The last couple of weeks, we have seen two major campaigns unfold within the pro-Kremlin disinformation machinery: the disinformation surrounding the poisoning of the Skripals, where the number of narratives spread about it from pro-Kremlin sources is now 31 (!); and the massive campaign targeting the latest chemical attack in Syria.

The disinformation campaign focused on the Skripal case has many similarities with the disinformation rolled out immediately following the downing of the civilian flight MH17, whereas the campaign targeting Syria is a predictable repetition of previous campaigns discrediting the suffering of civilians in the country.

We have already written about the actors behind and the narratives and tactics used in these virtual tsunamis of disinformation.

Lately these two campaigns, targeting separated events, have started to merge into one another within the pro-Kremlin disinformation space. For an untrained eye, that might seem surprising. But as the book about modern Russia and the TV landscape by Peter Pomerantsev suggests, when nothing is true, everything is possible.

Whereas previously, the White Helmets have been blamed for staging the chemical attacks in Syria among other things, this week we see that the UK is being accused of instructing them to do so. Russian state TV also claimed that Syria’s chemical weapons were actually created by the Brits, although another state TV program claimed that there are in fact no chemical weapons in Syria.

And, prior to the arrival of the independent investigators from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to Douma, Kremlin representatives and pro-Kremlin outlets have discredited their work in the Skripal-case.

And once more “news shows” on Russian state TV showed how they are very different from news programs that adhere to journalistic standards. In order to “prove” that the White Helmets had staged the chemical attack in Douma, they aired footage from a film set showing just that. But the problem is that the imagery is easily detectable as coming from the (pro-Syrian regime) movie ‘Revolution Man’. Bellingcat has the full story.

This is not the first time that Russian state TV uses images from productions and claim it is reality – we have seen this happen before with images from computer games being presented as ’irrefutable proof’.

So, even though at a first glance the poisoning of an ex-spy in the UK and another chemical weapons attack killing civilians in Syria don’t have so much in common, you just need to follow the disinformation trail to find how it all plays a part in the pro-Kremlin disinformation machinery. And how that machinery is used as a non-military means to reach political goals, as described in several great studies included in our Reading list for example here, here, and here.

See all the disinformation cases reported during past two weeks:

The missile attack on Syria was launched to obstruct the work of the OPCW inspectors
Additional details: The strikes from US, UK and France were intended to destroy evidence and prevent the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) from performing its duties.
Language / Targeted audience: English
Disinforming outlet(s): Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in RT
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

No evidence given. The latest chemical attack in Douma, Syria, has been accompanied by a massive disinformation campaign from pro-Kremlin outlets https://euvsdisinfo.eu/how-to-make-500-victims-of-a-suspected-chemical-attack-disappear/

Meanwhile, the fact-finding mission of the OPCW continues it's deployment to Syria https://www.opcw.org/news/article/opcw-fact-finding-mission-continues-deployment-to-syria/ For more information see https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/apr/17/syria-russia-says-inspectors-will-be-allowed-into-douma

Furthermore, the US, UK and France strikes targeted three specific places and those did not include Douma where the chemical attack took place, and so the claim that the coalition’s attack would prevent the experts of the Organization for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) from conducting an objective investigation does not withstand scrutiny. Further debunking by DFRLab and Polygraph.info https://medium.com/dfrlab/syriastrikes-conflicting-claims-c9623a7cbdc9, https://www.polygraph.info/a/syria-russia-71-missiles-claim-fact-cheched/29169608.html

Actually, the Russian ambassador to the United Nations in the U.N. Security Council has systematically blocked resolutions calling for joint international investigations of chemical weapons use in Syria. Six times, Russia has exercised its vetoes on Syria in chemical weapons-related resolutions http://research.un.org/en/docs/sc/quick/, the most recent one on the 10 of April http://www.un.org/en/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=S/2018/321

Keywords: OPCW, Chemical weapons/attack, Syrian War
Countries: UK, Russia, US, Syria, France
More
Skripal poisoning was provocation by the US
Additional details: It is clear for any normal person that British Prime Minister Theresa May's hysterics and call for the EU - hurry up, express solidarity and expel Russian diplomats - was a well-staged provocation, the scenario of which with a high probability was written in Washington
Language / Targeted audience: Georgian
Disinforming outlet(s): Georgia and the World
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

Many competing and contradictory stories promulgated by Russian state-controlled media, the only connecting thread being to confuse their audience and exclude any possibility of Russian involvement https://euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/?text=sergei+skripal&disinfo_issue=&date=

The nerve agent has been identified as Novichok (which means newcomer in Russian). It is known to be more powerful than VX and was developed in Russia in the 1970s and 1980s https://www.voanews.com/a/british-prime-minister-russia-poisoning-spy/4294683.html It's so unusual, that very few scientists outside of Russia have any real experience in dealing with it and no country outside of Russia is known to have developed the substance https://edition.cnn.com/2018/03/13/europe/what-is-novichok-nerve-agent-intl/index.html, https://theconversation.com/what-we-know-about-novichok-the-newby-nerve-agents-linked-to-russia-93264

 

In its statement, the European Union expressed shock at the offensive use of any military-grade nerve agent, of a type developed by Russia, for the first time on European soil in over 70 years. http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2018/03/19/statement-by-the-foreign-affairs-council-on-the-salisbury-attack/

