Disinfo: White Helmets kidnap children, traffic human organs, and stage chemical attacks


The White Helmets kidnapped children to stage chemical attacks and for organ trafficking, from locations including eastern Aleppo and eastern Ghouta. They are accused of doing so in cooperation with al-Qaeda. There are videos showing that the White Helmets had themselves participated in terrorist atrocities against Syrian civilians. Evidence against this organisation is accumulating exponentially. A former MI6 agent is involved in propaganda about the White Helmets. There are doubts if the British government undertook all necessary precautions to ensure that it did not allow the presence of terrorists [White Helmets] on British soil.


This piece refers to an unverified report aimed to advance the recurring pro-Kremlin narrative of 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.



  • Reported in: Issue 138
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 22/02/2019
  • Language/target audience: French
  • Country: Syria
  • Keywords: Douma, Aleppo, White Helmets, Chemical weapons/attack, Terrorism


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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Poroshenko may provoke a military clash with Russian forces in order to postpone election

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko may provoke a direct military clash with Russian forces before the election – that way, voting will be postponed and he will remain in power. But since Poroshenko is not an independent figure and does not make military decisions himself, this strategy would be part of unified plan led by NATO and the US, just as it happened in August 2008 in Georgia. Alternatively, if the elections take place after all, this orchestrated clash would help Poroshenko mobilise voters in his favour.


Conspiracy theory with no evidence given. This case is consistent with pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about the election in Ukraine. For similar cases see: Kerch confrontation - part of Poroshenko's plan to postpone the Ukrainian election.

This disinformation case occurred in the context of President Poroshenko's address to the UN, where he declared his expectation that the UN will continue with its peacekeeping mission in eastern Ukraine.

Kyiv prepares new provocation in Kerch Strait involving NATO

Ukrainian authorities are planning to send military ships back to the Kerch Strait in order to violate Russian naval territory. 

They are preparing to attempt a new illegal entry of the Kerch Strait without any prior request, without observing security measures, and without a pilot. They asked NATO countries to deploy representatives on Ukrainian ships in order to cross the Kerch Strait illegally. 



No evidence given. This is a continuation of the pro-Kremlin narrative that, on November 24th 2018, Ukrainian ships approached the Kerch Strait without giving any warning, leading the Russian side to open fire.

According to a Bellingcat investigation based on geolocated video footage, Ukrainian ships did enter Russian-claimed territorial waters. They are, in fact, only Russian-claimed territorial waters, rather than internationally recognised boundaries. The use of the Kerch Strait and the Sea of Azov is regulated by a bilateral treaty between Russia and Ukraine, signed in 2003 and ratified by Russia in 2004. According to the document, the Sea of Azov is considered to be the “internal waters” of both Russia and Ukraine.

London will fake an accident when it no longer needs Yulia Skripal

British secret services will fake an accident to eliminate Yulia Skripal once London no longer needs her. Currently, Britain needs the Skripals to justify sanctions against Russia.


No evidence given. There are many competing and contradictory stories promulgated by Russian state-controlled media about the Skripal poisoning.

British police and intelligence investigations have produced sufficient hard evidence to charge two Russian nationals for the attack on the Skripals. These two individuals have been identified as officers of the GRU, the Russian military Intelligence service. More British public documents and statements on the case can be found here and here.