremlin disinformation regarding the Syrian war, see here, here, and here.  


  • Reported in: Issue 196
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 07/05/2020
  • Language/target audience: English
  • Country: Russia, Syria
  • Keywords: false flag, Douma, OPCW, Chemical weapons/attack, Syrian War


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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Patients in Italy and Spain likely to be constantly infected by the coronavirus tests

On March 30, Luxembourg’s intermediary company Eurofins responsible for the supply and quality control of tests for the Covid-19, informed government’s laboratories that the virus was found in their delivery lot. The company’s official letter stated that the virus was found in key components of the test, namely in probes and capsules supplied from the United States. Eurofins also reported the discovery of coronavirus and some other intermediary companies also receiving their test kits from overseas. The shocking news bypassed by both international and national mainstream media. […] Why, in countries such as Italy and Spain, where the population has been under quarantine for a month and a half, the death rate from Covid-19 is not going down? The number of victims in these countries still ranges from 500-800 per day! But according to the most respected experts, the average incubation period of Covid-19 is of 14 days. Two weeks after the quarantine was introduced, there should have been a sharp decline in the death rate from coronavirus. But for some reason this does not happen. Most likely, people are continuously infected by the tests for Covid-19! […] We can add with confidence that this list will be continued by France, Great Britain and the USA. Specific facts now speak in favour of this version: the tests are infected on a very large scale, and the authorities nonetheless show little concern about this.


The disinformation claim, first written on Eadaily.com, was republished by Gumilev-Center.ru and than became viral on Russian social media and messenger, including Whatsapp messages, without mentioning the original source. The original claim on Eadaily.com amplifies and misrepresents the reporting by The Telegraph. The original reporting by the Telegraph says that "Britain’s attempt to ramp up mass coronavirus testing has been dealt a blow after key components ordered from overseas were discovered to be contaminated with coronavirus, the Telegraph can disclose" and "traces of the virus were detected in parts due for delivery". The supplier, Eurofins company said that the issue can be resolved by ‘proper cleaning’ but admitted the discovery would result in a delay. No other issues, such as contamination of humans by tests, was announced by Eurofins or anybody else. The claim that Spain's and Italy's death rates do not go down since the beginning of the quarantine is untrue. It does, as we can see on the graph for Spain is here, for Italy here. See more disinformation narratives on coronavirus.

Western democracies are primarily responsible for the Second World War

The history of the Second World War has been rewritten to remove the blame on Western democracies who, on the contrary, are primarily responsible for the outbreak of the conflict. Stalin initially attempted to forge an alliance against Hitler with Western democracies, but the latter feared Bolshevism more than Nazism and preferred to make concessions to Hitler.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative that attempts to portray the Soviet Union's role in World War II as non-aggressive and portrays various European states as being responsible for the outbreak of the war. This message is part of the Kremlin’s policy of historical revisionism and an attempt to erode the disastrous historical role of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact by claiming that other European countries signed various international agreements with Germany after Adolf Hitler came into power. However, it is impossible to compare the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact with various agreements signed between Germany and other European countries throughout the 1930s. There is no historical evidence that these agreements contained any secret protocols, which assumed common aggressive actions of Germany and these countries against third parties. The signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact was a mutual decision of two totalitarian regimes (Nazi Germany and the Stalinist USSR) aimed at the division of Eastern and Central Europe between these two powers. It is a fact that the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact contained the Secret Supplementary Protocol, which assumed the division of Poland and other Eastern European countries between the USSR and Germany. For the Russian propaganda narratives about the Soviets and World War II read here. Read similar cases of the Russian historical revisionism about the Molotov – Ribbentrop pact: Signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact thwarted the UK’s expansionist plans in Europe, The Molotov-Ribbentrop pact did not violate the rights of the Polish state, The shift of all blame for WWII outbreak at the Ribbentrop-Molotov pact the best example of manipulation of history

Leaked documents cast doubt on evidence in MH17 trial

The JIT’s evidence in the MH17 trial is mainly based on conversations intercepted by the Ukrainian Security Service, anonymous witness testimony, and Internet images found by the research collective Bellingcat. However, even this evidence is at odds with two documents leaked from the Dutch military intelligence body (MIVD) and published by Bonanza Media. These documents show that there were twelve BUK missile installations — nine Ukrainian and three Russian — in the wider area of the crash site. The closest installation in use was Ukrainian. This was 98 km away from the spot where MH17 was hit. The nearest operational Russian installation was located 106 km away, on the Russian side of the Russian-Ukrainian border. The MIVD concludes that none of these installations could have hit MH17, based on the locations where they were seen according to the information of MIVD. The BUK-M1 type has a range of up to 42 km.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the MH17 investigation. The documents published by Bonanza do not prove Russian non-involvement in the crash. See detailed refutations of this claim here and here. As such, the results of the investigation of the Joint Investigation Team remain unchanged: flight MH17 was shot down by a missile from the 9M38 series, which was launched by the BUK TELAR system. The system was transported from the Russian Federation to an agricultural field near the city of Pervomaiskiy in eastern Ukraine, from where the rocket was launched. After firing, the system with one missing missile returned to the Russian Federation. On May 24 2018, JIT announced in its conclusion that the Buk belongs to the 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade, a unit of the Russian armed forces in Kursk, Russian Federation. The public hearing started on 9 March 2020 in the Netherlands.