Disinfo: Security Service of Ukraine imposed the theory that MH17 was shot down by a Russian BUK


The Security Service of Ukraine imposed a theory on the international investigation team that the MH17 plane was allegedly shot down by the Russian BUK air defence system, driven from one of the military units of the Russian Armed Forces.


One of the numerous unfounded conspiracy theories attempting to discredit the work of the Joint International Investigation on the downing of the flight MH17.

The Joint Investigation Team (JIT), is comprised of Dutch Public Prosecution Service officials and the Dutch police, along with police and criminal justice authorities from Australia, Belgium, Malaysia and Ukraine. It is not possible for Ukraine to impose 'a theory' on a professional multinational criminal investigation team.

The JIT 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. 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 MH17, was taken back to the Russian Federation. The Dutch-led Joint Investigation Team (JIT) has concluded that the BUK-TELAR used to down MH17 originated from the 53rd Anti Aircraft Missile brigade, a unit of the Russian army from Kursk in the Russian Federation.

On the basis of the investigation conducted by the JIT, the Dutch Public Prosecution Service is prosecuting Igor Vsevolodovich Girkin, Sergey Nikolayevich Dubinskiy, Oleg Yuldashevich Pulatov, and Leonid Volodymyrovych Kharchenko for causing the crash of MH17 and murdering the 298 persons on board. The trial began on 9 March 2020 in the Netherlands.

You can see other examples of pro-Kremlin disinformation on the MH17 case in our database, such as claims that crash of MH17 was triggered by an explosion on board; that the plane was not downed by a BUK missile, but rather by a Ukrainian fighter; that the trial in The Hague is not justice but information warfare; or that it is a US provocation against Russia.


  • Reported in: Issue 219
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 02/11/2020
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Malaysia, Ukraine, The Netherlands
  • Keywords: Eastern Ukraine, War in Ukraine, Donbas, SBU, 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.

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The people of Crimea voted in a democratic and legal way for reunification with Russia

Crimea returned to Russia after a referendum in March 2014, in which the vast majority of the electorate in the Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol voted to join Russia.

Crimean authorities held a referendum in the wake of a coup in Ukraine in February 2014. Ukraine still considers Crimea to be its own.

The Russian leadership has repeatedly stated that the people of Crimea voted in a democratic way for reunification with Russia within the framework of international laws and the United Nations Charter.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the illegal annexation of Crimea. No international body recognises the so-called referendum, announced 27th of February and held less than three weeks later.

On March 27th, 2014, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution in which it stated that the referendum in Crimea was not valid and could not serve as a basis for any change in the status of the peninsula.

Crimea was and is Russian

Crimea returned as a Russian federal region, after a referendum that took place on March 16, 2014, in Crimea and Sevastopol, and both regions became within the Russian Federation, as of March 18, 2014, and this day was considered an official holiday in Crimea, and the city Sevastopol.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the illegal annexation of Crimea.

The EU does not recognise the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol by the Russian Federation and continues to condemn this violation of international law by sanctions. Crimea is a part of Ukraine and was illegally annexed by Russia. The annexation has been condemned by the UNGA (A/RES/68/262).

Radically divided American society awaits total civil war

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Presently, over 180 armed right-wing militias support Trump, which in all seriousness are preparing to shoot at the activists of Black Lives Matter, Antifa and Black Panthers. In case of Trump’s victory there are promises to set cities on fire and kill the supporters of the acting president of the US. It is unclear who will win, but it is clear that new civil war in the US is promising to be total.

Everything comes back as a boomerang: now in the United States of America citizens of this country are shouting “death to America”. It is the crisis of society, what is happening there when citizens, regardless on when they arrived or how there were educated wish death on their own country.


Pro-Kremlin disinformation about the US in the context of US presidential elections.

While there are concerns about the potential civil unrest following the presidential election on November 3, 2020, there is no basis to claim that civil war is imminent in the US.