Keywords: Sergei Skripal, Chemical weapons/attack, Conspiracy
Countries: US
More
The White Helmets were ordered by the British government to fake a chemical attack, as proved by video
Additional details: As proven by video, the White Helmets were ordered by the British government to fake a chemical attack in Douma. The segment shows a number of images acquired by Russia-1’s Vesti news programme from a White Helmets film set, with signs of White Helmet involvement in fakery.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: https://youtu.be/hXcU49u1wss?t=36
Disinforming outlet(s): Vesti @Rossiya 1
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

No evidence given. As shown by Bellingcat, these allegations were recently covered by the Vesti program on Russian state television channel Russia-1, claiming to show photographs of a White Helmets film set in East Ghouta. Actually, the images shown as "a proof of White Helmets faking pictures" are taken by Vesti itself from the Facebook page of the film Revolution Man.

This is not the first time that Russian state TV uses images from productions and claim it is reality https://euvsdisinfo.eu/computer-game-as-irrefutable-proof/, https://euvsdisinfo.eu/oops-we-did-it-again/

It is also part of an ongoing disinformation campaign in pro-Kremlin outlets against the White Helments https://euvsdisinfo.eu/smear-campaign-against-civilian-rescuers-in-syria-continues/ and against NGO:s in general https://euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/?text=NGO&disinfo_issue=&date=

 

 

Keywords: Douma, White Helmets, Chemical weapons/attack, NGO, Syrian War
Countries: UK, Russia, Syria
More
Syria 'chemical attack' staged to provoke US airstrike, London pushed perpetrators
Additional details: There is proof that the reported chemical weapons attack in Syria was staged and of the British government of pressuring the perpetrators to speed up the “provocation.”
Language / Targeted audience: English
Disinforming outlet(s): The Russian Defense Ministry in RT
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

No evidence given. Repeating recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation about chemical weapons use in Syria.  https://euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/?text=syria+chemical+weapons&disinfo_issue=&date=

On Saturday, a high number of civilians were killed in the besieged Syrian city of Douma, with evidence pointing towards another chemical attack by the regime, according to the EU.

See also Bellingcat's open source survey on the suspected chemical attack: https://www.bellingcat.com/news/mena/2018/04/11/open-source-survey-alleged-chemical-attacks-douma-7th-april-2018/

On April 10 Russia vetoed a U.S.-drafted U.N. Security Council resolution that would have created a new inquiry to ascertain blame for chemical weapons attacks in Syria.

Joint Investigative Mechanism found Syria’s Government responsible for last year’s attack in Khan Shaykhun.

In September 2017, the UN Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic summarized 33 separate incidents where it had found use of chemical weapons. Since then there have been several additional suspected chemical attacks. Between March 2013 and March 2017, the Commission documented 25 incidents of chemical weapons use in the Syrian Arab Republic, of which 20 were proven to have been perpetrated by government forces and used primarily against civilians.

http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/IICISyria/Pages/IndependentInternationalCommission.aspx

Further debunking by Polygraph.info https://www.polygraph.info/a/russia-denies-chemical-attack-in-syria/29154994.html

Keywords: Douma, Chemical weapons/attack, Provocation, Syrian War
Countries: UK, Syria
More
Board of directors of Finnish energy company Fortum: Chairman is the Minister of Defence, and one of the members represents Finnish political police
Additional details: The West has started a "Cold War" to destroy Russia and conducts it systematically and  consistently. [---]

As a proof of the meaning the Finnish leadership gives to Fortum and of the potential direction of its work serves the fact that the chairman of the board of directors of Fortum is, according to media, not the minister of economy and not even the prime minister, but the defence minister of Finland. Representative of Finnish political police is a member of this board.

 
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Rossiiskaya Gazeta, rg.ru
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation about Western aggression. https://euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/?text=cold+war&disinfo_issue=&date=

The Finnish defence minister is Jussi Niinistö. Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Finnish energy company Fortum is Matti Lievonen, who is is the President & CEO of oil refining company Neste Corporation.

There is no such thing as "Finnish political police". In the Board of Directors of Fortum, there are five Finnish citizens, and all of them have a background in business management. https://www3.fortum.com/about-us/investors/corporate-governance/board-directors

Further debunking by newspaper Helsingin Sanomat. https://www.hs.fi/talous/art-2000005643454.html

Later, the author of the article Mikhail Delyagin answered to the criticism raised by Fortum. Delyagin explains the wrong information about the Board of Directors of Fortum was taken from Russian articles published two years ago, and as Fortum had not demanded corrections to the information published then, Delyagin did not have a reason to not trust that information. In the same answer Delyagin mentions that there are "horrific repressions against Russian families" in Finland - a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation message debunked here: https://euvsdisinfo.eu/report/finland-practises-juvenile-terror-children-are-taken-away-from-their/

https://delyagin.ru/articles/183-novosti/58327-finskiy-gosudarstvennyy-kontsern-fortum-sobiraetsja-sudit-sja-iz-za-stat-i-m-g-deljagina

The original article by Delyagin in Rossiyskaya Gazeta has not been corrected as of 17 April 2018.

