An example of the ongoing disinformation campaign targeting the White Helmets humanitarian organisation. Pro-Kremlin media routinely seek to delegitimise the White Helmets as being the creation of Western intelligence services. No evidence is given to support this unfounded conspiracy theory.
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 rendering 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 Organisation 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 these awareness-raising activities, the White Helmets have become the target of a prolific and aggressive Russian disinformation campaign seeking to delegitimise their humanitarian efforts and paint them as proxies of Western intelligence to undermine the Assad regime.
Le Mesurier took on adversaries, dismantling their accusations about funding and the lies the White Helmets supposedly spread about Russian and Syrian government attacks.
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.