The White Helmets, officially known as the Syrian Civil Defence, is a volunteer organisation that operates in parts of opposition-controlled Syria and in Turkey. As of April 2018, it claims to have saved over 114,000 lives. The Russian NGO, Study of Democracy, however, has put together a report entitled “Humanitarian Crisis in Syria – Truth and Disinformation”, which accuses the White Helmets of spreading fabricated information on the Syrian humanitarian situation to Europe and the rest of the world.
Mr Maxim Grigoriev, the lead researcher for the Russian Democracy Problems Research Fund, said the NGO has conducted hundreds of interviews with a variety of people in Syria, including with representatives of the opposition and former members of armed groups to get a clear understanding of the situation there. He will be presenting his findings, which argue that the information on Syria now being spread around the world is untrue.
About the Speaker(s)
Mr Maxim Grigoriev is the President of the Foundation for the Study of Democracy since 2007. He is also a member of the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation.
Mr Grigoriev graduated from Leningrad State University, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, Diplomatic Academy of the Russian Foreign Ministry.
Some of the books authored by Dr Grigoriev are Countering Terrorists Propaganda (2017) and The White Helmets Organization: Terrorist Accomplices and a Source of Disinformation (2019).