Russia accused the White Helmets NGO of being involved in a defamation campaign targeting the Syrian government.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Friday the activities of the White Helmets non-governmental organization (NGO) are a part of a defamation campaign targeting Syrian authorities.
“In general, we consider the White Helmets to be yet another element of a large-scale information campaign aimed at defamation of the Syrian authorities,” Zakharova said at a briefing.
The spokeswoman stressed that the media was using the White Helmets’ materials without first verifying the content.
“During the combat operations in Aleppo, the White Helmets showed videos with numerous victims, who, according to them, suffered during airstrikes of the Syrian Air Force and the Russian Air Force. However, shelling and strikes themselves were not recorded in any films,” Zakharova noted.
White Helmets is a Syrian humanitarian organization that claims to have saved tens of thousands of lives. The activists of the organization are often depicted saving people from under debris and providing first aid to civilians in war-torn Syria. However, a number of videos emerged revealing that rescue operations were staged, with the “victims” wearing make-up and given instructions for what to say. The rescue workers were allegedly seen in some videos carrying arms and in military uniform.
The Swedish Doctors for Human Rights (SWEDHR) NGO issued a report in March, stating that the “lifesaving” procedures shown in the videos published by the White Helmets are incorrect, fake and “ultimately performed on dead children.”