Disinfo: Skripal has long been cremated and is in the urn


Nobody has seen Sergei Skripal for six months. He has long been cremated and is in the urn. The UK prepared the scenario of his death.


This is a recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about the Salisbury attack and Skripal's death. There are no grounds to believe that Sergei Skripal is dead rather than in hiding from those who attempted to murder him. There are many competing and contradictory stories promulgated by Russian state-controlled media about the Skripal poisoning.


  • Reported in: Issue 137
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 18/02/2019
  • Outlet language(s) Russian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: UK, Russia
  • Keywords: Sergei Skripal, Conspiracy theory
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Disinfo: The US transported Syrian gold stolen by ISIS via helicopter

US military helicopters landed in Hajin, Deir Az Zor and Dashisha, to pick up several Daesh leaders who handed themselves over to US forces. As a reward for saving them, these leaders told US troops where they kept over 40 tons of stolen gold, which the US carried away via helicopter.


This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the US support for ISIS that is presented entirely without evidence. The source for this story is an article by SANA, which is an official organ of the Syrian government that seeks to promote the idea of cooperation between the US and Jihadist forces. Other recent examples of this narrative are here and here.

Disinfo: Trump asks Europe to withdraw its ISIS mercenaries from Syria

US President Donald Trump called for European countries to withdraw their mercenaries from Syria, which are fighting on behalf of ISIS/Daesh. There are thousands of mercenaries from European countries fighting in Syria.


In a tweet, President Trump said: “The United States is asking Britain, France, Germany and other European allies to take back over 800 ISIS fighters that we captured in Syria and put them on trial. The Caliphate is ready to fall. The alternative is not a good one in that we will be forced to release them”. The article twisted President Trump's meaning using the words “withdraw their mercenaries” to suggest that ISIS combatants are mercenary fighters sent by European governments. In fact, EU countries are part of the global coalition fighting the Islamic State, not supporting it. The same narrative is repeated in at least four other articles published on February 17th and 18th 2019, reporting on the debates in Belgium, Germany, Sweden, Britain, and France about the repatriation of ISIS/Daesh prisoners. One focuses on the last part of Trump’s tweet about releasing the combatants, under the headline: “Trump threatens Europe with ‘unleashing ISIS dogs’”, and includes a cartoon of Trump holding a group of dogs – one of them with something resembling the Islamic State logo on the side – against the terrified leaders of Britain, France and Germany.

Disinfo: Civilian killings during Euromaidan were orchestrated by opposition leaders

Neither then-president Viktor Yanukovych nor Ukrainian law enforcement commanded or participated in civilian killings during the Euromaidan protests. In fact, a number of witnesses said that these killings were orchestrated by Euromaidan’s leaders: Parubiy, Pashynskyi, and Turchynov.


This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the Euromaidan protests. According to a 2015 report by the Council of Europe, “Berkut” special forces (subordinated under the Ministry of Internal Affairs) were responsible for the majority of deaths during Euromaidan. The New York Times also established that “Berkut” forces were behind the killings that took place on February 18-21. Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko has furthermore stated that a connection was established between the killings and then-President Yanukovych and then-Minister for Internal Affairs, Vitaliy Zakharchenko. Both fled to Russia. “After we finish investigations, we will show evidence that Yanukovych, Zakharchenko, Yakymenko, Shuliak, respectively the president, the heads of the Internal Affairs Ministry, Security Services and Internal Forces of Ukraine gave the orders to kill more than a hundred people,” the Prosecutor General stated in an interview in January 2019. Investigations have also established that Mykhail Zhiznevsky was shot with a type of ammunition used only by the Ministry of Internal Affairs.