Russian Wikipedia edited to distort MH17 story



Russian Ministry of Defense has just tried to shift the blame for MH17 on  Ukraine in a press conference covered by Russia Today. One allegation was an Ukrainian Su-25 fighter-bomber being spotted near the Malaysian airliner around the time of attack. While the aircraft has been extensively used by Ukrainian forces againt the separatists, the 33 000 feet [10 000 meters] altitude MH17 was flying at seems too much for a close air support aicraft. However, the Russian military spokesman claimed the combat plane was capable to gain such an altitude, albeit temporarily.

What may cast doubt on these claims, however, is a peculiar edit of the Russian Wikipedia page on Su-25, spotted by a Russian opposition activist and IT expert Leonid Volkov:

 “Fuck, someone’s editing Su-25’s characteristics on Wikipedia right now. Unbelievable. That’s what XXIst century war look like”

Indeed, someone’s been tampering with the Su-25’s altitude capabilities table:

This anonymous edit ramps up Su-25’s effective ceiling and maximum combat height, making it seem more of a threat to an unsuspecting Boeing.

Thankfully, the Wikipedia police stayed vigilant, and this version did not last five minutes:

The edit has been cancelled, and the version marked as “patrolled”.

The edit continued for some time, shifting Su-25’s ceiling up and down, until finally at 14.01 the page was blocked from anonymous editing.

It should be noted that the edit war started some time before the Russian military press-conference, in what may seem like a preparation to accusing Ukraine of downing MH17.

Russian govenment agencies have a history of anonymous Wikipedia edits, which is recently under scrutiny by RuGovEdits (link provided for the English twitter account). Some of the edits have been summarized by Globalvoicesonline. However, RuGovEdits has not commented on the origin of the edits as of yet, so they can be as easily attributed to the multitude of  Russian conspiracy theorists that have been in a veritable frenzy since the downing of MH17.


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