Disinfo: The truth about Russia from the mouth of a British journalist in Sweden caused hysteria among Estonian students

Summary

A summer school at Uppsala University invited among other lecturers British journalist Vanessa Beeley, the author of the leading independent blog on the conflict in Syria. She talked about the methods of the Western media using deliberately false information, and stated that Russian journalists cover events more objectively than their Western counterparts Beeley cited as an example the fake about chemical weapons allegedly used by the Syrian authorities in the Syrian city of Duma.

Disproof

Vanessa Beeley is a well-known pro-Assad and pro-Kremlin public figure. She has eg visited Regime-held areas of Syria, often under the supervision of Syrian MPs and the Syrian Army. A piece purporting to expose the “egregious western media chemical weapon fraud in Eastern Ghouta” inadvertently details how regime officials are her only source and shepherd her around, ensuring they control what she is able to witness. www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/vanessa-beeley-syria-white-helmets_uk_5ad9b6cae4b03c426dad48a9?22, In her lecture, she voiced many of the usual pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives which was highlighted and criticised later both by Swedish local media and Estonian professors and students attending the class. For example, she stated that 'The Soviet Union and its legal successor Russia have always tried to promote peace in the world', 'There was a free election over whether to join Russia in Crimea', 'There was no chemical attack in Douma this April. The attack was staged by the White Helmets' and 'Human Rights Watch is a zionost front organisation run by George Soros'. See our debunks about these pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives on our website eg here, here and here. The Swedish University has issued a public apology for inviting Vanessa Beeley to the summer school and claims it was a mistake, something the Tsargrad article does not mention. There are several reports that Syrian doctors are forced under pressure and threat to say that the chemical attack has not occurred. Interview with one of the witnesses took place at a Syrian army facility used by Russian military advisers. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/apr/26/obscene-masquerade-russia-criticised-over-douma-chemical-attack-denial,https://theintercept.com/2018/04/26/russia-brings-syrians-hague-make-underwhelming-case-chemical-attack-fake/,https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/apr/17/syria-crisis-medics-intimidated-over-douma-gas-attack See our timeline of the ongoing pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign surrounding the Salisbury poisoning and the Douma chemical attack. For background: On 7 April 2018, a high number of civilians were killed in the besieged Syrian city of Douma, with evidence pointing towards another chemical attack by the regime, according to the EU. See also Bellingcat's open source survey on the suspected chemical attack: https://www.bellingcat.com/news/mena/2018/04/11/open-source-survey-alleged-chemical-attacks-douma-7th-april-2018/https://www.bellingcat.com/news/mena/2018/04/29/pieces-matter-syrias-chlorine-bombs-douma-chemical-attack/ On April 10 Russia vetoed a U.S.-drafted U.N. Security Council resolution that would have created a new inquiry to ascertain responsibility for chemical weapons attacks in Syria. UN-OPCW Joint Investigative Mechanism found Syria’s Government responsiblefor last year’s attack in Khan Shaykhun. In September 2017, the UN Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic summarized 33 separate incidents where it had found use of chemical weapons. Since then there have been several additional suspected chemical attacks. Between March 2013 and March 2017, the Commission documented 25 incidents of chemical weapons use in the Syrian Arab Republic, of which 20 were proven to have been perpetrated by government forces and used primarily against civilians. http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/IICISyria/Pages/IndependentInternationalCommission.aspx

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 115
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 02/07/2018
  • Outlet language(s) Russian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Sweden, Syria, Estonia
  • Keywords: false flag, Douma, fake news, Western values, White Helmets, NGO, USSR, Human Rights Watch, George Soros, Crimea
see more

A video shows a major influx of migrants to Prague

A video is showing a huge number of migrants who came to the Prague train station from Germany.

Disproof

The video was not from Prague, but from the English town Brighton and did not show migrants but regular rush hour, as shown by Dennik.sk. The video was deleted by Facebook later on. Further debunking by Dennik.sk here. Update: Screenshot link corrected on 25 September 2019.

EU plans to allocate money to the construction of concentration camps for refugees

Instead of allocating money to the construction of concentration camps for refugees, the EU should send money to Syria, Libya, Iraq and Yemen to help them restore their destroyed infrastructure and then refugees will go back home rather than flood Europe.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation about refugees and migration. Pro-Kremlin disinformation has repeatedly referred to concentration camps when talking about migration in Europe. See more: euvsdisinfo.eu/report/brussels-summit-discusses-creation-of-concentration-camps-for-migrants/, For background on the centres for migrants see: www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2018/07/03/report-by-president-donald-tusk-to-the-european-parliament-on-june-european-council-meetings/, and www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-44652846, The European Council called in June on the Council and the Commission to swiftly explore the concept of regional disembarkation platforms, in close cooperation with relevant third countries as well as UNHCR and IOM. Such platforms should operate distinguishing individual situations, in full respect of international law and without creating a pull factor. The Council concluded that on EU territory, those who are saved, according to international law, should be taken charge of, on the basis of a shared effort, through the transfer in controlled centres set up in Member States, only on a voluntary basis, where rapid and secure processing would allow, with full EU support, to distinguish between irregular migrants, who will be returned, and those in need of international protection, for whom the principle of solidarity would apply. All the measures in the context of these controlled centres, including relocation and resettlement, will be on a voluntary basis, without prejudice to the Dublin reform." www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2018/06/29/20180628-euco-conclusions-final/, -- The Syrian crisis is the world's worst humanitarian disaster. The EU is the leading donor in the international response to the crisis, with over €10.6 billion from the EU and Member States collectively allocated in humanitarian and development assistance since the start of the conflict. Since 2011, the European Commission’s support in response to the Syrian crisis has exceeded €5 billion, including both urgent life-saving humanitarian assistance, and non-humanitarian aid, which responds to immediate and medium-term needs. The Commission has allocated almost €1.1 billion in assistance to civilians inside Syria (almost 70% is humanitarian, channelled through EU humanitarian aid- €753 million, and non-humanitarian: ENI – €268.6 million, IcSP – €73.8 million, EIDHR – €16.1 million, DCI-Food – €15.9 million). eeas.europa.eu/headquarters/headquarters-Homepage/22664/eu-and-crisis-syria_en, In the Syrian war, Russia supports the al-Assad government. See more for the EU's humanitarian aid to Libya, Iraq, and Yemen.

Ukraine can be removed from the Olympics

The national team of Ukraine in weightlifting can be removed from participation in the Olympic Games – 2020 in Tokyo because of three positive doping tests of representatives of the country.

Disproof

The disinformation comes from Zvezda, the official channel of the Russian Ministry of Defence and a notorious disinformation channel. The article does note that also Russian weightlifters may be suspended. On the website of the International Federation of Weightlifting a list of athletes who were suspended from participation in competitions due to doping was published. It mentions two Ukrainian weightlifters, and it's not about the national team as a whole. www.iwf.net/anti-doping/sanctions/,