Just in case someone was to doubt the magic plane that could fly higher “if it wants to,” Russian Wikipedia was edited to achieve the desired effect. The user who attempted to edit the page (IP 22.214.171.124 ) was located in Moscow, Russia.
While Russia’s anti-Ukrainian propaganda already reached unprecedented lows, its media fiasco with respect to the downing of a Malaysian airliner crossed over any remaining boundaries. Suspension of disbelief simply cannot stretch that far. From now on, any reporting by Russian mainstream media or statements by its public officials about Ukraine can be safely filed in the category of “’Hello,’ he lied.”
Russia’s other theories about the downing of MH17
Russia’s mainstream media disseminated an outrageous tale, claiming that the downing of Malaysia’s Boeing (flight MH17) over Eastern Ukraine was “a special operation of the CIA.” This ridiculous claim was brought forth by Sergei Sokolov – the former bodyguard of Boris Berezovsky, the Russian oligarch who was found dead at his palatial Berkshire home in 2013. According to Sokolov, the CIA plan was to blow up the airliner from within, while simultaneously striking it with a missile from a Ukrainian “Buk”.
In an attempt to corroborate his outlandish claims, Sokolov produced audio recordings, purporting to contain the conversation between David Hamilton, an American consultant who worked in Ukraine last year for the National Democratic Institute, and David Loyd Stern, a broadcast journalist from Kansas who lives in Ukraine and has reported for the BBC from Kyiv. Sokolov baselessly accused both men of being “CIA spies.”
The man identified as Mr. Stern speaks with British accent, while the real Mr. Stern speaks American-accented English. Both men in the recordings don’t talk like native English speakers and use awkward dialogue and uncommon expressions. Bellingcat, the New York Times and Foreign Policy have reached the only plausible conclusion, declaring that the recordings were obviously fake.
In the days following the downing of MH17, the Russian media went into overdrive, manufacturing numerous outlandish theories. One of such tales involved an unnamed character, who gave an interview to notorious Russian propaganda outlet, Komsomolskaya Pravda, claiming that MH17 was shot down by Ukrainian pilot, 30-year old “Captain Voloshin.” His story is not even remotely believable, since this alleged “witness” falsely claimed that Ukrainian planes, SU-25, were continually bombing Lugansk and Donetsk “on a regular basis.” In fact, the Ukrainian military never used their aircraft to bomb any of the terrorist-controlled territories. Ukrainian planes and helicopters were used only for transporting cargo and personnel. For added benefit, this “witness” alleged that the Ukrainian military regularly uses thermobaric weapons and cluster bombs. The fake “whistleblower” alleged that two Ukrainian planes were shot down by Russian fighter jets and Captain Voloshin fired back, accidentally hitting the Malaysian Boeing instead.
Vladislav Voloshin and his commanders vigorously denied every aspect of this crudely manufactured stunt of Russian propaganda. The Ukrainian military did not engage in any aerial combat throughout this conflict, quite simply because Russian terrorists in Ukraine have no airforce of any kind. This makes any allegations of the Ukrainian military targeting nonexistent planes of enemy combatants especially absurd. Russian warplanes are not known to ever engage in aerial combat with the Ukrainian airforce. Multiple Ukrainian airliners were shot down by terrorists from land, utilizing surface-to-air missile systems.
Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov claimed that the international MH17 investigative team ignored the Buk manufacturers, Russian company Almaz-Antey, not taking their information into account. In an interview, Lavrov said: “Why do you think they never, ever approached the company, the Russian company which produces those systems? [Almaz-Antey] The company itself conducted its own study and they presented the results in June this year, but the fact that the investigators didn’t ever approach the company which produced the system from which the investigators say the plane was hit is causing a lot of questions.”
This claim is completely false. The final report of MH17 investigation is replete with references to Almaz-Antey and the information they’ve provided, thoroughly analyzing and considering manufacturers’ data. Contrary to claims in the Russian media, the information offered by Almaz-Antey was neither “ignored” nor disregarded.