Keywords: Energy, The West
Countries: Russia, Finland
More
A NATO toxin was used for the poisoning of Skripal
Additional details: The nerve agent used to poison former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in the UK could have been the BZ substance which is used by the US and the UK.
Language / Targeted audience: English
Disinforming outlet(s): Russia's Foreign Minister in Russia Today
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

No evidence given. The laboratory has answered https://twitter.com/SpiezLab/status/985243574123057152

The OPCW have confirmed the UK findings in the case. "The results of the analysis by the OPCW designated laboratories of environmental and biomedical samples collected by the OPCW team confirm the findings of the United Kingdom relating to the identity of the toxic chemical that was used in Salisbury and severely injured three people." https://www.opcw.org/news/article/opcw-issues-report-on-technical-assistance-requested-by-the-united-kingdom/

Keywords: OPCW, Sergei Skripal, Chemical weapons/attack
Countries: Switzerland, UK, Russia
More
Mein Kampf is more popular than Harry Potter in Latvia
Additional details: Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” is more popular in Latvia than Harry Potter.
Language / Targeted audience: English
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

This plays into the recurring narrative that the Baltic states are leaning towards Nazism https://euvsdisinfo.eu/and-you-are-a-nazi-too/

Zvezda based its conclusion solely on the rankings of a single Latvian website, iBook, referencing a widget in the left bottom corner of that website reading: “The Most Current Books in 7 Days.” According to Polygrapg.info, iBook is a small online platform for individuals to sell and exchange their used books. The website describes itself as a “portal for book exchanges, sales and purchases.”

Polyraph.info ran the site through SimilarWeb, a tool for measuring site traffic, and found that iBook ranks 338th in Latvia in terms of popularity, and 219,504th in the world. It is Latvia’s 149th most popular shopping site. Therefore, it is not even close to the top in any category.

“Alexa,” the Amazon-owned web tool, ranks ibook’s Web traffic even lower – 878th in Latvia and 407,609th in the world. 6.6% of the sites recent traffic came from Russia -- possibly due to the fact that TV Zvezda linked to the site in its story.

The four copies of “Mein Kampf” featured on the website are used 1995 editions of Hitler’s book, and are being sold by individual users.

Further debunking by Polygraph.info https://www.polygraph.info/a/factcheck-harry-potter-hitler-latvia/29166375.html

Keywords: Adolf Hitler, Nazi/Fascist, Baltic states
Countries: Latvia
More
There was no chemical attack in the Syrian city of Douma
Additional details: The Radiation, Chemical and Biological Protection Experts Group of the Russian Defense Ministry visited the Douma Health Institution where they did not find any signs of chemical poisoning or exposure to poisonous substances such as sarin and chlorine which again proves that no chemical weapon was used in the Syrian city of Douma.
Language / Targeted audience: Czech
Disinforming outlet(s): http://ac24.cz
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

Repeating recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation about chemical weapons use in Syria, the White Helmets and Sergei Skripal poisoning.  https://euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/?text=syria+chemical+weapons&disinfo_issue=&date=, https://euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/?text=white+helmets&disinfo_issue=&date=, https://euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/?text=sergei+skripal&disinfo_issue=&date=

On April 7th, a high number of civilians were killed in the besieged Syrian city of Douma, with evidence pointing towards another chemical attack by the regime, according to the EU. Also the WHO have concluded a high number of civilians were injured and killed.

See also Bellingcat's open source survey on the suspected chemical attack: https://www.bellingcat.com/news/mena/2018/04/11/open-source-survey-alleged-chemical-attacks-douma-7th-april-2018/

On April 10 Russia vetoed a U.S.-drafted U.N. Security Council resolution that would have created a new inquiry to ascertain responsibility for chemical weapons attacks in Syria.

UN-OPCW Joint Investigative Mechanism found Syria’s Government responsible for last year’s attack in Khan Shaykhun.

In September 2017, the UN Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic summarized 33 separate incidents where it had found use of chemical weapons. Since then there have been several additional suspected chemical attacks. Between March 2013 and March 2017, the Commission documented 25 incidents of chemical weapons use in the Syrian Arab Republic, of which 20 were proven to have been perpetrated by government forces and used primarily against civilians.

http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/IICISyria/Pages/IndependentInternationalCommission.aspx

 

 

Keywords: Douma, War crimes, Chemical weapons/attack, Human rights, Syrian War
Countries: Russia, Syria
More
Yulia Skripal was kidnapped by the British secret service
Additional details: Yulia Skripal was kidnapped by the British secret service so she could not testify about what really happened to Russian diplomats, and she is not allowed to talk to her family, for example her cousin Viktoria Skripal.
Language / Targeted audience: Czech
Disinforming outlet(s): aeronet.cz
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

No evidence given. Yulia Skripal issued her longest statement yet on Wednesday night to make clear she does not want the help of the Russian Embassy, nor her cousin. "I have access to friends and family and I have been made aware of my specific contacts at the Russian embassy, who have kindly offered me their assistance in any way they can. At the moment I do not wish to avail myself of their services. I want to stress that no one speaks for me, or for my father, but ourselves. I thank my cousin Viktoria for her concern for us, but ask that she does not visit me or try to contact me for the time being. Her opinions and assertions are not mine and they are not my father’s."
https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/apr/11/i-dont-need-any-help-from-the-russian-embassy-yulia-skripal, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/04/11/yulia-skripal-declines-help-russian-embassy/, https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/sergei-skripal-yulia-salisbury-spy-poisoning-russia-nerve-agent-attack-condition-embassy-a8300351.html

