The bodies had hardly stopped falling from the sky on July 17, 2014, when the trolls of Russia’s Internet Research Agency went into action. Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 had just been shot down over eastern Ukraine, and the same IRA operation Vladimir Putin would use to influence the U.S. presidential election two years later went into overdrive, pumping out conspiracy theories to exculpate Moscow’s murderous clients
The Boeing 777 passenger jet was en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur with 298 people on board, including 80 children, when it was blown out of the air above territory held by Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine. Two-thirds of the passengers were from the Netherlands. It was a tragedy that affected many Dutch people in the way Americans had experienced 9/11.
Now exhaustive research by two Dutch journalists, Robert van der Noordaa and Coen van de Ven,in the Dutch weekly , shows precisely the way the Russian trolls worked to shift blame for the massacre and create a dense fog of conspiracy theories to obscure the facts.