How anti-Russian media found «killed Syrian children» in destroyed terrorists' prison — «Russian Spring» investigation (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

How anti-Russian media found «killed Syrian children» in destroyed terrorists' prison — «Russian Spring» investigation (PHOTOS, VIDEO) | Русская весна

January 11 «Meduza» project web site belonging to Latvia-registered web edition «Meduza Project SIA», published a translation of «Reuters» news with the headline «Human Rights Activists suspect Russian Air Force of an airstrike on Aleppo school».

Reuters news authors blaim Russian Air Force for death of «at least 12 children» who allegedly died due to Aleppo bombing by Russian Air Force.

Reuters agency referred to information provided by «Syrian Observatory for Human Rights» only. «Russian Spring» has already revealed doubtful practices of this institution.

Anti-Russian Monitoring Centre

It is to be recalled that «Syrian Observatory for Human Rights» was established and is managed by active Syrian oppositioner Osama Ali Suleyman (mostly known as Rami Abdul-Rakhman), who has been living in Coventry (Great Britain) for more than 15 years by now. Even in 2013 he wasn’t ashamed of confessing that he receives financial aid «from EU and one European country in particular which he declines to identify».

This time Observatory's unidentified and «undercover» source informed that children had died «as a result of an airstrike in Syrian Aleppo province which was presumably carried out by Russian Air Forces… According to human rights acivists referring to eyewitnesses a school in Ein Jarrah town 15 km from Aleppo was hit».

The hoax started its journey along various «informational» YouTube channels appearing as obscure videos:

Why «Meduza» needs kids supposedely killed by Russian AF?

Well it’s easy to understand «Meduza» journalists' eagerness to publish doubtful news with screaming clickbaity headlines. After all what could be better for attention drawing than innocent kids killing news? And «Meduza» does want to steam up its readablity as its traffic was consistently declining over the past year.

According to website traffic and apps analytics tool SimilarWeb only March 2015 showed decrease of monthly users by half — from 23,6 to 13,4 mln persons. After that «Live Internet» and «Media Metrics» public traffic counters were disabled and current traffic became secret.

But the statistics is still available at SimilarWeb and it’s mercyless: by October it fell to 8,35 mln. At the moment «Meduza» website is 360th in Russian Internet segment.

As a comparison — «Russian Spring» traffic according to SimilarWeb data is increasing month by month and has reached 11,400,000 in December.

It was obvious from the very beginning that «Meduza» is lossmaking project — according to account statments data of «Medusa Project SIA» for 2014 P&L account showed negative results in the amount of EUR 159,6 thousand. Despite the fact that Meduza’s management according to their words «invented about 157 ways of making money», the project hasn't managed to reach self-accounting by now.

Where did «Meduza» swim from?

«Meduza» history is remarkable by itself. The project started in October 2014, its author is Galina Tymchenko who was editor in chief of one of the biggest and most succesful Russian news recsource «Lenta.ru» since 2004 to 2014. She was dismissed in March 2014 soon after she hyperlinked one of her articles with Ukrainian nationalist Dmytro Yarosh's interview . 

She was dismissed by the decision of «Rambler & Co» media holding owner Alexander Mamut after official claim from «Roskomnadzor»*.

Scandalous dismissal history was not an obstacle for new project’s editor’s office to proudly anounce «the best texts about what is gong on in Russia and the world, advocating freedom of information, rejection of bureaucratic and big business' values, despisal of propaganda and plugola, and preference for fact journalism not opinion journalism».

With this background it’s amusing to see the second (!) news about Syrian children killed by Russian air forces which shows how «Meduza» works and what is «fact journalism» for «Meduza» editorial staff.

#OhButTheyAreSyrianChildren**

January 9 Meduza Twitter page published short message saying that as a result of Russian airstrike at «prison in Syria» 39 were killed with children among them.

There was also a link to the news itself which said that children victims number was not so high — news authors claim 1 child dead.

But even this information is not backed by any material evidence (this time even «unidentified sources» evidences are missing, not to speak of any photos or video).

According to Meduza authors «the greater part of the killed by airstrike were prisoners, prison guards and an-Nusra*** fighters», but there were «five civilians» among them.

So the question arises: how could «Meduza» authors tell fighters from civilians and what could the civialins (not imprisoned) possibly do in «prison controlled by terrorist organization banned in Russia and many other Western countries?

But everything fits together when we see «Syrian Obervatory for Human Rights» as a source of information again. France-Presse agency referred to it and «Meduza» gladly translated news on «bloody murdered moderate terrorists»

Besides Meduza staff do nor bother with searching for initial sources of information when it comes to compromising Russian military, they refer to nothing more but «Yahoo» news aggregator.

Qui prodest?

Therefore a fuller picture is beginning to emerge: overtly antigovernmental and pro-Western «Syrian Observatory for Human Rights» invents fantastic news about «Russian military crimes in Syria» day by day, then the news are being spread by the Western media and the last link of this chain — Russian-language resources pretending to be «objective and unbiased», but in fact pursuing their own aims. And it’s good when it would be only quest for traffic.

However «vicious circle» of mutual citing and references to similar russophobic news items by «oppositional Russian media» (in particular «Meduza» news are widely spread by «TV Rain» channel («Dozhd»)) makes us thninking about another unflattering and mean aims pursued by quite a number of pseudo-journalists.


* Federal Service for Supervision in the Sphere of Telecom, Information Technologies and Mass Communications

** popular Russian meme originated from Ukrainian Maidan 2013–2014 when armed nazi fighters were referred to as «innocent students» and «Oh but they are children!» in liberal and pro-Western Russian and Ukrainian media

*** terrorist organization banned in Russian Federation

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