Disinfo: The OPCW is by no means a trusted organisation


The OPCW is by no means a trusted organisation. Navalny’s case was handed over by the German side to the OPCW, an organisation without a good reputation… Years earlier, the same organisation investigated the use of chemical weapons against civilians in Syria. Then the OPCW did not work in the best way, especially in the case of “White Helmets”. The “White Helmets” were engaged in blatant falsification, filming deliberately biased (if not false) videos about the use of chemical weapons by the Assad government. And if the case of Navalny is investigated by the OPCW in the same way as the activities of these very “White Helmets”, then there will be no special confidence in the conclusions of this organisation either.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the poisoning of Alexei Navalny, also to discredit the OPCW, an independent inter-governmental international organisation with 193 member states - including Russia.

Disinformation claim also advances a recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about the White Helmets. Allegations in the pro-Kremlin media of "staged" chemical attacks are a part of the ongoing campaign by Syria and Russia to smear the White Helmets as terrorists and war criminals. However, available evidence has yet to link a single chemical attack to any other party than the Assad regime.

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 in 2018, 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.

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


  • Reported in: Issue 213
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 10/09/2020
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Germany, Syria
  • Keywords: OPCW, White Helmets, Chemical weapons/attack, Alexei Navalny


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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