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Moscow slams UK media’s Russophobic rumors over White Helmets co-founder’s death

"A similar scenario was used by the Western media to cover the incidents involving Litvinenko, Berezovsky and the Skripals case," the ministry said

MOSCOW, November 12. /TASS/. The UK media continue to spread negative emotion-laden rumors directed against Russia regarding the death of James Le Mesurier, a co-founder of the notorious White Helmets group and a UK special agent, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on its Facebook page.

The ministry’s statement came as a response to The Independent article, headlined "James Le Mesurier: White Helmets backer found dead near his home in Istanbul," which says that the body of the man, who "helped start the White Helmets," was found after Russia accused him "of being a spy."

"The investigation into James Le Mesurier’s death is yet to begin, but UK journalists keep acting in line with their time-tested media technologies: an emotion-laden release of fake news is done amid some sensational news, ‘those Russians’ are blamed for everything, a yet another ‘highly likely’-style media scandal is fuelled, and, when the Russian side is found to be absolutely innocent, the UK media switches to another high-profile report," the ministry said.

"A similar scenario was used by the Western media to cover the incidents involving Litvinenko, Berezovsky and the Skripals case. It looks like a truly honest journalistic investigation is something definitely not about the UK media," the ministry said.


Hints of involvement

The Russian Foreign Ministry stressed that since 2016, Russia has been actively drawing the international community’s attention to "cynical crimes committed by the pseudo-humanitarian White Helmets organization, providing irrefutable evidence of its involvement in the activities of terrorist organizations."

At the same time, it has been repeatedly pointed out that the emergence of this controversial group has been closely linked to Middle Eastern projects ran by special services of several Western nations.

The ministry said it had published at least 120 reports referring to "cynical misdeeds of the White Helmets," which also mentioned the contribution into this project made by Le Mesurier, an agent of UK special services.

At the same time, Le Mesurier came into the spotlight of the UK media only after reports of his death, the ministry said.

"The incident is being linked to the recent statement by the Foreign Ministry’s official spokeswoman M.V. Zakharova, made on November 8 and exposing the UK spy’s activities. Moreover, the information is being released in a distorted and biased manner, and direct hints at the Russian Foreign Ministry’s role in this incident are being made," the ministry said.

"It is unclear why the UK media made this reference to the Russian Foreign Ministry’s official statements at this particular time, because we have already made such statements in the past, and on several occasions," the ministry added.

During her latest briefing, Maria Zakharova spoke about James Le Mesurier, saying that some researchers point out at the UK special agent’s ties to terrorist organizations and his role in conflicts wordwide, including the Balkans and the Middle East.