In an immediate aftermath of the terrorist attack on Malaysia Airlines passenger Boeing-777 in the Donetsk region, Russian propaganda reported that Ukrainian transport aircraft An-26 by was downed by terrorists in Donbass. This information was also widely published on numerous information resources of terrorists, in particular by Igor Strelkov (Girkin), a leader of terrorists in Eastern Ukraine.
After it became clear that it was not a Ukrainian An-26, but a Malaysian passenger airplane Boeing-777, Girkin deleted his post about terrorists’ “success” from his account. Instead, a fabricated screenshot was published on the social network as if the Ukrainian authorities were acknowledging their involvement in shooting down the plane. The post was written in poor Ukrainian, with many mistakes and Russisms.
Meanwhile, Russian media continued to come up with new versions of the accident, disregarding obvious facts and reasonable inconsistencies. Four main misleading versions were thrown into the public realm by different Russian media.
1. Media reported about people who had presumably noticed a combat Ukrainian jet before the crash. Russian media shared actively the Tweet of a fake Spanish air traffic control officer who argued he saw Ukrainian military jets near Boeing-777 just before its crash. The post was later deleted along with author’s account.
2. Having failed on this version, the Russian propaganda then stated that the crash was mistakenly caused by a Ukrainian missile or Ukrainian defense missile system. Russian sources made a conclusion that airplane of the Russian President Vladimir Putin, IL 96-300, was the target of the missile. They tried to defend their argument by claiming that the shape and paint coating of both planes are similar. The fact that it was impossible to distinguish colors at an altitude of 10 kilometers was deliberately left beyond consideration.
3. Simultaneously, media started to claim that Donbass terrorists did not possess weapons which would allow them to hit targets at an altitude of 10 kilometers. Though, few days ago the very same Russian media vigorously disseminated information about fighters in Eastern Ukraine, having seized the “Buk” missile system at their disposal. The origin of this weapon can be Russian only as according to Ukrainian Ministry of Defence, no missile systems have been stolen from the Ukrainian army by the terrorists.
4. Another version of the Russian TV stated that according to the Eurocontrol organization, the Boeing-777 crash was a casualty. However, there is clear evidence of involvement of Russia-backed terrorists and Russian mercenaries into the downing of the passenger airplane. In particular, intercepted phone conversation between terrorist leaders was made available to the public by the Security Service of Ukraine soon after the crash. At the record, terrorists express their disappointment as the Boeing-777 was taken for a Ukrainian military jet.
The President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko ordered to carry out investigation of this tragedy. He emphasized once again that the Ukrainian military have nothing to do with the catastrophe and characterized the crash as a terrorist act.
Link to the intercepted terrorist talks: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jb3Y_eWkAmc&list=UURxyjhmvBewJIRb2yku5EuQ