The Truth Behind the Russian Embassy to the Netherlands’ “Russia’s Strength is in Truth” Branding Proposal

By Eliot Higgins

On February 9 2018 the Russian Embassy to the Netherlands tweeted their suggestion for a brand “describing Russia’s position in world affairs”:

It’s unclear if this was an attempt as humour, as in world affairs it would be fair to say Russia’s greatest weakness is in truth, as the work of Bellingcat and others has repeatedly caught Russia lying about world affairs. The Russian Embassy of the Netherlands’ idea is particularly egregious in light of the Russian government’s repeated lies over the downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 in Ukraine on July 17 2014, resulting in the deaths of 193 Dutch citizens.


A few days after MH17 was shot down, on July 21 2014, the Russian Ministry of Defence gave a press conference where it made various claims and allegations, supported by evidence, that indicated the guilt of the Ukrainian military in the downing of MH17.

The Russian MoD claimed that a video showing a Buk missile launcher transported on the rear of a truck which the Ukrainian Ministry of Interior had posted online, claiming it showed the Buk in separatist control Luhansk on July 18 2014, was in fact filmed elsewhere:

“This video was made in the town of Krasnoarmeisk, as evidenced by the billboard you see in the background, advertising a car dealership at 34 Dnepropetrovsk Street. Krasnoarmeysk has been controlled by the Ukrainian military since May 11”

To support their claim they included a graphic showing the billboard in the video with a line of text highlighted with the address of the car dealership. Unfortunately for the Russians, this lie was easily exposed, with the exact location of the billboard confirmed through geolocation and locals visiting the sign and taking photographs of the billboard, which revealed the line of text Russia claimed read “34 Dnepropetrovsk Street” actually said something completely different:

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From:: Bellingcat

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