Disinfo: The UN’s JIM on Syria was disbanded due to unprofessionalism 

Summary

The Security Council had closed the file of the so-called Joint Investigation Mechanism (JIM) in November of 2017 due to the false and unprofessional practices that marred the work of that mechanism as a result of pressures on its team from the United States, Britain and France.

One of the JIM reports accused Syria of one of the incidents of using toxic chemicals, the “Khan Sheikhoun” incident, based on narratives and assessments in which technicians and experts of this mechanism used presumptive and uncertain terms.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative attacking the independence and integrity of the OPCW, and absolving the Syrian regime of responsibility for chemical attacks, especially the one related to the Khan Sheikhoun chemical attack.

The UN-OPCW Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM) mandate was subject to extension by the UN Security Council. However, the Mechanism was terminated in late 2017, after the Russian delegation repeatedly blocked UNSC resolutions calling for its extension. The Investigation and Identification Team (IIT) has thus been set up to investigate "cases for which (JIM) has not identified the perpetrators of chemical weapons use in Syria."

The OPCW’s Fact-Finding Mission confirmed that people in Khan Shaykhun were exposed to sarin, a chemical weapon, on 4 April 2017. The JIM found Syria’s Government responsible for the attack in Khan Shaykhun. 

And in September 2017, the UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria summarized 33 separate incidents where it had found the use of chemical weapons.

On April 10 2018, Russia vetoed a US-drafted UN Security Council resolution that would have created a new inquiry to ascertain responsibility for chemical weapons attacks in Syria. In June, the OPCW members granted it the power to assign blame for chemical attacks.

The United Nations Human Rights Council blamed the Syrian government forces for the attack. 

Read more about chemical attacks in Syria here and here, and other cases claiming that the White Helmets used chemical weapons in Syria in order to accuse the Assad government and that the White Helmets have close links to Al-Qaeda and falsify chemical attacks evidence.

Disclaimer

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

Merkel’s ultimatum buries negotiations on Donbas

The ultimatum, which Berlin addressed to Moscow about the “poisoning” of opposition blogger Alexei Navalny, can be addressed to the Ukrainian leadership, but not to Russia.

(It’s) doubtful that after this Putin is going to discuss with Merkel any issues related to the Normandy format. In general, the very idea of the Normandy format is under threat.

Disproof

The recurring pro-Kremlin narratives about Navalny poisoning and the Normandy format, the aim of the latter being to resolve the war in Donbas.

There's no evidence that the position of Germany is going to impact the peace process on Donbas.

Ukraine has no historical roots

The words of Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba that Ukrainians brought “civilisation to a significant territory of Russia” are stupid.  The reason for such statements is deep insecurities that stem from “the secondary nature of Ukrainian history”, as well as from Ukraine’s lack of historical roots.

Disproof

Pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative designed to denigrate the history of Ukraine, Ukrainian statehood and its independence.

The history of Ukraine dates back to the era of the Kyivan Rus’ in the 9th-13th centuries. A national movement developed during the era when Ukraine was ruled by Russia; Ukrainian nationalists took part in the revolutionary movements that led to the demise of the Russian empire.

Ukrainian authorities will participate in attacking Belarusian independence

Ukraine is very interested to destabilise Belarus and thereby to improve its own image against Belarus’s background. When Western sanctions are introduced and Belarusian economy worsens, the authorities of Ukraine will  participate in attacking Belarus’s independence. The internal conflict curators from the US and EU need to repeat Maidan scenario and will use Ukraine as a temporary residence for Belarusian protest curators.

Disproof

This publication promotes recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about Belarus protests as being organised and controlled from Western countries and Ukraine, claiming that the West attempts to harm Belarus and organise a colour revolution.

There is no evidence that the Western governments or Ukraine are involved in any way in the protests in Belarus. Large-scale protests began in Minsk on August 9 against the results of the presidential election, and then in other cities. People revolted against election fraud and police violence towards thousands of rally participants.