Malaysian Airlines Flight 17: Russians Feel Glut Over Steady Diet of Conspiracy Theories on Downed Jet

By @ibtimesau on
People celebrate and wave Russian flags as the preliminary results of today's referendum are announced in the Crimean city of Sevastopol on 16 March, 2014.
People celebrate and wave Russian flags as the preliminary results of today's referendum are announced in the Crimean city of Sevastopol on 16 March, 2014. REUTERS/BAZ RATNER

Global anger grows at Russia, believed to be behind the Moscow-initiated missile hit on Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 that took 298 lives, but many Russians are unaware of that. The reason is because they are being bombarded by a constant diet of conspiracy theories regarding the aviation tragedy, with Ukraine being pictured as the culprit by Russian media.

The explanations range from funny such as a Ukrainian attempt to kill Russian President Vladimir Putin as their way of seeking revenge on the Crimean annexation of Moscow to ridiculous, such as it was a failed mission to commit genocide on Russian citizens, and downright outrageous, such as the ill-fated MH 370 that disappeared on March 8 and hasn't been found to date and MH 17 are the same jet - both being Boeing 777s - and the latter was filled with corpses, which the U.S. military downed.


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One common denominator among those flimsy explanations is that Russia has no part in the tragedy.

Hours after the missile hit the ill-fated plane, a famous Russian TV newscaster reported that Mr Putin's plane flew from Brazil over the same airspace the MH 17 took in a bid to bolster the assassination plot. Another TV station, Rossiya, cited the similar colours of red, white and blue of Malaysian Airlines and Russia, to hint of a Ukrainian try to blow up the aircraft Mr Putin was riding.

A Russian tabloid blamed Ukrainian air controllers for allegedly redirecting MH 17 to the flight path over the conflict area in a bid to make it appear that the downing was a Ukrainian rebel attack.

Another theory linked the jet's downing to the ongoing AIDS conference in Melbourne, Australia, as an attempt to prevent the disclosure of a cure for AIDS since seven of the delegates were in MH 17. The theory earned a "Oh. Right" comment from The Guardian.

But the mother of all blaming was no less than Mr Putin who said over a state TV broadcast, "This tragedy would not have happened if there were peace on the land. If the military actions had not been renewed in southeast Ukraine. And certainly, the state over whose territory this occurred bears responsibility for this awful tragedy."

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