The Malaysian airliner was shot down at approximately 17:30 (Moscow time). The wave of coverage commenced with the posting on the social media page of a Russian terrorist Girkin (also known under his pseudonym “Strelkov”) at 17:50. Russia’s mainstream media routinely uses postings on this page as the primary source for their news stories. In his commentary, Girkin boasted that the terrorists managed to shoot down another Ukrainian plane, specifically mentioning what he believed at the time to be a Ukrainian AN-26 airplane, shot down in the area of Torez.
Girkin postured, writing: “We warned you – don’t fly in our skies” and followed up his comment with two videos, depicting the aftermath of the crash. A similar message was posted by one of Girkin’s cohorts, Pavel Gubarev (also known as the Neo-Nazi Santa Claus). After their closer inspection revealed that the terrorists had, in fact, shot down a civilian airliner, Girkin attempted to debunk his own earlier assertion with a bogus message allegedly broadcast by Ukraine’s President, Petro Poroshenko. In a garbled pidgin-Ukrainian (obviously written by someone who doesn’t speak the language), with numerous misspellings, President Poroshenko allegedly admitted that Ukrainian military shot down “the terrorist plane.” This desperate attempt at subterfuge would fail to impress even the most gullible readers.