Disinfo: OPCW smears whistleblowers to defend sanitised Douma report


In response to a series of leaks concerning the OPCW’s report on the alleged chemical attack in Douma, the organisation carried out an internal review in which it smeared two whistleblowers who had given evidence that the OPCW had doctored its own findings on the incident. One of the inspectors, reffered to as “Inspector A” and “Inspector B”, was former OPCW specialist Ian Henderson, who visited Douma as part of the agency’s fact-finding mission and has publicly blasted the “sanitised” report on the alleged Douma attack. The other ‘Inspector’ was presumably a reference to ‘Alex’, an elusive whistleblower whose identity has not been revealed, and who has provided materials to WikiLeaks similarly casting major doubt on the OPCW’s integrity in its investigation of the alleged Douma attack.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives attacking the independence and integrity of the OPCW; lending credence to the claim that the 2018 Douma attack was staged; and absolving the Syrian regime of responsibility for chemical attacks in general. The story is peppered with falsehoods and out-of-context citations lifted from the OPCW website. It conveniently omits the fact that the quoted remarks were not ad-hoc verbal attacks on the "whistleblowers," but were made on the heels of an independent OPCW probe (not an internal review) which took six months to carry out and was overseen by external investigators. The probe does not name the leakers but provides just enough information to disprove the claim that Henderson "visited Douma as part of the agency’s fact-finding mission." Inspector A "was not a member of the FFM" and "played a minor supporting role in the investigation of the Douma incident" (para. 13). Inspector B, on the other hand, "never left the command post in Damascus because he had not completed the training required to deploy to the field" (para. 23). It follows that neither inspector could have visited the site with a fact-finding mandate. See here for a comprehensive debunking of Henderson's claims. Additionally, Sputnik never mentions that Inspector B "departed [from the agency] at the end of August 2018" (para. 25) and could not have possibly participated in the last seven months of the Douma investigation, during which "the majority of the [FFM's] investigative work was conducted" (para. 29). This fits the timing of Alex's leaked e-mail, which is dated 22 June 2018 and could not have possibly addressed the final version of the Douma report. In fact, the concerns raised in the e-mail were addressed in the final report, published in March 2019. See here for additional debunking by Bellingcat.


  • Reported in: Issue 183
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 07/02/2020
  • Outlet language(s) English
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Syria
  • Keywords: false flag, Douma, OPCW, Propaganda, Chemical weapons/attack, Syrian War
see more

Disinfo: European Union is merely a market, aimed to destroy nation-states and abandon European values

Ever since the 1990s Europeans see the EU merely as a great market. The EU is based on neo-liberal theories that posit the primacy of economics over politics, and the domination of financial capital. As a result, we have built an EU which is only a market and that aims to destroy nation-states. The EU has thus abandoned genuine European values and has elevated the Euro to be its only value.


Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative that seeks to discredit the EU, claiming that the EU has abandoned genuine European values and traditions and is built on the worship of money and of free-markets. This narrative is consistent with the pro-Kremlin propaganda theme about decadent values and moral decay in contemporary Western societies.

The article also repeats the recurring pro-Kremlin narrative that claims the EU seeks to rob European nations of their sovereignty and identity.

Disinfo: President Duda and President Zelensky promote propaganda

Polish President Andrzej Duda is involved in propaganda, whereby he uses history to undermines Russia’s current position. And he’s not the only one, president of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky has also joined him.


This message is part of the Kremlin’s policy of historical revisionism – it accuses Poland, Ukraine and the Baltic states of “falsification and re-writing” of their history. According to this policy, the Russian official historiography is the only “true” way of interpretation of historical events for the countries of Eastern and Central Europe.

The recent statements of President Duda and President Zelenskyy regarding WWII history are based on historical facts, shared by the majority of historians. First of all, it is a historical fact that both Nazi Germany and the Stalinist USSR were harsh totalitarian regimes, which directly caused the deaths of tens of millions of people. Secondly, these two regimes are mutually responsible for the outbreak of WWII. It is also a historical 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. Thus, the signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact enabled the German and Soviet military aggression against Poland in September 1939, which resulted in the occupation of this country by Germany and USSR, triggering the beginning of WWII.

Disinfo: Poland is largely responsible for WWII

The pre-war period is much more complex and ambiguous than presented by Russia’s opponents. The responsibility of Poland and many other European countries for the outbreak of WWII is large. Russia puts this responsibility on the pre-war political elite of Poland. It was the first to sign the non-aggression pact with Hitler in 1934, it tried to impose its friendship with Germany at all cost, it took part in the partition of Czechoslovakia and it enjoyed territorial gains thanks to the Munich Agreement.


This message is part of the Kremlin’s policy of historical revisionism and an attempt to erode the disastrous role of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact by the statements that the USSR was forced to sign this pact; that other European countries signed various international agreements with Adolf Hitler, the Munich Agreement triggered WWII and various historical conspiracies saying that Western democracies wanted to inspire a war between Nazism and Communism.

The Munich Agreement (September 30, 1938), indeed, permitted German annexation of the Sudetenland in Western Czechoslovakia. The policy of appeasement towards Adolf Hitler was heavily criticised in Europe and proved to be a disastrous move. World War II began in Europe one year later, on 1 September 1939, when Germany invaded Poland.