О режирању хемијских напада у Сирији

Коментар званичног представника Министарства иностраних послова Русије Марије Захарове у вези посете инспектора Организације за забрану хемијског наоружања у сиријски град Дума


21.04.18 15:23

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova’s comment on the OPCW inspectors’ visit to Douma, Syria


According to the information available, on the morning of April 21, the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission departed to the alleged site of the April 7 chemical attack in Douma in Eastern Ghouta. It should be said that this took place 11 days after the OPCW’s Technical Secretariat received an official request from Damascus to send OPCW inspectors. We consider such a delay in this high-profile case, whatever the reasons for it, unacceptable. The safety of the OPCW inspectors was guaranteed, not only by the Syrian authorities, but also by the command of the Russian military group in Syria.

We hope that the OPCW inspectors will act as objectively as possible to investigate all the circumstances of the supposed attack in Douma and will soon submit an unbiased report. It is all the more important because this is the first official visit to the site of a chemical attack, as alleged by the Syrian opposition and the affiliated NGOs, in the history of chemical weapons in Syria. Until now, the OPCW and the UN conducted only remote investigations, based on the data provided by the opponents of the Syrian authorities.

At the same time, it is a matter of serious concern that the OPCW experts have tried to limit the number of places they will visit and individuals they will question in the area of the alleged chemical incident. This is evidence of their reluctance to cast light on yet another prearranged provocation involving toxic chemicals, which has already led to three Western countries that are permanent UN Security Council members delivering a missile strike on a cache of toxic agents and components for the manufacture of chemical weapons, belonging to militants in Douma.

In this context, we express our indignation at the continued manipulation of facts and deliberate distortion of reality, which abound in statements made by some Western officials, for example an interview granted by Foreign Minister of France Jean-Yves Le Drian to the BFMTV television network. It is regrettable that such statements are made by the officials of a state whose leadership President of Russia Vladimir Putin invited on April 13 to join the investigation of the latest alleged attack and to send its military experts to Douma without delay. However, Paris has decided instead to blindly follow Washington’s scenario of a demonstration missile attack on Syria in violation of the UN Charter.

We urge our Western colleagues to come to their senses and to avoid any action that could hinder the establishment of truth regarding the April 7 provocation in Eastern Ghouta and hold back efforts towards a political settlement in Syria, based on UN Security Council Resolution 2254, the decisions taken in Astana and the recommendations issued by the Syria National Dialogue Congress in Sochi.


Видеопренос брифинга држављана Сирије који су глумили у изрежираним спотовима "Белих кацига" о хемијском инциденту у сиријском граду Дума

7. априла 2018. године.




Излагање Сталног представника Русије при ОЗХО Амбасадора Александра Шуљгина на брифингу у ОЗХО уз учешће становника сиријског града Дума. Хаг, 26. априла 2018. година. 


Remarks by Russia's Permanent Representative to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons Alexander Shulgin at a briefing at the OPCW attended by residents of Douma (SAR), The Hague, April 26, 2018



First, I would like to thank the representatives of Chemical Weapons Convention member states, both acting members of the OPCW Executive Council and observer states, for accepting the invitation to this briefing.

We have arranged it together with our Syrian colleagues to revisit the April 7 events in the city of Douma that became a harbinger for a missile strike by the United States, Great Britain and France at the Syrian Arab Republic.

Syrian citizens from Douma are here with us today. They came to The Hague on purpose – to tell you what really happened in Douma on April 7.

The provocation disguised as a chemical weapons attack did not come as a surprise for us or for the Syrian government. Syria's Deputy Permanent Representative to the OPCW Dr. Ghassan Obeid, who is present here, can tell you how many notes the Syrian side sent to the OPCW Technical Secretariat in this regard. Dr Obeid warned of this stove-piping when he spoke at the 87th session of the OPCW Executive Council back in the middle of March. The President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin also made a corresponding statement during a news conference on April 4, following the trilateral Russia-Iran-Turkey summit in Ankara.

Unfortunately, our concerns came true – literally one day before the government troops took full control of Douma, an incident occurred there. The Western countries rushed to present it as yet another atrocity by the Syrian authorities: the use of chemical weapons against their own people. For us and for many sober-minded people this became another confirmation of the sinister plots by the enemies of the legitimate government of the SAR.

As you know, any instance of chemical weapons use must be considered by the experts of the specialised organisation – the OPCW. Director-General of the OPCW Technical Secretariat Dr Ahmet Uzumcu – and we give him credit for that – promptly responded to our joint request with Syria by deciding to send a group of experienced experts to the Syrian Arab Republic.

Common sense suggested that OPCW professionals should have a chance to give an authoritative voice, to check reports on the incident in Douma. However, the United States, Great Britain and France, without waiting even for the start of the OPCW inspectors’ work, claimed offhand that everything was clear to them – Bashar al-Assad government’s guilt was beyond doubt. And along the way allegations were laid against Russia in conniving to the most base instincts of the Syrian president who allegedly poisons his own people with toxic gas.

