Disinfo: MH17: Suspects' names randomly taken from social media


It’s the same as always: The Bad Russians are guilty of everything. These names are taken from social media, and so are the so called evidence


One of the multiple disinformation narratives on the downing of the MH17 denying Russia's responsibility. The Dutch-led criminal investigation by the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) has been ongoing since 2014. On 28 September 2016, the JIT announced that flight MH17 was shot down by a missile from the 9M38 series, which was launched by a BUK TELAR missile system. The system was transported from the Russian Federation to an agricultural field near the town of Pervomaiskyi in Eastern Ukraine, from where the missile was launched. After firing, the system - with 1 missing missile - went back to the Russian Federation. On the 24th of May 2018, the JIT announced its conclusion the BUK TELAR used to shoot down MH17 came from the 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade, a unit of the Russian armed forces from Kursk in the Russian Federation.

On the basis of the investigation conducted by the JIT, consisting of law enforcement agencies from Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, Ukraine and the Netherlands, the Dutch Public Persecution service will persecute Igor Vsevolodovich GIRKIN, Sergey Nikolayevich DUBINSKIY, Oleg Yuldashevich PULATOV and Leonid Volodymyrovych KHARCHENKO for causing the crash of the MH17 and murdering of 289 persons on board. The Public Prosecution Service alleges the four cooperated to obtain and deploy the BUK TELAR at the firing location with the aim of shooting down an aircraft. For that reason they can also be held jointly accountable for downing flight MH17.

The conclusion is corroborated by bellingcat


  • Reported in: Issue 154
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 18/06/2019
  • Outlet language(s) Russian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Malaysia, The Netherlands, Ukraine, Russia
  • Keywords: War in Ukraine, MH17
see more

Disinfo: The idea of Ukraine is based on a mythologised lie

Kievan Rus has been turned into Ukraine, and then into “Anti-Russia”. Why Russians on one hand – and then those other Russians, who called themselves Ukrainians – became enemies? To understand this you have to go through the history of almost 900 years of Little Russian separatism, which started from an innocent seed and reached poisonous fruits. [The idea of] Ukraine as a sovereign country is based on a mythologised lie. In the end, this led into a civil war and Maidan.


No evidence given. Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Ukrainian statehood. Ukraine is recognised in international law as a sovereign nation state, with its own flag, nationality, language etc. UNGA Resolution 68/262 also affirmed the General Assembly's commitment to the territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders: http://bit.ly/1RZGnjo. For further background, read Britannica's article about the history of Kievan Rus and history of the word "Ukraine". The concept of "civil war" in Ukraine is a classic narrative of Russian disinformation about the war in Ukraine. The Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court has stated that “the information available suggests that the situation within the territory of Crimea and Sevastopol amounts to an international armed conflict between Ukraine and the Russian Federation. This international armed conflict began at the latest on 26 February when the Russian Federation deployed members of its armed forces to gain control over parts of the Ukrainian territory without the consent of the Ukrainian Government https://www.icc-cpi.int/iccdocs/otp/161114-otp-rep-PE_ENG.pdf

Disinfo: Russia respects the Minsk Agreements, Ukraine does not

Russia did what it could to push the so-called separatists of Donbas to respect the Minsk agreements and indeed, they respected them. It was the Ukrainians who were reluctant [to respect the Minsk agreements] because they were asked to change the constitution. The Minsk agreements mention the change of constitution. Russia will certainly take further steps if Ukraine commits to respect the Minsk agreements that were signed in 2015.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the Minsk agreements, portraying Ukraine as a primary violator of the cease-fire. In March 2015, the European Council linked the duration of EU sanctions to Russia to the complete implementation of the Minsk agreements, acknowledging Russia's responsibility to uphold the Agreements. The EU has condemned systematic restrictions to the freedom of movement of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission, by Russia-backed armed formations in Southern Donetsk and non-government-controlled areas along the Russian border. According to the latest reports by the OSCE Monitoring Mission to Ukraine, there are violations of the Minsk agreement on both sides of the conflict. See the latest report for June 2019 here. The analysis of the Atlantic Council shows, that the majority of violations can be attributed to Russia-backed armed formations.

Disinfo: Separatists in Donbas should be called autonomists

The so-called separatists of Donbas, in fact, are simply autonomists.


A recurring pro-Kremlin narrative aiming to give legitimacy to the Donbas area. A similar case claiming there is democracy in Donbas here. In May 2014, the so-called Donetsk People's Republic proclaimed itself a sovereign state and has asked Moscow to consider its accession into Russia, the Republic’s council said. In November 2018, "elections" of the heads of "Donetsk's people's republic" and "Luhansk people's republic" took place. They were not recognized by the international community. The elections were illegal under Ukrainian law, illegitimate and in violation of the Minsk Agreements. The EU stated that "the announcement that so-called "elections" will be held in the so-called "Luhansk People's Republic" and "Donetsk People's Republic" on 11 November 2018 runs contrary to the spirit and letter of the Minsk agreements, which have specific provisions regarding the organisation of local elections in that region." The European Union fully supports the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders. See statements by the UK, France and Germany. See more disinformation cases on the conflict in Donbas here.