Disinfo: Ukrainian Boeing, which crashed in Tehran, was more than 30 years old


Ukrainian Boeing is an “old man” who’s already almost 30 years old, and has exhausted all it resources, and should have been scrapped already. But the money-thirsty Ukrainians decided to keep it in operation some more and make some more profit.


Conspiracy theory without any evidence.

In fact, the plane that was operated by UIA was young. According to planespotters.net, the plane was only three and a half years old. The first flight took place on 21 June 2016. It was received by UIA directly from the manufacturer.

Also, one of the UIA pilots wrote on Facebook about this aircraft that "pilots loved to fly it because of its good flying qualities and modern equipment. This aircraft came to us directly from the Boeing plant in 2016 and was a symbol that the company was able to recover from the severe crisis caused by the war," he wrote.

Iran’s military announced that it had accidentally shot down a Ukrainian passenger jet, blaming human error because of what it called the plane’s sharp, unexpected turn toward a sensitive military base. “The Islamic Republic of Iran deeply regrets this disastrous mistake,” President Hassan Rouhani said on Twitter soon after the military released its statement. He offered condolences to the victims’ families and said investigations were underway. The military said the person responsible would face legal consequences.


  • Reported in: Issue 179
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 08/01/2020
  • Outlet language(s) Russian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Iran, Ukraine
  • Keywords: Ukraine, Missile defence system
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Disinfo: EU will complicate entry permits for Ukrainians

The European Union tightens the rules for obtaining entry permits for Ukrainians. From 2021, citizens of Ukraine will need, in addition to providing a biometric passport, to pay an extra authorisation fee.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives claiming that the EU and the West, in general, have abandoned Ukraine, and more specifically about the visa-free travel and ETIAS system. The introduction of the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) is not connected with Ukraine exclusively. It will affect citizens from all countries that do not need entry visas to the EU. The European Commission is proposing to set up an automated system that would gather information on visa-exempt travellers prior to their arrival, in order to determine any irregular migration, security or public health risks associated with them. The proposal follows similar models already existing in the USA, Canada and Australia, among others. ETIAS formally entered into force in October 2018, but will not become operational before 2021. See previous disinformation case alleging that the European Council complicates visa-free regime for Ukraine.

Disinfo: Whistleblowers expose lack of evidence in OPCW's Douma report

The credibility of the OPCW’s final report on the 2018 chemical attack in Douma, Syria has been fundamentally compromised by whistleblowers.

An OPCW engineering assessment leaked in May 2019 shows that chlorine canisters were manually placed at the scene of the incident, rather than dropped from the air as the OPCW has claimed.

An internal e-mail by an unnamed employee shows that the final version of the Douma report deviates considerably from the interim report and cherry-picks facts to support a predetermined conclusion.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives attacking the independence and integrity of the OPCW; lending credence to the claim that the 2018 Douma attack was staged; and absolving the Syrian regime of responsibility for chemical attacks in general.

The story relies mostly on two already-debunked leaks and does nothing to undermine the conclusions reached by OPCW. The concerns raised in the first document have been addressed in the final report (see Annex 6, pp. 55-6) and do not support the claim that the incident was staged. See the full debunk here.

Disinfo: Soros helped Moldovan Maia Sandu come to power

George Soros has recently had a major victory in Moldova. His longtime protégé Maia Sandu has been elected as president.

Sandu’s connection with Soros during the elections was obvious. The entire Soros network, which is more than a hundred NGOs and more than a hundred media outlets, including 25 TV channels, 21 radio stations, about 80 portals, campaigned for Sandu day and night and tore Dodon, who was supported by only three TV channels, to shreds.


This is recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation against pro-European leaders, claiming they are dependent on Soros.

Moldovan presidential elections took place on 15 November. Maia Sandu, a pro-Western candidate, defeated ex-president Igor Dodon, the Moscow-backed candidate. Sandu has always favoured closer ties with Europe, for which she became the target of the pro-Kremlin media who tend to label her as an "agent" of George Soros and the West.