Keywords: Sergei Skripal, Chemical weapons/attack
Countries: UK, Russia
More
Russia backs objective probe into chemical weapons attacks
Additional details: The Kremlin backs an objective investigation into this situation to provide trustworthy data, and so that we don’t rely on rumors and fake media reports. We believe that this information on such awful consequences of using chemical weapons in [Syria’s] Douma is not based on real data.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: http://tass.com/politics/998993
Disinforming outlet(s): Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov in TASS
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

Actually, the Russian ambassador to the United Nations in the U.N. Security Council has systematically blocked resolutions calling for joint international investigations of chemical weapons use in Syria. Six times, Russia has exercised its vetoes on Syria in chemical weapons-related resolutions http://research.un.org/en/docs/sc/quick/, the most recent one on the 10 of April http://www.un.org/en/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=S/2018/321

Further debunking by Polygraph.info https://www.polygraph.info/a/un-resolutions-russia-vetoed-syria-chemical-weapons/29159737.html

Keywords: Douma, OPCW, War crimes, Chemical weapons/attack, Syrian War
Countries: Russia, Syria
More
Mein Kampf is more popular than Harry Potter in Latvia
Additional details: Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” is more popular in Latvia than Harry Potter.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): TV Zvezda
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

This plays into the recurring narrative that the Baltic states are leaning towards Nazism https://euvsdisinfo.eu/and-you-are-a-nazi-too/

Zvezda based its conclusion solely on the rankings of a single Latvian website, iBook, referencing a widget in the left bottom corner of that website reading: “The Most Current Books in 7 Days.” According to Polygrapg.info, iBook is a small online platform for individuals to sell and exchange their used books. The website describes itself as a “portal for book exchanges, sales and purchases.”

Polyraph.info ran the site through SimilarWeb, a tool for measuring site traffic, and found that iBook ranks 338th in Latvia in terms of popularity, and 219,504th in the world. It is Latvia’s 149th most popular shopping site. Therefore, it is not even close to the top in any category.

“Alexa,” the Amazon-owned web tool, ranks ibook’s Web traffic even lower – 878th in Latvia and 407,609th in the world. 6.6% of the sites recent traffic came from Russia -- possibly due to the fact that TV Zvezda linked to the site in its story.

The four copies of “Mein Kampf” featured on the website are used 1995 editions of Hitler’s book, and are being sold by individual users.

Further debunking by Polygraph.info https://www.polygraph.info/a/factcheck-harry-potter-hitler-latvia/29166375.html

Keywords: Adolf Hitler, Nazi/Fascist, Baltic states
Countries: Latvia
More
The OPCW was unable to establish the origin of the nerve agent used in the Skripal attack
Additional details: The OPCW was unable to establish the origin of the nerve agent used to poison the former Russian double agent and his daughter in the English town of Salisbury on March 4.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Life.ru
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

The OPCW report clearly states that “the results of analysis by the OPCW designated laboratories of environmental and biomedical samples collected by the OPCW team confirm the findings of the United
Kingdom relating to the identity of the toxic chemical that was used in Salisbury and severely injured three people."

The OPCW report does not name the nerve agent directly; its name and chemical structure were sent in a classified report to OPCW member states. https://www.opcw.org/fileadmin/OPCW/S_series/2018/en/s-1612-2018_e_.pdf

Further debunking by Stopfake .

 

Keywords: OPCW, Sergei Skripal, Chemical weapons/attack
Countries: UK, Russia
More
Skripal poisoning and Syria bombing a "Big Anglo-Saxon provocation"
Additional details: Skripal poisoning and Syria bombing a "Big Anglo-Saxon provocation" and part of the same construct. [---] Three Western nations took the decision to attack Syria on the basis of "YouTube clips. Douma incident was a fake, involved a Russophobe state: Great Britain, or "Little Britain". [---] "These two British provocations"  [the Skripal poisoning and the "fake" chemical attack in Douma]  makes it clear that this is "one grand devious design".
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q7jlr8d-4zU
Disinforming outlet(s): Vesti Nedeli s Dmitriem Kiselyovym @Rossiya 1, 00:00:00, 00:14.00, 1:12.00
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

Repeating recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation on "anglo-saxons", Sergei Skripal poisoning, and chemical attack in Douma, Syria. https://euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/?text=&disinfo_issue=&disinfo_keywords%5B%5D=77329&date=, https://euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/?text=sergei+skripal&disinfo_issue=&date=, https://euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/?text=syria&disinfo_issue=&disinfo_keywords%5B%5D=77353&date=

On Saturday, a high number of civilians were killed in the besieged Syrian city of Douma, with evidence pointing towards another chemical attack by the regime, according to the EU.

See also Bellingcat's open source survey on the suspected chemical attack: https://www.bellingcat.com/news/mena/2018/04/11/open-source-survey-alleged-chemical-attacks-douma-7th-april-2018/

On April 10 Russia vetoed a U.S.-drafted U.N. Security Council resolution that would have created a new inquiry to ascertain blame for chemical weapons attacks in Syria.

