Disinfo: White Helmets are involved in organ trafficking in Syria

Summary

The White Helmets volunteer group is running a cross-border organ trafficking operation in Syria, according to a report presented during a UN Security Council Panel of Experts in December 2018. The report provides overwhelming evidence of the abuse perpetrated against Syrian civilians living under the occupation of the White Helmets. The UK and other countries that are financing the White Helmets are ignoring this evidence.

Disproof

The news item presents an unverified report to advance the recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about crimes and hoaxes perpetrated by the White Helmets. The report in question was presented by Maksim Grigoryev, a member of Russia's Civil Chamber, and bases its claims on a "fact-checking" methodology consisting solely of purported witness testimony and unverifiable hearsay. The presenter himself pointed out that Grigoryev's findings are merely "evidence heard" at this point, as the UN has yet to assess their veracity and take an official stance on them. Russian officials and media outlets have previously used dubious witness accounts to support the Kremlin's narratives about Syria. An interview with an 11-year-old Syrian boy was filmed at a Russian army base and broadcast on the state-owned Rossiya-24 channel as proof that the Douma chemical attack had never occurred. A similar tactic was used at an OPCW hearing in The Hague, where the Russian delegation presented a group of Syrian nationals as supposed witnesses to the fact that the chemical attack never took place.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 138
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 20/02/2019
  • Outlet language(s) English
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Syria, Russia
  • Keywords: Douma, White Helmets, Chemical weapons/attack, UN, Conspiracy theory
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Ukrainians can be forced to celebrate Europe Day instead of Victory Day

Ukrainians are to be forced to celebrate Europe Day instead of Victory Day. The following project of bill was registered by Ukrainian deputies in Verkhovna Rada. This is part of the campaign to level down the Soviet holidays in Ukraine. Earlier, the director of the Institute of National Memory of Ukraine, Vladimir Vyatrovich, proposed a project to abolish Victory Day. Attacks on holidays from the side of the Institute continue for the third year in a row: nationalists are trying to rewrite the Ukraine’s history in accordance with new ideological guidelines. Victory Day and International Women’s Day are particularly prominent targets of rejection.

Disproof

Unfounded claims, presented without evidence. The project of bill was registered in May 2018, and is still pending consideration. According to the Verkhovna Rada's official website, the text does not refer to the replacement of holidays. The authors of the document propose to celebrate Europe Day at the same day as Victory Day in order to celebrate it together with other EU countries and "to witness in such way common European integration values, a common vision of the past and the future of our continent". At the same time, the project has already been assessed by the Main Scientific and Expert Department. In the assessment, the department notes that the practice of celebrating Victory Day and Europe Day at different times has developed in Ukraine, and the nature of the celebration of these days is also different. “Based on the aforementioned, the Main Department notes that there are no purely legal obstacles to the adoption of the draft law, however, it draws attention to the inexpediency of celebrating two events, different in their orientation and goals, on the same day, as it is actually proposed in the draft law”.

Brussels tries to avoid a "palace coup" by increasing Russophobia ahead of the EU elections

The Kerch Strait incident is a provocation used by Brussels to increase Russophobic sentiment ahead of the EU elections. There is a danger that Brussels will try to retain its position by force, refusing to recognize the election results in European countries, arguing that there was a “Russian intervention”. Brussels is a US puppet that tries to increase tensions between the Europe and Russia,

Disproof

This is an ongoing pro-Kremlin conspiracy theory about US influence in Europe. Check our database for more cases on Russophobia, elections meddling, and the Kerch Strait incident. For background:

On November 25th 2018, border patrol boats from Russia’s FSB security service seized two small Ukrainian armoured artillery vessels and their crews after shooting at them and wounding several Ukrainian servicemen. Russia argued that the Ukrainian boats were in Russian waters. However, a bilateral treaty between Russia and Ukraine (signed in 2003 and ratified by Russia in 2004) governs the use of the Kerch Strait and the Sea of Azov, stipulating that they are the “internal waters” of both Russia and Ukraine.

CNN is the right hand of NATO and the US State Department

CNN is behaving like the right hand (or the left, or even a leg) of NATO and the US State Department.

Disproof

Conspiracy theory with no evidence. Consistent with pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives attacking and discrediting Western media. More examples are available here and here. CNN has no connection either to NATO or to the US State Department. CNN, an American news-based television channel, was founded in 1980 by American media proprietor Ted Turner and is now owned by Turner Broadcasting System.