“Sensation! Poroshenko dies in Syria” – Russian media trolls Reuters

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October 30 , 2017 – Fort Russ News – 

by Inessa Sinchougova 

The Reuters agency has recently run an article, claiming that the 131st Russian citizen has died in Syria since the beginning of 2017 – some of which were from private military companies (PMCs). While Russian private military companies do operate in Syria, and probably suffer some losses – this figure is considered unusually high. The below death certificate, allegedly signed by the Russian Consulate in Syria, was provided as Reuters evidence. 

In the usual Reuters style, an “anonymous” Russian diplomat was cited as a source. Liberal, Ukrainian and other anti-Russian media enthusiastically picked up this story and published dozens of articles about Russia’s “huge losses” in Syria. 

At first instance, what stands out is the cause of death – “carbonization of the body.” Carbonization occurs later as part of severe burns; medical professionals should in practice stipulate the cause of death itself and not post-mortum processes. 

Not any less strangely – it has been found that the name that appears next to the signature, Z. A. Guseynov, is an incorrect name for the Consul in Syria. The person who is employed in this position is T. S. Autaev, as was easily confirmed with the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Dear Reuters, if one is to go to the extent of faking documents, attention to detail is key.

Furthermore, an authentic death certificate by the legitimate Consul has been sourced by Russian media – due to the confidential nature of the information, only a portion of it is seen below. 

Clearly the format differs – what’s more – the Reuters version simply copied a standard Russian death certificate format, as required by  civil law – “Form 33” – and not a Consulate version. 

In a lighthearted example of the ease with which Western MSM produces ‘evidence’ to do with Russia – Russian media has replicated the Reuters version of the document. It states that a certain deceased, “Petro A. Poroshenko” is the “100,000th” mercenary that has allegedly been killed in Syria. Cause of death – “exploded assh*ole after receiving news of destruction of ISIS brothers.” The certificate is signed by a certain “V. F. Yanukovich.” 

Despite what is an obviously fake story from the Russian perspective, American PMCs also operate in Syria; the presence of at least four large firms have been confirmed – Academi, former Blackwater, MPRI, FDG and Northbridge Services Group. Just as with the war in Iraq or Libya, the public will never know of the losses incurred. 

Inessa Sinchougova is an Editor and Journalist at Fort Russ News, as well
as a research fellow and translator of the Belgrade based think-tank, the
Center for Syncretic Studies. She was educated at Victoria University of
Wellington (New Zealand), in the field of Political Science and was previously
employed in Marketing and Communications Strategy for a Multi-National Corporation.
She runs a popular YouTube channel for translations of key Russian Foreign
Policy figures and appears regularly on other alternative media channels.  

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