Joint Investigative Mechanism found Syria’s Government responsible for last year’s attack in Khan Shaykhun.

In September 2017, the UN Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic summarized 33 separate incidents where it had found use of chemical weapons. Since then there have been several additional suspected chemical attacks. Between March 2013 and March 2017, the Commission documented 25 incidents of chemical weapons use in the Syrian Arab Republic, of which 20 were proven to have been perpetrated by government forces and used primarily against civilians.

http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/IICISyria/Pages/IndependentInternationalCommission.aspx

Keywords: Douma, Chemical weapons/attack, Anglo-Saxon
Countries: UK, Russia, Syria
More
The OPCW could have been provided with a false sample in Skripal poisoning
Additional details: Russia publishes a report by an OPCW laboratory in Spiez, revealing the presence of a substance created in the US, UK and other NATO countries in the sample. The OPCW "could have been provided with a false sample in Skripal poisoning".
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Itogi Nedeli @NTV, 20:00
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

No evidence given. Many competing and contradictory stories promulgated by Russian state-controlled media, the only connecting thread being to confuse their audience and exclude any possibility of Russian involvement https://euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/?text=sergei+skripal&disinfo_issue=&date=

The Spiez laboratory has answered and debunked the Russian claims: https://twitter.com/SpiezLab/status/985243574123057152

The OPCW have confirmed the UK findings in the case. "The results of the analysis by the OPCW designated laboratories of environmental and biomedical samples collected by the OPCW team confirm the findings of the United Kingdom relating to the identity of the toxic chemical that was used in Salisbury and severely injured three people." https://www.opcw.org/news/article/opcw-issues-report-on-technical-assistance-requested-by-the-united-kingdom/

Keywords: OPCW, Sergei Skripal, Chemical weapons/attack
Countries: UK, Russia
More
London behind staged chemical attack in Syria
Additional details: Russian Defence Ministry spokesman presents evidence of the latest suspected chemical attack in Syria's Douma being a provocation. The  UK was directly involved in organising the provocation and White Helmets rescue volunteers acted on instructions and under strong pressure specifically from London in this provocation.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Vesti @Rossiya 1, 00:00
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

No evidence given. Repeating recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation about chemical weapons use in Syria.  https://euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/?text=syria+chemical+weapons&disinfo_issue=&date=

The disinforming report recycles a footage shown earlier in different reports by the same TV Channel.  As shown by Bellingcat, the images shown as "a proof of White Helmets faking pictures" are actually taken by Vesti itself from the Facebook page of the film Revolution Man.https://euvsdisinfo.eu/report/the-white-helmets-may-kill-children-for-a-realistic-picture/ 

Background:

On Saturday, a high number of civilians were killed in the besieged Syrian city of Douma, with evidence pointing towards another chemical attack by the regime, according to the EU.

According to the World Health Organisation, during the shelling of Douma on Saturday, an estimated 500 patients presented to health facilities exhibiting signs and symptoms consistent with exposure to toxic chemicals.

More than 70 people sheltering in basements have reportedly died, with 43 of those deaths related to symptoms consistent with exposure to highly toxic chemicals. Two health facilities were also reportedly affected by these attacks. http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/statements/2018/chemical-attacks-syria/en/

See also Bellingcat's open source survey on the suspected chemical attack: https://www.bellingcat.com/news/mena/2018/04/11/open-source-survey-alleged-chemical-attacks-douma-7th-april-2018/

On April 10 Russia vetoed a U.S.-drafted U.N. Security Council resolution that would have created a new inquiry to ascertain responsibility for chemical weapons attacks in Syria.

UN-OPCW Joint Investigative Mechanism found Syria’s Government responsible for last year’s attack in Khan Shaykhun.

In September 2017, the UN Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic summarized 33 separate incidents where it had found use of chemical weapons. Since then there have been several additional suspected chemical attacks. Between March 2013 and March 2017, the Commission documented 25 incidents of chemical weapons use in the Syrian Arab Republic, of which 20 were proven to have been perpetrated by government forces and used primarily against civilians.

http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/IICISyria/Pages/IndependentInternationalCommission.aspx

Keywords: Douma, White Helmets, Chemical weapons/attack, Provocation
Countries: UK, Syria
More
The White Helmets have faked images of chemical attack in Douma, just like in Khan Sheikhoun a year ago
Additional details: Proof that Douma chemical weapons attack was staged. The White Helmets have faked images of chemical attack in Douma, just like in Khan Sheikhoun a year ago. In 2015, the White Helmets used ordinary people from cities controlled by the militants as actors: either you do what is ordered, or get executed.

 
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): TV Zvezda
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

No evidence given. Repeating recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation about chemical weapons use in Syria and the White Helmets.  https://euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/?text=syria+chemical+weapons&disinfo_issue=&date=, https://euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/?text=white+helmets&disinfo_issue=&date=

Background:

On Saturday, a high number of civilians were killed in the besieged Syrian city of Douma, with evidence pointing towards another chemical attack by the regime, according to the EU.

