Disinfo: Western intelligence may be behind the killing of the White Helmets’ founder

Summary

The Russian Foreign Ministry pointed out that a number of British and American media published articles last November stating that Russia was the first to benefit from the death of Le Mesurier, while there were other voices suggesting the possibility that Western intelligence services are behind the killing of the founder of the White Helmets.

The ministry confirmed that Russia was interested in keeping Le Mesurier alive and in good health so that he could reveal the truth about the activities of the White Helmets, but that external parties supervising these activities were not in favour.

Disproof

An example of one of many disinformation and propagandistic claims about the White Helmets. Pro-Kremlin media routinely accuse the White Helmets of “working for terrorists” and being the making of Western intelligence services. No evidence is given to support these claims.

The "White Helmets" movement originated in Syria in 2012. The organisation - which is made up of 3,400 volunteers including teachers, engineers, tailors and firefighters - states that it has no affiliation to any political or military actor and is committed to render services to anyone in need. Volunteers save people from the rubble after bombings, despite the danger of dying themselves as a result of repeated airstrikes.

White Helmets activists have documented the use of chemical weapons in Syria, later confirmed by The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons  (OPCW). Thus, OPCW said it found reasonable grounds to believe that chlorine was used as a weapon in the Douma district of Eastern Ghouta, Syria in April 2018. Because of its activities, the organization has become the target of an extensive Russian disinformation campaign in the past.

After the death of the White Helmets founder, James Le Mesurier, pro-Kremlin disinformation about the White Helmets have reached new levels and now includes claims that Western intelligence services might have got rid of Le Mesurier to prevent him from speaking about White Helmet's alleged links to Western intelligence and to terrorist organizations.

Read previous disinformation claims alleging that France, UK, and the US support terrorists in Syria, that evidence confirms chemical attacks in Syria were falsified by the White Helmets and that the chemical attacks in Syria have been staged and filmed by the media of the Western countries.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 180
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 13/12/2019
  • Language/target audience: Arabic
  • Country: Russia, Syria
  • Keywords: White Helmets, Syrian War, Conspiracy

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.

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Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative denying the Soviet occupation of the Baltic States, also consistent with disinformation narratives about socio-economic degradation in the Baltic States as opposed to their alleged well-being under the USSR, lost sovereignty / external control, and ubiquitous Russophobia.

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Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative which masks the clear violation of Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity by acts of aggression by the Russian armed forces since February 2014 as a civil conflict.

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Death of White Helmets founder convenient for the sponsors: truth will not come out

The death of James Le Mesurier, founder of the controversial NGO White Helmets, didn’t benefit Russia nor Syria but was very convenient for its sponsors. The Russian and Syrian governments were very interested in him staying safe so he could reveal the truth about the work of the White Helmets, presenting indisputable evidence of their provocative actions to the international community.

Disproof

Recurrent Russian disinformation narrative against the White Helmets, attempting to portray them as a terrorist-linked group that falsified evidence of war crimes by Russian and Syrian armed forces. It is also consistent with the recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative that the chemical attacks in Syria were staged.

You can see other examples of disinformation on the White Helmets in our database, such as the group’s fabrication of chemical attacks in Douma and other places in order to justify a Western intervention, their creation was a Western intelligence operation, their disregard for civilians, their links to Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups or their involvement in organ trafficking.