Russian Government Caught Editing Wiki On Flight Shot Down By Missile

Lauren Burgoon
Just days after the Malaysia Airlines crash, Russian authorities are trying to rewrite history.

History will be written by the victors -- not the government accused of supplying separatists with the weapons that brought down Malaysia Airlines flight 17 over Ukraine.

Tech watchers have caught Russian government workers editing a Wikipedia page on aviation disasters to to blame Ukraine for the downed plane, The Telegraph reports. There is near unanimous agreement that it was a Russian missile, perhaps fired by pro-Russia separatists in Ukraine, that blew up the plane. 

A line on the wiki first read "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."

A Wikipedia user at the All-Russia State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company changed the line to "The plane was shot down by Ukrainian soldiers."

The Wikipedia page Malaysia Airlines flight 17 itself doesn't include either line, but does point the finger at Russia, using quotes from officials to blame Russia for supplying the weaponry and technology to shoot down the flight. 

The Wikipedia changes are tracked by @RuGovEdits, a bot that detects changes made from computers with governmental IP addresses. The bots can't pinpoint who makes the changes, only that they are working on governmental computers. There is a similar bot in the U.S. to detect changes made from congressional computers, as well as UK parliamentary computers.