According to the World Health Organisation, during the shelling of Douma on Saturday, an estimated 500 patients presented to health facilities exhibiting signs and symptoms consistent with exposure to toxic chemicals.

More than 70 people sheltering in basements have reportedly died, with 43 of those deaths related to symptoms consistent with exposure to highly toxic chemicals. Two health facilities were also reportedly affected by these attacks. http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/statements/2018/chemical-attacks-syria/en/

See also Bellingcat's open source survey on the suspected chemical attack: https://www.bellingcat.com/news/mena/2018/04/11/open-source-survey-alleged-chemical-attacks-douma-7th-april-2018/

On April 10 Russia vetoed a U.S.-drafted U.N. Security Council resolution that would have created a new inquiry to ascertain responsibility for chemical weapons attacks in Syria.

UN-OPCW Joint Investigative Mechanism found Syria’s Government responsible for last year’s attack in Khan Shaykhun.

In September 2017, the UN Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic summarized 33 separate incidents where it had found use of chemical weapons. Since then there have been several additional suspected chemical attacks. Between March 2013 and March 2017, the Commission documented 25 incidents of chemical weapons use in the Syrian Arab Republic, of which 20 were proven to have been perpetrated by government forces and used primarily against civilians.

http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/IICISyria/Pages/IndependentInternationalCommission.aspx

Keywords: Douma, Khan Sheikhoun, White Helmets, Chemical weapons/attack
Countries: Syria
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The White Helmets fabricated Douma chemical attack when the UK theory about the alleged chemical attack in Salisbury started to fall apart
Additional details: The White Helmets organisation is controlled by British secret services and its members are responsible for fabricating evidence of an alleged chemical attack in Douma. The White Helmets carried out the fabrication when the British theory about the alleged chemical attack in Salisbury started to fall apart.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Vecher s Vladimirom Solovyovym @Rossiya 1, 22:50
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

Repeating recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation on the White Helmets, Sergei Skripal poisoning, and chemical attack in Douma, Syria. https://euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/?text=&disinfo_issue=&disinfo_keywords%5B%5D=77488&date=, https://euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/?text=sergei+skripal&disinfo_issue=&date=, https://euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/?text=syria&disinfo_issue=&disinfo_keywords%5B%5D=77353&date=

On Saturday, a high number of civilians were killed in the besieged Syrian city of Douma, with evidence pointing towards another chemical attack by the regime, according to the EU.

See also Bellingcat's open source survey on the suspected chemical attack: https://www.bellingcat.com/news/mena/2018/04/11/open-source-survey-alleged-chemical-attacks-douma-7th-april-2018/

On April 10 Russia vetoed a U.S.-drafted U.N. Security Council resolution that would have created a new inquiry to ascertain responsibility for chemical weapons attacks in Syria.

UN-OPCW Joint Investigative Mechanism found Syria’s Government responsible for last year’s attack in Khan Shaykhun.

In September 2017, the UN Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic summarized 33 separate incidents where it had found use of chemical weapons. Since then there have been several additional suspected chemical attacks. Between March 2013 and March 2017, the Commission documented 25 incidents of chemical weapons use in the Syrian Arab Republic, of which 20 were proven to have been perpetrated by government forces and used primarily against civilians. 

http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/IICISyria/Pages/IndependentInternationalCommission.aspx

Keywords: Douma, Sergei Skripal, fake news, White Helmets, Chemical weapons/attack, Secret services
Countries: UK, Syria
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Syria's chemical weapons "were created by the British, even after sanctions had been imposed on Assad"
Additional details: Syria's chemical weapons "were created by the British, even after sanctions had been imposed on Assad".
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Itogi Nedeli @NTV, 12:00
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

No evidence given. Repeating recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation on chemical attack in Douma, Syria. https://euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/?text=syria&disinfo_issue=&disinfo_keywords%5B%5D=77353&date=

Syria's chemical weapons development probably dates back to the 1970s. For the history of Syria's chemical weapons, see https://fas.org/sgp/crs/nuke/R42848.pdf

European Union imposed restrictive measures on Syria in 2011 https://publications.europa.eu/en/publication-detail/-/publication/bbd8dca1-b6d0-4ce1-bcee-896df0022868/language-en

The declared Syrian chemical weapon stockpile was reported to be completely destroyed in 2014. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/checkpoint/wp/2014/08/18/declared-syrian-chemical-weapon-stockpile-now-completely-destroyed/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.a2a01c4ebf62

UN-OPCW Joint Investigative Mechanism found Syria’s Government responsible for last year’s attack in Khan Shaykhun.

