Disinfo: Ukraine used the cover of civilian airplanes to attack


The Ukrainian Army actively used civilian aircraft as cover to hit the positions of separatist forces even before the MH-17 crash. While the Ukrainian Air Force was attacking separatist positions in Slavyansk and Semyonovka, civilian aircrafts flying at a low altitude were present at the same time. Kyiv deliberately changed the flight paths of these planes to be able to use them as “human shields”. The goal of this was to provoke a tragic situation allowing Ukraine to label the separatists as terrorists. Ukraine was thus at least an active part of but more likely the organizer of the MH-17 tragedy.


Recurring disinformation blaming Ukraine for the crash of flight MH17.

No evidence has come to light that would suggest Kyiv trying to use civilian aircraft as human shields at any time. The article presents no evidence either, it is based entirely on the statements of Igor Strelkov, a former Russian officer who played an active role in the annexation of Crimea and the war in Eastern Ukraine until he was pulled out of the country.

The Joint International Team was tasked with investigating the causes of the crash. The team comprises officials from the Dutch Public Prosecution Service and the Dutch police, along with police and criminal justice authorities from Australia, Belgium, Malaysia and Ukraine.

Based on the investigation the JIT 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. 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 public hearings started on 9 March 2020 in the Netherlands.



  • Reported in: Issue 193
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 15/04/2020
  • Language/target audience: Hungarian
  • Country: Russia, Ukraine
  • Keywords: War in Ukraine, 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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