Disinfo: White Helmets have close links to Al-Qaeda and falsify chemical attacks evidence


The White Helmets have helped to justify in the media Western interference in the Syrian crisis, but they have also repeatedly contributed to ridicule those media. These media rescuers with close ties to al-Qaeda, have indeed received a financial boost of 4.5 million dollars (4 million euros) from US. The White Helmets were repeatedly caught spreading misinformation. In April 2018, images of an alleged chemical attack on a hospital flood social networks. Washington, London, followed by Paris, lead strikes against three sites of “the clandestine chemical arsenal of the Syrian regime” […]. Three sites that were, in fact, under regular surveillance by the OPCW (Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons), which found nothing to complain about. While jihadists are globally defeated in Syria, why are the United States continuing their financial support to the White Helmets?


Recurrent disinformation narrative. The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (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. The OPCW Fact-Finding Mission also confirmed use of chemical weapons in Khan Shaykhun on 4 April 2017. The "White Helmets" movement originated in Syria in 2012. Volunteers save people from the rubble after bombings, despite the danger of dying themselves as a result of repeated air strikes. Activists have documented the use of chemical weapons in Syria, later confirmed by OPCW. Because of this, they have become the target of an extensive Russian disinformation campaign. Disinformation media routinely accuse White Helmets of “working for terrorists” and giving a biased information to Western media. No evidence is given to support those claims. See more disinformation cases on the White Helmets here.  


  • Reported in: Issue 170
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 25/10/2019
  • Language/target audience: French
  • Country: US, Syria
  • Keywords: White Helmets, Chemical weapons/attack


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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NATO wants to build the 21st century on the ruins of Russia

NATO frankly follows the principles of [Zbigniew] Brzezinski: “The 21st century will be built at the expense of Russia, on the ruins of Russia and against Russia.”


This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about NATO allegedly pursuing a belligerent and hostile agenda against Russia. For more than two decades, NATO has consistently worked to build a cooperative relationship with Russia. The Alliance continues to be open to a meaningful dialogue with Russia, having held ten meetings of the NATO-Russia Council since 2016. As reaffirmed by NATO leaders at the Brussels Summit in July 2018, "NATO does not seek confrontation and poses no threat to Russia." NATO is a defensive alliance that has been instrumental to ensuring Euro-Atlantic security since its founding. Zbigniew Brzezinski was a U.S. diplomat and political scientist of Polish descent who served as a national security adviser in the administration of President Jimmy Carter. Some Russian sources often mistakenly attribute the mentioned quote to Brzezinski's 1997 book “The Grand Chessboard". Other Russian sources allege that the quote comes from Brzezinski's 1998 speech in Lviv when he was accepting honorary citizenship from the city council. However, these accusations are inaccurate. Read the full debunk by Polygraph here. See similar cases alleging that NATO is a Cold War relic doing everything to destroy the Orthodox Church and preparing to attack Russia.

Ukrainians do not want to join NATO

Ukrainians do not want to join NATO, do not want this [to happen].


  This pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative suggests that Ukrainian pro-European and pro-NATO aspirations are weakening. This is a manipulative claim since all available recent polls show the highest ever support for NATO membership in Ukraine. A June 2019 joint poll by the Sociological Group Rating and International Republican Institute shows that the number of NATO supporters in Ukraine reached a historical maximum. Today, 53% of Ukraine support accession to NATO; 29% are against. Somewhat smaller, but still high support for NATO shows a poll conducted by the Ilko Kucheriv “Democratic Initiatives” Foundation. The August 2019 poll revealed that 41% of Ukrainians would like to see Ukraine as a NATO member. In comparison, only 13-16% of Ukrainians, on average, supported accession to NATO before 2014. The report concludes that the attitude towards NATO has changed dramatically after 2014: the number of NATO supporters has tripled. Polls conducted earlier this year by the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology also confirm that support for NATO remains high. In February 2019, 40% of Ukrainian citizens supported Ukraine accession to NATO. Moreover, if on a referendum there were two possible answers - yes and no - 56% would vote "yes". See more disinformation cases on Ukraine and NATO.

George Soros is destroying Georgian values, culture and nationality

George Soros and his foundation have been destroying Georgian values. The pro-Western politicians welcome the Soros policy, whose activity is anti-national, anti-orthodox and anti-state and declares that nationality, religion and national cultures should disappear.


Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about George Soros. The claims on Soros destroying Georgian culture and fighting with orthodoxy are untrue. In fact, Open Society Foundation Georgia has funded 365 projects in the sphere of culture since 1994. The projects included various directions, such as cultural heritage census and photo-fixation, archaeology, museums and modern art development. The foundation has also funded projects concerning the restoration of churches and frescoes, including the famous Kintsvisi Angel fresco. Other issues targeted by the Foundation in Georgia include promoting democracy, legal aid system, re-training employees of the law enforcement system, rehabilitating torture victims and strengthening human rights protection organizations, as well as, funding Georgian students with the aim of studying abroad. See other disinformation cases on George Soros and conspiracies on Georgia here, here and here.