DISINFO: Ukrainian actions in Bucha are similar to those made by the White Helmets
White Helmets War in Ukraine Syrian War Terrorism financing War crimes Intelligence services

DISINFO: Ukrainian actions in Bucha are similar to those made by the White Helmets


The criminals in Ukraine have been trained for more than two decades by American and British intelligence. The (White Helmets) are a model.

What Ukraine and the neo-Nazis are doing in Bucha is the same as what the White Helmets were doing in Syria. The campaign to tarnish Russia's image in Bucha is similar to the "White Helmets" campaigns in Syria.


Pro-Kremlin disinformation obfuscating atrocities against Ukrainian civilians committed by the Russian armed forces in Bucha, in the vicinity of Kyiv. The claim is made in the context of the wide Russian invasion of Ukraine, which began on 24 February 2022.

Russia's claims that video footage showing dead bodies on the streets of Bucha is staged have been fact-checked and debunked by the BBCBellingcat, The Atlantic Council, Mediazonathe InsiderSky News, the New York Times and others. And accounts of violence against civilians in Bucha have been collected by the Human Rights Watch.

Furthermore, this disinformation narrative targets humanitarian organisation, White Helmets, Pro-Kremlin media have portrayed the White Helmets as a Western-backed terrorist proxy group in Syria, , in order to obfuscate the responsibility of the Assad regime for chemical attacks perpetrated during the Syrian civil war.

So far not a single piece of evidence has been brought up to the public to prove that the group has terrorism links. The White Helmets is a volunteer organisation that originated in Syria in 2012 and is made up of 3,400 volunteers including teachers, engineers, tailors and firefighters. The organisation states that it has no affiliation to any political or military actor and is committed to rendering services to anyone in need.

The White Helmets are a staple topic of pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives on the Syrian civil war, having already been accused of numerous other provocations and war crimes including organ trafficking; aiding terrorist organisations; staging and/or perpetrating chemical attacks, sometimes with the help of Western intelligence agencies.

The European Union has condemned in the strongest possible terms the reported atrocities committed by the Russian armed forces in Bucha. The EU called for accountability for human rights and international law violations by the Russian Armed Forces, including full support for the investigation launched by the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court. Read more about the EU's response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

See related disinformation claims, alleging that videos from Bucha are context-and-evidence-free; or that the Russian army is targeting only military infrastructure; or that the White Helmets used chemical weapons in order to accuse the Assad government; or that the White Helmets have close links to Al-Qaeda; or that Germany is funding terrorism in Syria; or that Ukrainian corpses move, stand up and avoid transport in Bucha.


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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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