Catherine Parkhomenko, a pro-Russian separatist whose digital persona is Ekaterina Parkhomenko, recently posted several photographs on Instagram in which she tried out some new beauty products. Unfortunately, these products appeared to taken from the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which was looted after the plane went down last week.
Parkomenko lives in Torez, nearby the MH17 crash. She described herself as a separatist and said she is "sick of everything Ukrainian due to the recent events." On one particular photo, in which she is holding blue "Catrice" mascara, she writes, "Mascara from Amsterdam, or rather from the field, well you understand." She also posted two selfies wearing the mascara.
When a commenter asked where she got the mascara, she replied, "An acquaintance of mine, a looter, gave it to me." A number of Instagram users then attacked her for using the mascara. However, as an admittedly pro-Russian separatist, she may not have been fazed. Her Instagram was actually hacked as a result of the photographs.
While bloggers on both the Ukrainian and Russian front questioned the authenticity of the post, the Daily Mail determined "a number of well-known web writers believe it to be genuine and have expressed horror." BY24, which found her real name, was also able to confirm she lives in Torez.
Bozhena Rynska, a prominent Russian blogger and columnist for Gazeta Ru, posted the photographs to her almost 200,000 Facebook followers and expressed her disgust at Parkhomenko's actions. This spurred a number of new comments on the photos, some of which Parkhomenko replied to, and allowed users to find her other social media accounts.
After the pictures began gaining mass attention online, she deleted her Instagram account as well as other forms of social media. Since that time, however, the Instagram account, @zolotosya, has been hacked and new images posted:
The hacker writes in the picture: "It's not expensive, the things from the fields, you understand? Ekaterina Parkhomenko Town of Torez." And in the caption: "So the "hero" won't be forgotten."
This adds to a number of other confirmed looting cases, including used credit cards from victims of the crash, some victims' phone being answered by "Eastern European sounding voices", and investigators discovering evidence missing from the crash site.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.