In September 2017, the UN Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic summarized 33 separate incidents where it had found use of chemical weapons. Since then there have been several additional suspected chemical attacks. Between March 2013 and March 2017, the Commission documented 25 incidents of chemical weapons use in the Syrian Arab Republic, of which 20 were proven to have been perpetrated by government forces and used primarily against civilians.

http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/IICISyria/Pages/IndependentInternationalCommission.aspx

Keywords: Douma, Chemical weapons/attack, Bashar al-Assad
Countries: UK, Syria
More
Skripal poisoning was staged by the British themselves, the aim is to divert attention from "unsuccessful Brexit talks"
Additional details: Skripal poisoning was staged by the British themselves, the aim is to divert attention from "unsuccessful Brexit talks".
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Voskresnoye Vremya @Channel One
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

Many competing and contradictory stories promulgated by Russian state-controlled media, the only connecting thread being to confuse their audience and exclude any possibility of Russian involvement https://euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/?text=sergei+skripal&disinfo_issue=&date=

The nerve agent has been identified as Novichok (which means newcomer in Russian). It is known to be more powerful than VX and was developed in Russia in the 1970s and 1980s https://www.voanews.com/a/british-prime-minister-russia-poisoning-spy/4294683.html It's so unusual, that very few scientists outside of Russia have any real experience in dealing with it and no country outside of Russia is known to have developed the substance https://edition.cnn.com/2018/03/13/europe/what-is-novichok-nerve-agent-intl/index.html, https://theconversation.com/what-we-know-about-novichok-the-newby-nerve-agents-linked-to-russia-93264

For the UK government response, see https://www.gov.uk/government/news/novichok-nerve-agent-use-in-salisbury-uk-government-response

In its statement, the European Union expressed shock at the offensive use of any military-grade nerve agent, of a type developed by Russia, for the first time on European soil in over 70 years. http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2018/03/19/statement-by-the-foreign-affairs-council-on-the-salisbury-attack/

Keywords: Sergei Skripal, Brexit
Countries: UK
More
Russian Spring: Civil war was unleashed in East of Ukraine by little Nazis in Kyiv after a coup
Additional details: Fourth anniversary of the Russian Spring: Four years ago, civil war was unleashed in East of Ukraine by little Nazis in Kyiv after a coup.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q7jlr8d-4zU
Disinforming outlet(s): Vesti Nedeli s Dmitriem Kiselyovym @Rossiya 1, 1:31:50
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

Repeating recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation about war in Ukraine. https://euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/?text=&disinfo_issue=&disinfo_keywords%5B%5D=77110&date=

There was no coup in Ukraine four years ago. The demonstrations which began in Kyiv in November 2013 – called "Maidan", or "Euromaidan" – were not provoked from outside but were a result of the Ukrainian people's frustration with former President Yanukovych's last minute U-turn when, after seven years of negotiation, he refused to sign the EU–Ukraine Association Agreement and halted progress towards Ukraine's closer relationship with the EU as a result of Russian pressure. The protesters' demands included constitutional reform, a stronger role for parliament, formation of a government of national unity, an end to corruption, early presidential elections and an end to violence http://bit.ly/2ftv6iT.

It was Russia that provoked a war in East of Ukraine, and it is not a civil war.

The European Union stated in July 2014 that "arms and fighters continue flowing into Ukraine from the Russian Federation". http://www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cms_data/docs/pressdata/en/ec/144158.pdf
At the NATO Summit in Wales in September 2014, NATO leaders condemned in the strongest terms Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine and demanded that Russia stop and withdraw its forces from Ukraine and along the country’s border. NATO leaders also demanded that Russia comply with international law and its international obligations and responsibilities; end its illegitimate occupation of Crimea; refrain from aggressive actions against Ukraine; halt the flow of weapons, equipment, people and money across the border to the separatists; and stop fomenting tension along and across the Ukrainian border. http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/topics_50090.htm#

According to the US Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), Russian special forces and troops operated to mobilize, lead, equip, and support separatist militias in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine from spring 2014 to the present, although their presence was denied by Moscow. http://www.dia.mil/Portals/27/Documents/News/Military%20Power%20Publications/Russia%20Military%20Power%20Report%202017.pdf?ver=2017-06-28-144235-937

Russian President Vladimir Putin admitted Russia's military presence in Ukraine in 2015. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/dec/17/vladimir-putin-admits-russian-military-presence-ukraine

The European Union does not recognise the illegal annexation of Crimea and continues to condemn this violation of international law, and that Russia’s illegal actions remain a direct challenge to international security, with grave implications for the international legal order that protects the unity and sovereignty of all States.

 

Keywords: Civil war, Coup, Nazi/Fascist
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
More
Everyone knows that Syria has no chemical weapons
Additional details: Everyone knows that Syria has no chemical weapons.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Voskresnoye Vremya @Channel 1, 7:50
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

Repeating recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation on chemical attack in Douma, Syria. https://euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/?text=syria&disinfo_issue=&disinfo_keywords%5B%5D=77353&date=

The declared Syrian chemical weapon stockpile was reported to be completely destroyed in 2014. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/checkpoint/wp/2014/08/18/declared-syrian-chemical-weapon-stockpile-now-completely-destroyed/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.a2a01c4ebf62

On April 10 Russia vetoed a U.S.-drafted U.N. Security Council resolution that would have created a new inquiry to ascertain responsibility for chemical weapons attacks in Syria.

UN-OPCW Joint Investigative Mechanism found Syria’s Government responsible for last year’s attack in Khan Shaykhun.

