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Russians have many theories about the MH17 crash. One involves fake dead people.

As consensus builds in the U.S. government that pro-Russian rebels are responsible for shooting down a Malaysian airliner in eastern Ukraine, Russians are embracing a smorgasbord of alternate explanations.

Like: Maybe it was actually part of an assassination plot. Maybe those bodies were planted.

Khadija Gamzatova, 50, heard on the news that Vladimir Putin’s plane crossed flight paths with the Malaysian jet at one point — and thus believes that Ukrainian government troops shot down the jet, thinking it was the Russian president’s plane.

“They were flying close to one another,” said Gamzatova, sitting on a park bench in central Moscow and gesturing to show just how close she believed the planes had been. Ukrainian forces “wanted to shoot down our plane, but this is what they got.”

Tattoo artist Sergey S. had a different theory. “A whole lot of witnesses on the Internet shot video and said the corpses weren’t natural, that the people died a long time before [the plane crashed],” said the 45-year-old, declining to give his last name and emphatically expressing reservations that the reporter to whom he was speaking might be an American spy.

No evidence has emerged to support such explanations. But in Russia, each has earned the stamp of approval of either a mainstream media outlet or an influential corner of the Internet.

Continue reading at www.washingtonpost.com

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