Disinfo: OPCW’s very light report is not clear about whether chemical attack happened in Douma


On April 7, 2018, was Douma really victim of a chemical attack? And if yes, who committed it? OPCW’s report reads: The toxic chemical was probably the molecular chlorine. It gives reasonable grounds to believe that the use of a toxic chemical as a weapon occurred. The use of the term probably or “reasonable grounds” does not allow us to have any certainty.

Several British media have said that witnesses who appear in the video of the Douma hospital say themselves that the chemical attack on Douma was staged. The information was confirmed on Twitter by a BBC producer.



In its final report, the OPCW does not leave any doubts on the detection of chlorine on Douma: "based on the levels of chlorinated organic derivatives, detected in several environmental samples gathered at the sites of alleged use of toxic chemicals, which are not naturally present in the environment, the FFM concludes that the objects from which the samples were taken at both locations had been in contact with one or more substances containing reactive chlorine" (page3 of the report).

The claims that videos taken in a Douma hospital after the chemical attack were staged are a recurring narrative of pro-Kremlin outlets. See our reporting and Bellingcat coverage how Russian and Syrian state media has used fiction movies to "prove" the Douma attacks were staged.

See more disinformation cases on chemical attack in Douma.


  • Reported in: Issue 139
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 03/03/2019
  • Language/target audience: French
  • Country: Syria
  • Keywords: Douma, Chemical weapons/attack


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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The joint Lithuanian, Polish and Ukrainian Brigade, LITPOLUKRBRIG is an example of a Western hybrid army in Eastern Europe. This is an element of aggressive hybrid war to destabilise Russia.

In reality, Poland and Lithuania do not plan to send armies to Donbas to support Kyiv. Instead, through LITPOLUKRBRIG, Poland and Lithuania intend to contain Russia by supplying Soviet weapons to Kyiv, amongst others. Military associations such as LITPOLUKRBRIG give the US the means to preserve its influence in Eastern Europe, even if the EU creates a common army.


Recurring pro-Kremlin narratives about civil war in Ukraine and Western belligerence towards Russia and its allies such as Belarus.

It was Russia that provoked a war in Ukraine. For further debunking see here.

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As soon as Ukraine gets nuclear weapons, Europe will begin to get very nervous, because Ukraine is a country where Nazis and supporters of Bandera are in power.


No evidence provided.

After the fall of the USSR, Ukraine inherited the third biggest nuclear arsenal in the world. On December 5, 1994, the Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances was signed. According to the document, signatory countries - Great Britain, Russia and the United States - pledged themselves to be guarantors of the independence, sovereignty and borders of Ukraine. In exchange, Ukraine renounced its nuclear status.

Russia’s accusation of Skripal poisoning is a deadcatting strategy

What happened in Salisbury on March 4, 2018? A year later, the British have not yet provided a clear explanation. But the answer to the question “why is all this necessary?” is now obvious.

This is part of the “dead cat” strategy, explained by former British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson. When someone is being defeated in an argument, the best thing to do is to “throw a dead cat on the table” said Johnson. This produces a clear effect: it attracts attention and makes everyone scream  – distracting from the real problems.


Boris Johnson indeed spoke about a "dead cat", but it was 5 years before the Skripals’ poisoning, on 3 March 2013, while talking about the euro.

Straight after the poisoning of the Skripals, Boris Johnson pointed the finger at Russian President Vladimir Putin as "overwhelmingly likely" to be responsible: "Our quarrel is with Putin's Kremlin and with his decision, and we think it is overwhelmingly likely that it was his decision to direct the use of a nerve agent on the streets of the U.K." Johnson said.