Disinfo: OPCW report did not indicate use of chemical weapons in Douma


The Douma mission’s initial report questioned the source of the gas cylinders and was unable to explain the apparent minimal damage on it that was inconsistent with the allegations of the cylinders being dropped from the air.

The draft report drew attention to the inconsistency of the image of the victims with the chemical gas used in the alleged attack, and the samples did not indicate any presence of nerve gas or chemical weapons.


Recurring disinformation narratives aiming to discredit the OPCW.

The alleged "initial report" of the Douma mission dates back to 22 June 2018 and therefore could not have been referring to the final OPCW report on Douma, which was released 1 March 2019.

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 has been addressed in the actual OPCW report on Douma (Annex 6, pp. 55-56);

Furthermore, the previous documents claim that the draft said the signs and symptoms of alleged victims were "not consistent with poisoning from chlorine". This has been presented in a way that suggests the draft ruled out a chlorine attack on those grounds. However, the draft only says that some of the signs and symptoms were not consistent with chlorine and draws no firm conclusion about them.

See here for a point-by-point disproof by Bellingcat.


  • Reported in: Issue 179
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 15/12/2019
  • Language/target audience: Arabic
  • Country: Syria
  • Keywords: 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.

see more

WADA decision on Russia is illegal

From a legal point of view, there were no grounds for withdrawing the status of Russian anti-doping agency RUSADA because last year, the agency successfully passed WADA’s audits twice and it was recognised as one of the best in the world in its indicators. Therefore, RUSADA’s status was temporarily suspended on a formal far-fetched pretext. All databases and test tubes were transferred back to WADA in early 2019. Further studies were conducted without a Russian presence, contrary to international legal procedures, which makes the decision illegal, unreasonable and requires an objective review by the International Sports Arbitration Court.


One of the methods of Kremlin disinformation is to deny the authority of international organisations and independent agencies and question their mission.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) was established in 1999 as an international independent agency composed and funded equally by the sport movement and governments around the world. Its key purpose is to carry out the World Anti-Doping Code (Code) – the document harmonising anti-doping policies in all sports and in all countries. WADA reports cases of non-compliance to its stakeholders who have jurisdiction to impose sanctions, including the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The Olympic charter was amended in 2003 to state that the adoption of the Code by the Olympic movement is mandatory. Only sports that adopt and implement the Code can be included and remain in the programme of the Olympic Games. If a country does not ratify the International Convention against Doping in Sport, it may be subject to sanctions from the IOC and from other sports organisations, including losing the right to host the Olympic Games.

White Helmets, terrorists plotting false-flag chemical attack in Syria’s Idlib

The Hayat Tahrir al-Sham terrorist group, together with members of the pseudo-humanitarian organisation White Helmets, are plotting to stage the use of toxic substances and the destruction of civilian infrastructure in the settlements of the southern part of the Idlib de-escalation zone.

The purpose of these provocations is the preparation of photo and video materials for distribution on Internet resources, Middle Eastern and Western media publications with allegations that Syrian government forces were using chemical weapons against civilians and conducting indiscriminate attacks.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative painting the White Helmets as a terrorist group, as well as seeking to absolve the Assad regime of responsibility for chemical attacks perpetrated in the course of the Syrian civil war.

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.

EU has accepted Crimea’s incorporation into Russia

Zelenskyy was not able to discuss Crimea [during the Normandy summit], whose incorporation into Russia has therefore effectively been accepted by the EU. He has accepted the Steinmeier formula which Ukrainian nationalists hate because it forces Ukraine to grant decentralized federal status to Donetsk and Lugansk.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the illegal annexation of Crimea and the ongoing war in Ukraine.

See previous disinformation cases alleging recognition of the annexation of Crimea: NYT says Crimea is Russian; Catalan leaders have recognized Crimea; Naftogaz recognized Crimea; EU will recognize Crimea as a part of Russia.