Disinfo: Not a single air defence system of the Russian armed forces has ever crossed the Ukrainian border


Not a single air defence system of the Russian armed forces has ever crossed the Ukrainian-[Russian] border.


One of the multiple pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about the downing of the MH17 flight.

The JIT has been able to identify a large part of the route concerning the arrival and the departure of the BUK-TELAR.  This was the result of intercepted telephone conversations, witness statements, photographs and videos that had been posted on social media, and a video never shown before which was obtained from a witness.  The system was transported from Russian territory into eastern Ukraine and was later transported on a white Volvo truck with a low-boy trailer.  The truck was escorted by several other vehicles and by armed men in uniform.

The Joint Investigation Team has concluded that flight MH17 was shot down on 17 July 2014 by a missile of the 9M38 series, launched by a BUK-TELAR, from farmland in the vicinity of Pervomaiskiy (or: Pervomaiskyi). At that time, the area was controlled by pro-Russian fighters. The BUK-TELAR was brought in from the territory of the Russian Federation and subsequently, after having shot down flight MH-17, was taken back to the Russian Federation.  

24 May 2018, JIT stated that the BUK-TELAR that was used to down MH17 originates from the 53rd Anti Aircraft Missile brigade, a unit of the Russian army from Kursk in the Russian Federation. The JIT reached this conclusion after extensive comparative research.  Several images of the BUK-TELAR with which MH17 was downed are available.  Analysis of those produces a number of characteristics.  The combination of those is so special that they can be considered as a fingerprint.  This fingerprint has been compared with numerous images of BUK-TELARS, both Ukrainian and Russian ones. The only BUK-TELAR on which this combination of characteristics also was found, is a BUK-TELAR that was recorded several times when it joined a convoy of the 53rd brigade on 23 – 25 June 2014. 

Furthermore, a joint international open source investigation led by Bellingcat has identified conclusively that the person of interest known as ‘Andrey Ivanovich’ or ‘Orion’ whose identity is sought by the Joint Investigating Team in connection with the criminal investigation into the downing of MH17, is in fact Russian citizen Oleg Vladimirovich Ivannikov.  Ivannikov was an officer of the Main Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Ministry of Defence (GRU), and served in that function until at least as late as September 2017.  During his undercover deployment to LNR, he coordinated and supervised the military activities of Russian militants, pro-Russian separatists and “private army” contingents from the Wagner group.  Ivannikov also supervised the procurement and transport of weapons across the Russia Ukraine border.  He held these functions at the time of the downing of MH17. 

The European Union and NATO have called on the Russian Federation to accept its responsibility and to fully cooperate with all efforts to establish accountability.

On the basis of the JIT’s conclusions, the Netherlands and Australia are convinced that Russia is responsible for the deployment of the Buk installation that was used to down MH17.  These two governments are formally holding Russia accountable. 


  • Reported in: Issue 150
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 10/05/2019
  • Language/target audience: German
  • Country: Russia, Ukraine, The Netherlands
  • Keywords: MH17


Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

see more

The West refuses to call the coup attempt in Venezuela ‘a coup’

In their efforts to support and legitimise the coup attempt in Venezuela led by self-proclaimed president Juan Guaidó, the West refuses to call it ‘a coup’.


Affirming that “the West refuses to call it a coup” is a deliberate misrepresentation of reality, in line with Russia's long-term disinformation narrative about "Western-block interference" in Venezuela. You can see other examples of this narrative here and here.

Actually, there is no cohesive Western response in this regard, since every country adopted its own approach in conformity with its internal and foreign policy towards Venezuela. The US, Canada and 19 EU countries recognised Juan Guaidó as interim president of Venezuela, while some others, such as Italy, refrained. The US tried to have Nicolás Maduro's Ambassador to the UN removed, but couldn't get support from other Western countries.

Poverty in UK comparable to Sub-Saharan Africa, UN says

The UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights has compared the level of poverty in the United Kingdom to that found in Sub-Saharan Africa.


False, recurring pro-Kremlin narrative on the decaying Western countries.

In his report published in November 2018, Special Rapporteur Philip Alston does identify poverty as a distinct concern for the United Kingdom. The 24-page document, however, contains no reference - let alone a comparison - to sub-Saharan Africa, where more than a quarter of the population faces starvation at any given moment.

UK trying to relaunch Skripal propaganda campaign

The UK Government seeks to change House of Lords rules in an ostensible bid to stem the flow of “red money” from Russia and China.

In reality, given its timing, the measure aims to revive the mainstream media buzz surrounding Russia and help relaunch the UK’s propaganda campaign regarding the alleged poisoning of Yuliya and Sergey Skripal.


The story advances the recurring pro-Kremlin narratives on the Skripal poisoning and Western Russophobia.

The proposed amendments to House of Lords rules, which would require peers to disclose their financial links to Russian entities, is not timed to any specific event. It is part of a two-pronged initiative designed to limit undue financial and political influence of foreign governments.