The United States, Great Britain and France pretend to be guardians of the holy principles of international law whereas in fact they ignore international standards and show disrespect for the OPCW. There is no other explanation for their stubborn desire to get even with Bashar al-Assad despite reports on the arrival of the OPCW inspectors in Damascus on the morning of April 14. Before long, the OPCW Technical Secretariat personnel could have been hit by the missile strikes.

A widely spun video shot by the notorious White Helmets with heartbreaking scenes of dying children, the suffocating victims of the poisoning, became practically the key argument in favour of “punishing” the Syrian authorities.

After this fake report was posted, the big propaganda machine of the three Western countries was set in motion. They proceeded in the same way they did following last year’s similar incident in Khan Shaykhun. Back then, the US Permanent Representative to the UN Nikki Haley showed photos of “little martyrs,” the alleged sarin victims, to the UN Security Council members. They say those photos terrified US President Donald Trump who immediately ordered the launch of 59 cruise missiles at the Shayrat Airbase. And now Ambassador Nikki Haley, judging by her remarks at the UNSC meeting on April 9, was again about to show photos, but then, according to her, changed her mind – she said it was hard to count on an awakening conscience among the Russians since they are complicit in this crime, they have not complied with their commitments on the chemical disarmament of Syria and have allowed Bashar al-Assad to keep his secret chemical arsenal.

That said, US representatives made reference to information from social media and a video made by the notorious White Helmets.

Today, we can prove that the White Helmets video was a crude staging. Consequently, our Western partners’ reference to that material as evidence of a chemical attack is totally groundless.

We will show this on the big screen and review what our US, British and French colleagues presented to us as a reason for their barbaric act – aggression against a sovereign state, a member of the UN and the OPCW.


* * *


So, today Chemical Weapons Convention member states have been shown convincing evidence of a crude provocation staged in Douma on April 7 by the White Helmets, a pseudo humanitarian non-governmental organisation which is fed by Western tax payers, mostly from the UK, the US and also from the Netherlands.

Our Western partners are accusing us, Russia, of waging information wars, of spreading fake news. But we have seen today that the United States and their allies are guilty of this.

This fabricated video (the pseudo humanitarian group, the White Helmets, is unlikely to have created this independently, without informing their Western sponsors) has far-reaching consequences. Probably, for the first time since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, the world has approached the red line beyond which is the threat of direct military confrontation between the United States and Russia. I’d like to say: Turn away from that road, don’t commit provocations fraught with unpredictable consequences. We cannot allow the Cold War, the new version of which we are witnessing today, to turn into a “hot” war.

The proper conclusions must be sought. We must give up confrontation and find solutions to emerging problems, given mutual respect and account of each other’s lawful interests, and based on international law. Our future, the future of our children and grandchildren depend on this. 





Introduction of the Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the OPCW, Ambassador of the Russian Federation to the Netherlands




Today Russia and Syria hold a special briefing for the representatives of the Member States of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which was dedicated to the incident in Douma, a suburb of Damascus, on the 7th of April.

I would like to emphasize that today’s events are being held without any harm to the efforts of the OPCW experts, who are now in Syria. They have already visited Douma twice and work according to the schedule, they know, what places they must visit, they hold the necessary meetings and grant interviews. We actively invoke the Technical Secretariat and their experts to use their stay in Syria to inspect the identified rebels' illegal chemical laboratories that were used, as we think, for the manufacturing of chemical ammunition, including those used for various kinds of provocation.

I recall that it was the events in the Douma that were used by the United States, the Great Britain and France as a pretext for a missile strike on the Syrian Arab Republic on the night of April 14, it was a blow that was carried out against a sovereign state in violation of the UN Charter and the fundamental norms of international law.

As a justification for this barbaric action, our American, British and French colleagues constantly referred to a video footage made by the organization they sponsored, the "White Helmets", where the consequences of the chemical attack in the Douma were allegedly recorded. It is full of heartbreaking scenes of dying children and gasping poisoning victims.

After this "info dump", the United States, Great Britain, France and some other countries immediately attacked the Syrian authorities with accusations. At a high political level, there were loud statements that the government of the SAR committed another crime against its own population, which should not go by unpunished.

At the same time, Western countries blamed the Syrian authorities before the start of OPCW mission to establish the facts of the use of chemical weapons in Syria. The ensuing triple aggression, declared as "the response to the use of chemical weapons in the Douma,” was provided at the time when the OPCW inspectors were to arrive in Syria to find out all the circumstances of what happened in the Douma. Thus, the actions of the United States, Britain and France demonstrated their complete disregard for the OPCW and international law.

The Douma residents were able to arrive in The Hague to participate in the briefing, as well as in this press conference. They are here specifically to tell to the members of the OPCW and the world's media, what really stands behind the story causing the fuss.

We have repeatedly stated the staged nature of the chemical incident, cited specific facts pointing to this. Moreover, long before the April 7 we warned of the impending Eastern Ghouta provocations against the SAR government. This information is communicated publicly by Syrians and by us to the attention of the UN Security Council and the Technical Secretariat of the OPCW.

If anyone still puts the evidence provided by Russia and Syria in doubt, today you have a unique opportunity to communicate with direct witnesses of those events, which were “reluctant actors“ in the staged “White Helmets“ video.

