Press release №1887


  • Only 1% of respondents believe that the Russian military is to be blamed for the Malaysian Boeing crash
  • 21% of respondents think that the results of the international investigation report will have no impact on Russia

Russians do not believe that Russia is involved in the airplane disaster over Donetsk region.

MOSCOW, October 6, 2016.  Russian Public Opinion Research Centre (VCIOM) presents the data of the survey describing who is guilty, according to Russians, of the downing of the Malaysian Boeing over Donbass. 

Half of Russians (50%) think that the Malaysian Boeing was downed by the Ukrainian military attack over the Donetsk region. Fourteen percent blame Western special services. Eight percent regard the crash as a terrorist attack. Today the airplane disaster has drawn wide response among Russians: almost half of Russia’s residents heard about it.

Versions about the involvement of insurgents of the DPR and LPR as well as Russian special services are extremely unpopular: the shares of those who believe it is true are 4% and 1, respectively.

Sixty-four percent of Russians are aware of the announcement of the international investigation team that the airplane was shot down with missile launch vehicle brought in from Russia. And every fifth (21%) sees no substantial consequences to Russia following the results of the international team investigation; two-fifth (40%) fail to specify what impact these results may have on Russia.

Even if the investigation may have any impact, than it would be rather negative: respondents mention international tensions and strengthening of sanctions.

According to the results of the Medialogia Company analysis, a total number of 33 thousand publications were found in the Russian media on the topic of the Malaysian Boeing crash. Most of them were in July 2014 (10.6 thousand mentions), July 2015 (2.9 thousand mentions), October 2015 (1.8 thousand) and September 2016 (1.4 thousand mentions). In July 2014, the media reported about the Malaysian Boeing 777 crash over the city of Shakhtersk in the Donetsk region, the reaction of the world community, the start of the investigation, Russia’ s veto at the Security Council to block a draft resolution to set up a tribunal into the MH17 air crash. In October 2015, the Almas-Antey presented the results of the experiment to recreate the conditions of the catastrophe. In September 2016, the media reported that the international investigation team’s report devoted to the cause of the airplane crash was presented.

The monitoring and analysis of the publications were conducted by the Medialogia Company using the Medialogia media database of 32500 sources such as television, radio, newspapers, magazines, information agencies and online media. The period of study was January 2014 through October 2016.

The VCIOM telephone survey was carried out on October 1-2, 2016, using stratified dual-frame random sample based on a complete list of mobile and landline telephone numbers operating in Russia, and involved 1600 respondents. The data were weighted according to selection probability and social and demographic characteristics. The margin of error at a 95% confidence level does not exceed 2.5%. In addition to sampling error, minor changes in question wording and different circumstances arising during the field work can introduce bias into the survey.

In July 2014, a Malaysian Boeing crashed in Donetsk region. Most of experts agree that the airplane might have been hit by a missile. In your opinion, who is to blame for this crash?  (closed-ended question, one answer, %)  
  Total respondents Aged 18-24 25-34 35-44 45-59 60 and over
Ukrainian army, Ukrainian special forces 50 28 39 47 54 64
Insurgents, self-defense groups of Eastern Ukraine People's republics 4 10 8 3 2 1
Russian army, Russian special forces 1 0 3 0 2 0
Terrorists who are not involved in the Eastern Ukraine conflict 8 19 8 7 7 6
Western special forces 14 18 13 16 16 12
This is the first time I hear about the crash 0 0 1 0 0 0
Other 7 7 7 8 8 5
Don't know 16 18 21 19 11 12
This week, the international investigation team declared that the airplane was shot down over the territory controlled by Donbass insurgents, with a missile launch vehicle brought in from Russia. Do you know/heard, or do you hear for the first time about this announcement? (closed-ended question, one answer for each line, %)  
  Total respondents Men Women
I am well aware of that 26 35 19
I heard something but I do not know any details 38 38 39
This is the first time I hear about that 34 25 42
Don't know 2 2
In your opinion, what consequences for Russia may the international team investigation into the downing of the Malaysian Boeing have? (open-ended question, not more than four answers, answers of at least 1% of respondents)  
  Total respondents
Nothing will change 21
Strengthening of sanctions 14
Russia will be blamed; Russia will have to make excuses 7
Aggravation of relations with other countries 6
Military conflict is possible 6
Russia' s fault will be proved 5
Everything depends on the results of the investigation 3
Negative consequences 2
Problem will be tackled 1
Additional isolation 1
Economic crisis/ Financial blockade 1
Other 3
Don' t know 40

Note: Using materials from the site or, as well as distributed by VCIOM, the reference to the source (or hyperlink for the electronic media) is obligatory! Full or partial reproduction of the Medialogia Company materials in other media must contain a reference to the Medialogia Company.

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