Disinfo: The OPCW has become a tool for the US and its Western allies

Summary

The UN-affiliated OPCW has become fatally compromised as a political tool for the US and its Western allies. Its reports on Syria in particular are discredited, attributing blame to the wrong parties while whitewashing the real culprits – the jihadist militants and their media agents in the White Helmets. What’s more, an organization which is supposed to be dedicated to upholding international security is actually allowing itself to be used for propaganda purposes leading to aggression.

Disproof

This is a recurring disinformation narrative deflecting blame for chemical attacks away from the Assad regime; painting the White Helmets as terrorists, and aiming to discredit the OPCW. The OPCW is an independent inter-governmental international organisation with 193 member states - including Russia.

Pro-Kremlin outlets began portraying the OPCW as a pawn in Western geopolitical designs around mid-2018, when the organisation was being granted new powers to assign blame for chemical attacks, especially in the Syrian Douma.

In a joint statement, Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America called for an end to the unacceptable Russian defamation of the OPCW.

The OPCW conducts probes into allegations of chemical weapons' use in Syria, and its findings serve as the basis for publicly available reports and expert notes. The document by the Technical Secretariat offers a detailed response to notes verbales in which both Russia and Syria questioned the credibility and legality of the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission in Douma.

For more disinformation cases attempting to discredit the OPCW, see here.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 184
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 14/02/2020
  • Language/target audience: English
  • Country: US, Syria
  • Keywords: OPCW, White Helmets, Chemical weapons/attack, Syrian War
  • Outlet: Strategic Culture Foundation
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No aces in the West’s hands in MH-17 case

A court case will start concerning the downing of flight MH-17 in The Hague in March. Recently, the Dutch-led investigative group has not been able to come up with any new evidence in this case. There are more and more spectacular statements accusing Russia and revolutionaries in the Donbass for the downing of the jet.

While Dutch investigators have been unable to bring any new evidence, indirect facts have surfaced that suggest the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) had something to do with the downing of the Malaysian Boeing. Based on this, we can say that the tragedy was not simple negligence but an operation specifically benefiting Kiev and Washington, “who has not shown the world the satellite image ever since.”

Expert Yuri Antipov reviewed the photos taken at the crash site and found that no “BUK missile” was involved in the accident, instead, he said, the “characteristics of the debris” suggest there was an explosion on the inside. A bomb was likely placed on the flight back in Amsterdam.

Disproof

Recurring disinformation about the downing of MH-17. Theories that the accident was a plot to blame Russia, the involvement of Ukraine and that there is evidence a bomb exploded inside the plane have been among the many disinformation narratives the Kremlin have spread about the tragedy since 2014.

A special team, known as the Joint Investigation Team (JIT), was established to conduct the criminal investigation of the downing of the Malaysian Airlines flight MH17. The JIT comprises officials from the Dutch Public Prosecution Service and the Dutch police, along with police and criminal justice authorities from Australia, Belgium, Malaysia and Ukraine.

Ukraine to build two military bases in Donbass, to allow the US to threaten Crimea

Andriy Zahorodniuk told the Kyiv Post that Ukraine is planning to build two military bases in the Donbass, which comply with NATO standards. One would be in Severodonetsk and the other in Mariupol. It is clear that the bases complying with NATO standards are intended for the use of Ukraine’s allies and mainly the United States to allow them to threaten Crimea from behind.

Disproof

In his interview with the Kyiv Post, the Ukrainian defense minister actually said that Ukraine plans to build several "good infrastructural projects" to show everyone that "we can also have a base in line with NATO standards," He mentions the bases in Severodonetsk and Mariupol as only two of the several planned projects. Mr. Zahorodniuk added that the main purpose of these plans is to improve the living conditions of Ukrainian soldiers in a push to prevent "the torrent of experienced officers leaving" the Army.

No indications have been given that Ukraine is planning to house allied soldiers in these bases.

Ukraine is about to build NATO bases in Donbas

Ukraine is going to build NATO bases in Donbas.

Disproof

No evidence is given to support this claim. Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Ukraine and NATO. 

There are not going to be NATO bases in Donbas, but instead, Ukrainian military bases that meet NATO standards. NATO-standard military bases are being built in Mariupol and Severodonetsk. According to Defence Minister Andriy Zhahorodniuk, one of the priorities of the new Defence Ministry team is the development of infrastructure construction.