Disinfo: West assigns blame for chemical attacks without investigating them

Summary

Western governments and organisations continue to accuse Damascus of perpetrating chemical attacks, while being unwilling to actually investigate these alleged incidents. This undermines trust in the expertise and impartiality of the OPCW, whose recent findings seem to be based on political cues from the West. In addition, Moscow has repeatedly warned the international community of false flag attacks and provocations which are constantly being prepared in Syria. Washington and its allies continue to ignore this vital information.

Disproof

The story advances recurring disinformation narratives deflecting blame for chemical attacks from Damascus and aiming to discredit the OPCW. Claims of the OPCW's bias and subservience to Western governments began featuring in pro-Kremlin narratives around mid-2018, when the organisation was being granted new powers to assign blame for chemical attacks. The OPCW conducts probes into all allegations of chemical weapons' use in Syria, and its findings serve as the basis for publicly available reports and expert notes. The most recent document by the Technical Secretariat offers a detailed response to notes verbales in which both Russia and Syria questioned the credibility and legality of the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission in Douma. Despite endless appeals for impartiality and transparency, in the immediate aftermath of the Douma attack in April 2018, Russian military police denied OPCW inspectors access to the area citing “lack of coordination” with the UN Secretariat, a claim which prompted concerns over possible evidence-tampering and was later refuted by the UN. Meanwhile, admission was quickly granted to friendly journalists. Since the outbreak of the Syrian war in 2011, Russia has vetoed a dozen UN Security Council resolutions concerning Syria, of which six called for the launch or renewal of joint enquiries into chemical attacks in the country. More recently, the Syrian government denied entry to a senior OPCW investigator and head of the Investigation and Identification Team, arguing that it "does not recognise" the newly established unit.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 152
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 22/05/2019
  • Outlet language(s) English
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Syria, US, Russia
  • Keywords: United Nations, false flag, OPCW, West, Chemical weapons/attack, Syrian War
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There is no evidence of Russian intervention in Ukrainian elections

A panel of experts from the American Atlantic Council and Ukrainian NGOs has prepared a report stating that Russia allegedly intervened in the presidential election in Ukraine. However, specific examples or evidence of this theory are not given, and the document itself contains only general information about the anti-Russian character and the statements of Kyiv officials.

Disproof

This is another attempt to deny Russia's attempts at interference in elections and referenda. The Atlantic Council, the Victor Pinchuk Foundation, and the Transatlantic Commission on Election Integrity established the Ukrainian Election Task Force. Working with other Ukrainian institutions — StopFake and the Razumkov Centre — the three partners created a rapid-response team with the ability to monitor, evaluate, and disclose the full range of foreign subversive activities in Ukraine, and to propose suitable responses. Regarding disinformation: "According to task force monitors and analyses the majority of disinformation messages targeted at the Ukrainian elections stemmed from the grand narrative claiming that the elections would be rigged, illegitimate, and should not be trusted no matter the result." Also: "Kremlin outlets voiced many false accusations about the alleged spread of Nazism in Ukraine, or about the Ukrainian state planning terror attacks and contract killings on its territory in order to influence the elections. In one of the more erratic attacks, the Ukrainian army was accused of cannibalism and occultism." See here for other disinformation cases about Russian interference in different elections.

The report highlighting Russian interference in Ukrainian election is preparation for further aggravation of relations with Moscow

Russian experts suggest that the joint report of the US Atlantic Council and Ukrainian NGOs on alleged Russian interference in the Presidential election in Ukraine could be part of preparation for a new aggravation of relations between Moscow and Kyiv.

Disproof

No evidence given.

The Atlantic Council, the Victor Pinchuk Foundation, and the Transatlantic Commission on Election Integrity established the Ukrainian Election Task Force. Working with other Ukrainian institutions—StopFake and the Razumkov Centre—the three partners created a rapid-response team with the ability to monitor, evaluate, and disclose the full range of foreign subversive activities in Ukraine, and to propose suitable responses. There is no goal to aggravate relations with Moscow with this report.

Ukraine is under foreign control

A panel of experts from the American Atlantic Council and Ukrainian NGOs has prepared a report stating that Russia allegedly intervened in the presidential election in Ukraine.

Russian experts stressed that it would be much more interesting to conduct a study on the impact of the EU and the US on elections and other processes in Ukraine. Ukrainian experts say straightforwardly that the country is under external control.

Disproof

No evidence given. Recurring Kremlin narrative about Ukraine, which allegedly is under external control from the US or EU.

Ukraine is a sovereign state, not controlled by any foreign government. Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity are respected by almost the whole world, including the EU.