Disinfo: White Helmets are aiding terrorism

Summary

The White Helmets brand hides a false story with staging, looting and aiding terrorism. Moscow has repeatedly tried to convey to the world community: this is no humanitarian organisation. However, the West continues to finance it.

Disproof

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

The "White Helmets" movement originated in Syria in 2012, when the first detachments of volunteer rescuers appeared in the territories outside the control of Bashar al-Assad's troops. In 2014, volunteer teams merged into a national organisation, the Syrian Civil Defence, which is the official name of the 'White Helmets'. Volunteers save people from the rubble after bombings, despite the danger to themselves as a result of repeated airstrikes. Activists from this organisation have documented the use of chemical weapons in Syria by the Assad government and allied forces. Because of this, they have become the target of an extensive Russian disinformation campaign.

Read previous disinformation claims alleging 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 208
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 25/07/2020
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Russia, Syria
  • Keywords: Terrorism financing, White Helmets, Maria Zakharova, Terrorism

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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Euromaidan was a coup led by opposition politicians to seize control over the country

Petro Poroshenko, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, Alexander Turchinov, Vitali Klitschko and other opposition leaders were the main organisers of the Euromaidan in Ukraine.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Ukraine's statehood which claims that the Euromaidan protests were a coup d'etat.

There was no coup d’état in 2014. The spontaneous onset of massive Euromaidan protests was a reaction of the Ukrainian population to the sudden departure of President Yanukovych from the Association Agreement with the European Union and to the brutal dispersal of student protest actions on 30 November 2013.

US Democratic Party is trying to eliminate Orthodoxy

The US Democratic Party decided to use the Patriarchate of Constantinople for its corporate purposes, for the collapse of the Orthodox world as an incomprehensible and alien identity, of mainly Eastern European countries.

Orthodoxy as a part of national identity is interpreted by the Democratic Party as a threat that must be eliminated.

Disproof

No evidence given. Conspiracy theory and recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative alleging that the US is trying to split the Orthodox world.

The Democratic Party does not use, nor plan to use, the Constantinople Patriarchy for its own purposes, it is not trying to eliminate Orthodox Christianity.

Dutch “justice” is totally corrupt, as shown by the MH17 trial

The judge on the trial in The Netherlands of the downing of MH17 flight ruled out allowing Russia to present any evidence that would prove its innocence. Judge Hendrik Steenhuis refused to allow Russia’s military intelligence to reveal the location of the Buk missile [that allegedly shot down the plane] between 1987 and July 2014. Dutch prosecutor says that the missile was shot by the Russian government, not by the Ukrainian government; that it was made in Russia in 1986, belonged to Russia, and had been there since, and the Dutch judge rejected any Russian evidence on the contrary.

When the Ukrainian government authorised Dutch authorities to investigate the downing of the MH17 flight, they signed a secret agreement that included a clause allowing Ukraine to block and prevent any finding that may implicate them. The Government of The Netherlands violates its own Freedom of Information law by refusing to make the agreement public.

Disproof

Recurrent disinformation narrative about the trial on the downing of the MH17 flight over Eastern Ukraine, aiming to discredit the judicial process and maintain the pretence of Russia’s innocence and of an international set up against it. This article is consistent with Russia’s defense strategy based in requesting that the court revises every long-debunked claim -in this case, that the Buk missile involved in the downing was sent to Ukraine in 1986 during the Soviet period and remained there, despite evidences on the contrary-, in order to be able to assert that “not every stone was turned” in the investigation.

The claim that the Ukrainian and Dutch governments signed a secret agreement with a clause preventing any investigation of Ukraine’s implication is a conspiracy theory not backed by any evidence.