Disinfo: Russia does not have chemical weapons as it destroyed them in 2017

Summary

The Russian Federation completed the destruction of poisoning substances on 27 September 2017, as representatives of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons certified at the site. We ask everyone not to forget that the only country that currently has chemical weapons is the US.

Disproof

The claim is false. Although it is true that Russia destroyed a large stock of chemical weapons on September 2017, as the OPCW certified at the time, this was only its remaining declared stock, which Russia was obliged to destroy since 2007 under the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention, although the country benefited from several extensions to maintain chemical weapons.

Russia not only possesses other undeclared stocks, but it has repeatedly used chemical weapons against its perceived enemies both in Russia and abroad, as the cases of Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny, Russian former spy Sergei Skripal and Bulgarian arms dealer Emilian Gebrev show. Significantly, the attacks on Skripal and Navalny took place after 2017, when Russia was supposed to be already free of chemical weapons, and led to the imposition of sanctions against Russian officials and institutions.

On the other side, the US White House has emphasised that the US “is in full compliance with its obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention and the Biological Weapons Convention and does not develop or possess such weapons anywhere”. This comes in accordance with previous reports that the US has destroyed about 90% of the chemical weapons stockpile in a process that started in June 2019, and it is scheduled to be eliminated by Dec. 31, 2023, after the construction of the necessary destruction facilities.

See other examples of similar disinformation narratives, such as the claims that unlike the US, Russia eliminated all its stocks of chemical weapons, that the poisoning of drug addict Navalny was a hoax, that the Skripal case is crumbling due to the lack of evidence, or that the OPCW is turning into an instrument for serving the geopolitical interests of the West.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 314
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 24/10/2022
  • Article language(s) English
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Russia, US
  • Keywords: Chemical weapons/attack

Belarus

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Russia forced into a conflict in "historical Russia"

Russia did not willingly enter into a conflict in "historical Russia", but it was forced to because many people want to eliminate Russia, since it is a "thorn in the eye" for them.

Disproof

This is a recurring disinformation narrative from pro-Kremlin media denying Ukrainian statehood by claiming that it is part of "historical Russia". This claim was neither counterbalanced nor critically challenged in the article.

In reality, the territory of present-day Ukraine had been divided between the Russian Empire and the Austrian-Hungarian Empire for centuries. Many new countries appeared in Europe in the wake of Russia’s Bolshevik revolution in 1917 and World War One (1914-1918), the Ukrainian People’s republic (aka the Ukrainian National Republic) being one of these. It was later occupied by Communist Russia and forcibly incorporated into the Soviet Union. Ukraine assumed its internationally recognised borders in 1991 when the USSR broke up.

The EU, not Russia, is behind the energy, food and economic crises

The EU continues to falsely accuse Russia of being responsible for provoking the food and energy crises, and now also the economic crisis. The EU purpose for spreading misinformation is clear - to obscure the facts that the energy, food and economic problems facing the world, especially developing countries, are primarily caused by the bad EU policies. These policies are deeply rooted in the Western mentality of merciless exploitation of natural and human resources in Africa, Asia and Latin America, as well as waging trade and economic wars against Russia, including the imposition of unilateral sanctions unprecedented in its scope and consequences for the global economy.

Disproof

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about sanctions in the context of the unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. The claim was neither counterbalanced nor critically challenged in the article.

The claim that sanctions are the cause of economic crisis is an attempt to deflect Russia's responsibility for the global food and energy crisis. In fact, the Russian invasion of Ukraine has destabilised global food markets and is driving food prices up due to increased cost of production, transport and freight insurance. Russia has also destroyed substantial food stocks, production, as well as processing and transport capacities in Ukraine.

Ukraine wants to blow up the Kakhovka dam to block water supply to Crimea

Ukraine wants to blow Kakhovka dam in Ukraine. Such an event would cause the river to flood, sweeping away some 80 settlements and cutting off freshwater supply lines to Crimea for years to come.

Disproof

No evidence given. Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about false flag operations. Such claims are a part of a broader pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign accompanying the full scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, trying to place the blame on Ukraine.

Ukrainian military intelligence said on the 21st of October that Russia had conducted the main mining works of the dam back in April, but warned that the floodgates and supports of the dam were further primed in the past week. Two military vehicles full of explosives were placed on the road that crosses the dam, the agency added.

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