Disinfo: Russia shut down its chemical weapons programmes decades ago and has destroyed its stockpiles of chemical weapons


Russia ceased producing chemical weapons in 1992 and has destroyed its stockpile of chemical weapons.



Recurrent pro-Kremlin narrative that Russia shut down all its chemical weapons programmes decades ago and that it had nothing to do with the poisoning and attempted murder of former Russian spy Skripal in Salisbury. See previous cases here.

The first claim about chemical weapons has been refuted by the UK government’s investigation into the Salisbury attack. The UK government's assessment of the attack is fully supported by leading Western states. This investigation found that Sergey and Yuliya Skripal were poisoned using a specific Novichok nerve agent. This was confirmed by an independent OPCW [Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons] analysis.

Novichok nerve agents were developed by the Soviet Union in the 1980s under a programme codenamed FOLIANT.  According to the UK intelligence assessment, based on open-source analysis and intelligence information, over the past decade, Russia has produced and stockpiled small quantities of Novichok agents, long after it signed the Chemical Weapons Convention.

On 6 September, the UK, the US, France, Germany and Canada issued a joint statement, saying they had “full confidence” in the UK’s assessment that the Salisbury attack used  Novichok nerve agents, and that it  has been carried out by Russia’s GRU agency and “almost certainly approved at a senior government level”.

Further background can be seen here, here and here.



  • Reported in: Issue 139
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 03/03/2019
  • Language/target audience: Italian
  • Country: UK, Russia
  • Keywords: novichok, Sergei Skripal, Chemical weapons/attack, Provocation


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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US-backed armed groups prevent refugees from leaving Al Rukban camp

Around 40,000 people are trapped in the refugee camp of Al Rukban, on the Syrian border with Jordan and inside the US-controlled area around the base of Al Tanf. US-backed armed groups operate there and are preventing humanitarian aid from reaching the camp, and people from leaving the area, despite the opening of two humanitarian corridors. They only let people to leave for exchange of huge amounts of money. Also, the US is obstructing the rescue operation by refusing to protect the convoy that should take the refugees out of the camp.


For the last two years this Russian disinformation narrative has claimed that the US has been blocking the aid to Al Rukban camp, as you can see here and here, when it was actually the Syrian army who was responsible for the blockade. According to the civil administration of the camp, "not a single civilian" used the corridor on the next day, "because of the uncertainty of their destination after exiting the corridors". According to some local opposition activists, many of them are unsure if they will be allowed to return to their homes or be sent instead to new camps under regime control. So Russian authorities and media started to claim that US-backed terrorist groups are preventing the civilians from leaving the place.

In reality, many of those refugees are linked to rebel factions and fear retaliation if they abandon the camp. The US position is to encourage residents to stay, but says it won't impede the movement of those who want to leave. According to a journalist reporting on the ground for The Guardian, smugglers are indeed requesting huge sums of money to those who want to leave, but to take them beyond the Syrian government areas.

Artificial variation of Polish alphabet is used in Minsk metro

Minsk metro station names are spelled using the Latin alphabet based on an artificial variation of the Polish alphabet. This transliteration has no official recognition. Foreigners and locals alike do not understand it. Minsk metro stations should use the Russian names instead of the Belarusian ones, which are spelled using the Belarusian Latin alphabet.


An unfounded claim on Polish transliteration of the station names in the Minsk metro. The Belarusian names, written in Cyrillics, are transliterated according to an official standard for writing Belarusian names with Latin letters, established in 2007. The instruction was adopted by a decree of the Belarusian State Committee on Land Resources, Geodetics and Cartography, and is therefore officially recognised. The standard is based partially on the historical Belarusian Latin alphabet or Łacinka, which incorporates features of both the Polish and Czech alphabets.

See an earlier case about the alleged use of the Polish Latin alphabet in Minsk metro.

US and Ukrainian authorities conduct a war in Ukraine

A war against the Ukrainian people is conducted by the US and fascist Ukraine’s authorities. The ongoing presidential campaign is entirely controlled and managed by the United States. After the election, this war will continue and will result in Ukraine’s complete economic, social and demographic collapse. Ukrainian law-enforcement agencies have turned into armed, corrupt and terrorist structures.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about fascists ruling Ukraine and the war in Ukraine. It was Russia who annexed Crimea and provoked a war in Dombas, not the US.