Disinfo: The US transported Syrian gold stolen by ISIS via helicopter

Summary

US military helicopters landed in Hajin, Deir Az Zor and Dashisha, to pick up several Daesh leaders who handed themselves over to US forces. As a reward for saving them, these leaders told US troops where they kept over 40 tons of stolen gold, which the US carried away via helicopter.

Disproof

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the US support for ISIS that is presented entirely without evidence. The source for this story is an article by SANA, which is an official organ of the Syrian government that seeks to promote the idea of cooperation between the US and Jihadist forces. Other recent examples of this narrative are here and here.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 138
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 17/02/2019
  • Outlet language(s) Spanish, Castilian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Spain, Syria, US
  • Keywords: Military, Jihad, Syrian War, Daesh
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Civilian killings during Euromaidan were orchestrated by opposition leaders

Neither then-president Viktor Yanukovych nor Ukrainian law enforcement commanded or participated in civilian killings during the Euromaidan protests. In fact, a number of witnesses said that these killings were orchestrated by Euromaidan’s leaders: Parubiy, Pashynskyi, and Turchynov.

Disproof

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the Euromaidan protests. According to a 2015 report by the Council of Europe, “Berkut” special forces (subordinated under the Ministry of Internal Affairs) were responsible for the majority of deaths during Euromaidan. The New York Times also established that “Berkut” forces were behind the killings that took place on February 18-21. Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko has furthermore stated that a connection was established between the killings and then-President Yanukovych and then-Minister for Internal Affairs, Vitaliy Zakharchenko. Both fled to Russia. “After we finish investigations, we will show evidence that Yanukovych, Zakharchenko, Yakymenko, Shuliak, respectively the president, the heads of the Internal Affairs Ministry, Security Services and Internal Forces of Ukraine gave the orders to kill more than a hundred people,” the Prosecutor General stated in an interview in January 2019. Investigations have also established that Mykhail Zhiznevsky was shot with a type of ammunition used only by the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

Putin's talks with Lukashenka have caused a hysterical reaction of the West

The West was engaged in fierce information war before the meeting of Putin and Lukashenko. The West is involved in this war because it opposes unification of Belarus and Russia – which is one of the most important geopolitical issues and will determine the fate of the world. It would mean another step towards restoration of borders of Great Russia (USSR).

Disproof

No evidence given. There was no hysteria in the West regarding the Putin - Lukashenka meeting, the West was not engaged in information war. Mainstream Western media gave little coverage to the meeting. For example, the article devoted to the negotiations on Radio Liberty/Radio Free Europe only pointed out that the Belarusian leader skipped the 15-17 February Munich Security Conference. British daily Telegraph described the various sports activities Lukashenko and Putin exercised in addition to their talks. After the meeting the AFP quoted the "Moscow Times" which claimed that Belarus is ready to merge with Russia.

Belarus has began de-russification and is imposing Belarusian language

Belarus is moving in the direction of a “de-russification”. This involves imposing statutory measures such as the Belarusian language, [Catholic] churches, vyshyvankas and the Latin alphabet in what is termed as a ‘gradual soft Belarusianisation’. This inevitably turns Belarus into an enemy, moving it from the Russian cultural space into a Polish-Lithuanian one.

Disproof

No evidence given.

The Belarusian constitution provides equal status of the two official languages – Belarusian and Russian (Article 17) – as well as equal status of religions in the country (Article 16). In practice, the majority of official correspondence, state media and education in Belarus operate in Russian.