I would like to emphasize once again: the holding of such event is in no way aimed at undermining the activities of the OPCW Mission to establish the facts of using chemical weapons in Douma, as some claim. We assign great importance to this mission and in no way anticipate the results of its activities, which can not be said about our Western colleagues who, at the international conference on Syria that was held on April 24-25 in Brussels, declared that the carrying out of a chemical attack in Douma by government forces is an irrefutable fact. We insist that the mission must continue its work. We, the Russian side, will do everything to assist this.

Today’s briefing and press conference pursue a specific goal: to prove the staged nature of the “White Helmets“ video, which shows the consequences of the supposedly occurring chemical attack. We just want to demonstrate that the references to the fake video of the "White Helmets" as proof of the poisonous substance usage of in Douma are completely inconsistent.




by the representative of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation,

the Chief of the RCBD troops,

Major-General L.A.Kirillov


Ladies and Gentlemen!


On the 7th of April of this year, the American non-governmental organization “Syrian-American Medical Society“ with the active support of Western media disseminated information about the alleged usage of chemical weapons by the Syrian army against civilians in the Douma in East Ghouta. Syrian authorities are accused of using poisonous substances. Information from social networks and statements from the so-called humanitarian organization “White Helmets“ was used as the main evidence.

Without waiting for an investigation by experts from the OPCW, a military group of the United States, Britain and France carried out a massive missile attack on Syria.

Russian experts conducted a thorough analysis of all the information about this incident in the city of Douma “on ground“. We present the results of this work.

During the verification of information about the death of civilians as a result of chlorine poisoning, residential houses were examined, in which, according to the “White Helmets“, the bodies of the victims were located.

Two gas tanks, allegedly dropped from helicopters by government forces, were found in two apartments. At the same time, a number of circumstances have been revealed that call into question the so-called evidence.

Thus, in a house in the basement of which, according to the “White Helmets version“ dead people were found, in an uninhabited apartment on die top floor there was an empty yellow gas tank. The apartment was previously partially destroyed by a bomb explosion, parts of the roof and the front wall are missing. Other walls are cut by shrapnel.

Attention is drawn to the fact that the gas tank is not deformed. This does not correspond to the consequences of its alleged fall from a great height onto the concrete foundation.

The gas tank reducer and trajectory stabilizers are missing.

Inspection of the allegedly damaged rooms of the second apartment confirms the fabricated nature of the charges. In particular, the ballistic examination showed that the location of the chlorine gas tank and the holes in the roof are separated by a distance that excludes the possibility of its discharge from the aircraft, The gas tank partially retained its air-tightness and was practically unaffected, which could not have happened if it fell from a height of more than two thousand meters. These are flying heights used by Syrian army helicopters.

On the roof, in the immediate proximity to the hole, there is an untouched water-heating tank. During the inspection of the broken roof, a missile tail was found, which, apparently, resulted in the hole in the ceiling. We do not exclude the possibility of artificial nature of the floor destruction, because a scrap was found at the house entrance.

Surprisingly, after the so-called impact of more than a hundred-kilogram gas tank, there were a variety of small dishes and interior items in a small room left untouched, that is clearly visible on the fake video, the bed is also almost intact.

The authors of the staged video have clearly brought the gas tank from the street, as indicated by the chips and traces from dragging on the tiles. The balloon itself was not damaged. The reducer is not damaged. The reducer is not torn off and is only slightly opened for a constant leakage of gas.

The fabricated nature of the video is supported by the found hair dyeing gloves with traces of gas tank paint.

The interrogation of the apartment owner showed that no one was present on the date and time of the incident, no one was wounded or dead. It is worth pointing out that the owner of the room, located a floor below, bred chickens, who safely survived the so-called chemical attack.

In addition, in the city of the Douma, which was liberated from the militants, specialists from die radiation, chemical and biological defense forces found a mined chemical laboratory and a chemical warehouse, allegedly used by terrorists to manufacture poisonous substances. When examined, thiodiglycol and diethanolamine, controlled by the Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which can be used for the production of sulphurous and nitrogen mustard gas, were found. In addition, a gas tank with chlorine, similar to that used by fighters in preparing the fake video, and hexamine, which is a stabilizing additive in the production of sarin, is found in the warehouse.

It is possible that it was at this facility that the so-called evidence of the use of chemical weapons by government troops was fabricated.

Attention is drawn to the absence of victims, both harmed and killed, as a result of the so-called “chemical attack“. There is not a single witness confirming the use of poisonous substances.

As for the staging of rendering assistance to the so-called victims of a chemical attack in the Douma city hospital, in this case, in order to provide evidence, the Russian side ensured the arrival of direct participants in those events to the Hague. Now you have the opportunity to learn about what really happened in this medical institution, as they say, “on a first-hand basis.“

But before that, I would like to draw your attention to the fact that the Russian side has taken the necessary measures to ensure the safety of objects inspected by OPCW experts.

Their safe work in Syria is ensured by the Russian servicemen of the Russian Centre for the Reconciliation of Opposing Sides in the Syrian Arab Republic and the Military Police.




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Тел: +381 (0)11 361 3964, 361 7644, 361 3180
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