Disinfo: Tear gas used by the police against Yellow Vests may now contain Cyanide


After demonstrations number 19 and 20 of the Yellow Vests, protesters claimed to have been hit more violently than with the tear gas usually used by the police. Its chemical compound has created controversy, some relaying on Twitter the results of medical tests that demonstrate cyanide poisoning.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative on the violent repression of the Yellow Vests protests.

A Yellow Vest member posted a copy of her medical test and a comment "positive cyanide tests" suggesting she was poisoned after having inhaled tear gas at demonstrations. French TV LCI first spoke to the protester and author of the Tweet as well as a toxicologist, who explained that  the concentrations of thiocyanates found in the blood of this patient are compatible with concentrations observed in smokers and would have to be at least 10 times higher to indicate poisoning.

See further debunking by the LCI.


  • Reported in: Issue 144
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 07/04/2019
  • Language/target audience: French
  • Country: France
  • Keywords: yellow vests


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.

see more

NATO invaded the Balkans

After the disappearance of the “Soviet threat” NATO was deprived of its raison d’être, which is why, in 1993, Washington called for either a change in direction, or closure of the organisation. These slogans had a powerful effect and then the Alliance invaded the Balkans under US command.


Disinformation message consistent with recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation about NATO aggression.

Slovenia joined NATO in 2004. Albania and Croatia joined NATO in 2009. Bosnia and Herzegovina joined NATO's Partnership for Peace (PfP) program. The State Union of Serbia and Montenegro applied to NATO's PfP in June 2003. Montenegro declared independence on 3 June 2006, subsequently joined the PfP, and then NATO itself without Serbia in 2017. The permanent representatives of NATO Member States  signed a protocol on the accession of North Macedonia to NATO on 6 February 2019. The country will become a member of NATO as soon as all Allies have ratified the Accession Protocol.

Under the leadership of Petro Poroshenko, Kyiv has not advanced in the way of Europe

The State Duma recalled that over the past five years, under the leadership of Petro Poroshenko, Kyiv has not advanced in the way of Europe, but only moved away from Moscow.



Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative on Ukraine's lack of progress on its European ambitions.

Ukraine is a priority partner for the European Union, also within the EU's Eastern Partnership. An Association Agreement, including a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) between the EU and Ukraine, was negotiated between 2007 and 2011 and signed on 21 March and 27 June 2014 under the presidency of Petro Poroshenko. It replaces earlier frameworks for cooperation. The Association Agreement is the main tool for bringing Ukraine and the EU closer together: it promotes deeper political ties, stronger economic links and the respect for common values.

Russia is regarded as an enemy in the plans of NATO

On the eve of the 70th anniversary of the founding of NATO, the Alliance Defence College presented three ways to develop the military bloc. The report includes the “good”, “bad” and “terrible” scenarios, and in each of the forecasts, Russia is considered an enemy.


This is a recurring Kremlin narrative about the belligerent West and NATO attempting to encircle and weaken Russia.

According to the research paper "NATO's futures: the Atlantic Alliance between Power and Purpose", where three scenarios of NATO's future are mentioned, Russia is not regarded as the main enemy. Before the description the author explains: "The opening discussion of geopolitics pointed to the key trends we must assess as part of this more circumscribed approach to future history: not least the United States' approach to its modern-day Monroe doctrine but also the ability of all Allies to protect their Alliance into the future where China looms large, their ability to engage Russia in a regional order, and then their ability to contain non-state disruption to the south".