In September 2017, the UN Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic summarized 33 separate incidents where it had found use of chemical weapons. Since then there have been several additional suspected chemical attacks. Between March 2013 and March 2017, the Commission documented 25 incidents of chemical weapons use in the Syrian Arab Republic, of which 20 were proven to have been perpetrated by government forces and used primarily against civilians. This is despite that the declared Syrian chemical weapon stockpile was destroyed in 2014. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/checkpoint/wp/2014/08/18/declared-syrian-chemical-weapon-stockpile-now-completely-destroyed/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.21fb7a72472b

http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/IICISyria/Pages/IndependentInternationalCommission.aspx

Keywords: Douma, Chemical weapons/attack, Syrian War
Countries: Russia, Syria
More
There were no patients with chemical poisoning in Douma
Additional details: There were no patients with chemical poisoning in Douma.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Voskresnoye Vremya @Channel One, 18:03
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

Repeating recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation on chemical attack in Douma, Syria. https://euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/?text=syria&disinfo_issue=&disinfo_keywords%5B%5D=77353&date=

According to the World Health Organisation, during the shelling of Douma on Saturday, an estimated 500 patients presented to health facilities exhibiting signs and symptoms consistent with exposure to toxic chemicals.

More than 70 people sheltering in basements have reportedly died, with 43 of those deaths related to symptoms consistent with exposure to highly toxic chemicals. Two health facilities were also reportedly affected by these attacks. http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/statements/2018/chemical-attacks-syria/en/

Background:

On Saturday, a high number of civilians were killed in the besieged Syrian city of Douma, with evidence pointing towards another chemical attack by the regime, according to the EU.

See also Bellingcat's open source survey on the suspected chemical attack: https://www.bellingcat.com/news/mena/2018/04/11/open-source-survey-alleged-chemical-attacks-douma-7th-april-2018/

On April 10 Russia vetoed a U.S.-drafted U.N. Security Council resolution that would have created a new inquiry to ascertain responsibility for chemical weapons attacks in Syria.

UN-OPCW Joint Investigative Mechanism found Syria’s Government responsible for last year’s attack in Khan Shaykhun.

In September 2017, the UN Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic summarized 33 separate incidents where it had found use of chemical weapons. Since then there have been several additional suspected chemical attacks. Between March 2013 and March 2017, the Commission documented 25 incidents of chemical weapons use in the Syrian Arab Republic, of which 20 were proven to have been perpetrated by government forces and used primarily against civilians.

http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/IICISyria/Pages/IndependentInternationalCommission.aspx

Keywords: Douma, Chemical weapons/attack
Countries: Syria
More
Maybe Skripals were not poisoned at all
Additional details: Maybe Skripals were not poisoned at all but just "put to sleep" with special gaz.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Voskreasnoe Vremya @Channel 1, 00:00:34
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

Many competing and contradictory stories promulgated by Russian state-controlled media, the only connecting thread being to confuse their audience and exclude any possibility of Russian involvement https://euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/?text=sergei+skripal&disinfo_issue=&date=

The nerve agent has been identified as Novichok (which means newcomer in Russian). It is known to be more powerful than VX and was developed in Russia in the 1970s and 1980s https://www.voanews.com/a/british-prime-minister-russia-poisoning-spy/4294683.html It's so unusual, that very few scientists outside of Russia have any real experience in dealing with it and no country outside of Russia is known to have developed the substance https://edition.cnn.com/2018/03/13/europe/what-is-novichok-nerve-agent-intl/index.html, https://theconversation.com/what-we-know-about-novichok-the-newby-nerve-agents-linked-to-russia-93264

For the UK government response, see https://www.gov.uk/government/news/novichok-nerve-agent-use-in-salisbury-uk-government-response

In its statement, the European Union expressed shock at the offensive use of any military-grade nerve agent, of a type developed by Russia, for the first time on European soil in over 70 years. http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2018/03/19/statement-by-the-foreign-affairs-council-on-the-salisbury-attack/

Keywords: Sergei Skripal
Countries: UK
More
EU support for Russian civil society is a provocation
Additional details: EU support for Russian civil society, with a special emphasis on the youth, is a provocation aimed to create a whole layer of young people dissatisfied with the Russian government. They will then unite and form a force. It is very dangerous if young people are targeted. It is a bomb that will explode in about 10 years' time.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Eurozona @ state-owned Vesti FM radio, 26:03, 32:10
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

No evidence given for any "provocation".

Despite of the recurring disinformation about "Russophobic" Europe, the EU is promoting people-to-people contacts with Russia. On 14 March 2016, the foreign ministers of the 28 EU Member States agreed on the five guiding principles of the EU's policy towards Russia. Fifth principle is increasing support for Russian civil society and promoting people-to-people
contacts, given that sanctions target the regime rather than Russian people. http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/BRIE/2016/589857/EPRS_BRI(2016)589857_EN.pdf

In the Foreign Affairs Council 16 April 2018, all the EU Foreign Ministers saw as a key issue to increase EU:s support for Russian citizens, civil society, human rights defenders, people to people contacts, especially with a focus on the youth of the Russian Federation.

In practise this means for example the Erasmus+ programme. Russian students and researchers are among the first - if not the first - of third countries benefiting from the Erasmus+ programme. It is something the EU wants to increase to make sure that links between the people are not only maintained but also increased. https://eeas.europa.eu/headquarters/headquarters-homepage/42996/remarks-hrvp-mogherini-press-conference-following-foreign-affairs-council_en

 

Keywords: EU, Provocation, Destabilising Russia
Countries: Russia, EU
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