Russia Edited Wikipedia Entry On Downed Malaysia Plane

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht

The Russian government was caught editing the Wikipedia entry on downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 hours after it crashed in Ukraine.

According to the Twitter bot @RuGovEdits, which monitors all Wikipedia edits from the Russian government, the edits came from several Russian government IP addresses associated with the All-Russia State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company (VGTRK).

The edits targeted a section that said the plane was shot down "by terrorists of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic with Buk system missiles, which the terrorists received from the Russian Federation.”

Russia state TV allegedly changed it Thursday to read: “The plane was shot down by Ukrainian soldiers.”

Each edit on Wikipedia is recorded and the IP addresses they come from are publicly viewable.

President Barack Obama says the destruction of MH17 is a “wake-up call” for Europe that demonstrated the risk of supplying heavy weapons and to Ukrainian rebels.

“It is not possible for these separatists to function the way they are and have the equipment they have [without Russian support],” Obama said Friday. “Set aside what has happened with respect to the Malaysian airlines [plane] a group of separatists cannot shoot down military transport planes … without sophisticated equipment and sophisticated training and that is coming from Russia.”

The plane was shot down 24 hours after the U.S. announced a third wave of sanctions against Russia for supplying weapons and training to separatists.

Sources: Ars Technica, Global Voices, The Guardian

Wikipedia screenshot: Ars Technica