5 stories the Russian media is telling about the MH17 disaster that you won't hear at home

Compiled by Bethan Owen

For the Deseret News

Published: Wednesday, July 23 2014 9:20 a.m. MDT

Russian President Vladimir Putin listens during a meeting in Samara, Russia, Monday, July 21, 2014. Putin has lambasted those who use the downing of a passenger jet in eastern Ukraine for "mercenary objectives," the Kremlin said Monday. In a statement posted on the Kremlin website, Putin again lashed out at Ukraine for ongoing violence with pro-Russian rebels in the eastern part of the country.

Alexei Nikolsky, Associated Press

Enlarge photo»

The global spotlight has fallen on Russia once again as the country fields blame for the Malaysian passenger plane that was shot down over Ukraine and the 298 people killed as a result, according to Associated Press.

Russia’s response to the disaster has left world leaders wanting, but in addition to the secrecy cast around the crash site, the Russian press has been reporting vastly different stories than its Western counterparts. Below are five Russian news stories that have raised eyebrows, and how closely they correspond to Western news sources.

1. The plane was full of corpses when it left Amsterdam

The Russian news site Vesti ran a story arguing that nobody was killed in the crash because everyone on the plane had been dead the whole time, blaming the Ukrainian government for the elaborate hoax. The site quotes militia commander Igor Shooters as saying that when found, the bodies had all been dead for several days, and that the plane had a suspicious amount of medical cargo on board. The site also commented on the “amazing” state of the passports found on board, which the author described as looking brand new.

The large amount of medical cargo was not the result of a staged accident but was due to the approximately 100 HIV/AIDS doctors and specialists who were on board and headed to a conference in Malaysia, according to RawStory.

“Where Girkin believes the Ukrainian government obtained nearly 300 corpses is unclear,” wrote RawStory author David Ferguson. “Let alone how officials managed to dress the bodies and provide them with passports and travel information.”

2. The actual target of the attack was President Putin

An anonymous source told Russia Today that the attack on the civilian aircraft might have been meant for Putin’s private jet.

“The contours of the aircrafts are similar, linear dimensions are also very similar, as for the coloring, at a quite remote distance they are almost identical," the source said.

Putin’s plane often takes a route similar to the path of the Malaysian flight, the site said, and would have been a prime target for Ukrainian rebels.

There may be some credence to this theory, according to International Business Times. Writer Vasudevan Sridharan stated that “Putin's plane was in a similar flight path coinciding with the crash as he was returning from the Brics summit in Brazil.”

However it ultimately seems unlikely, Sridharan concluded. Since the turmoil in Ukraine began, Putin has avoided flying over the country. Russia Today agreed, writing that “the president does not fly over the conflict-gripped neighboring country (of Ukraine).”

3. The downed flight is actually MH370, the Malaysian flight that disappeared over the Indian Ocean

MH370 was hijacked by Americans, who flew it to the military base “Diego Garcia,” according to Russian news blog News2. Months later, the Americans loaded the plane with corpses, forged the necessary documents, and staged the crash, using the plane that was supposed to have disappeared into the ocean. “In the necessary spot, (the plane) was blown up, without even using a surface-to-air missile. Instead the plane was packed with a bomb, just like the CIA did on 9/11,” the New Republic quoted the Russian site as saying.

No other major players seem to be giving this theory any credence, based on a report from the Financial Times stating that Malaysia and Australia, two of the countries most affected by both disasters, are actively pursuing both events.

"Search efforts for MH370 continue unaffected by recent developments," read an email from the Australian Joint Agency Coordination Center. "Finding Malaysian Flight MH370 is a high priority for the Australian government, as well as Malaysia, China and other countries involved in the search efforts."

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