PAXsims

Conflict simulation, peacebuilding, and development

Daily Archives: 15/11/2017

Syria, lies, and video games: Russian MoD edition

Well, the Russian government is at it again—that is, using modified images from video games as part of their propaganda efforts. In this case, they released images of supposed US-ISIS collaboration:

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Except, one of these was actually a modified screenshot from the mobile phone game AC-130 Gunship Simulator:

The other pictures were fakes too, drawn from videos of other incidents. The excellent open source intelligence website Bellingcat has the full story.

This isn’t the first time Russia has done this—as we previously reported at PAXsims, back in May 2016 the Russian Embassy in London used screenshots from the game Command & Conquer: Generals to illustrate false allegations of chemical weapons shipments to the Syrian opposition. (The “image used for illustration purposes” disclaimer on the tweet wasn’t added until AFTER the internet had caught them out.)

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The actual story of ISIS forces withdrawing from Raqqa has been covered very well indeed by the BBC. As for Russian chemical weapons allegations? Well, the recently leaked report of the OPCW-UN’s Joint Investigative Mechanism found that Syria was almost certainly responsible for the April 2017 use of sarin nerve gas at Khan Shaykhun. A similar conclusion has also been reached by the UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria.

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