pro-russian separatist
Pro-Russian rebels from the Vostok (East) Battalion stands guard at a checkpoint in Donetsk, Ukraine Reuters

A staggering 82% of Russians believe the Ukrainian Army is responsible for bringing down Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, a poll has revealed.

Levada-Center, a Russian organisation that collates public opinion, surveyed a representative sample of the population of six large cities in Russia about the 17 July disaster that resulted in the death of 298 passengers and crew.

The results show that only 3% of respondents believe the plane was shot down over Ukraine by pro-separatist Russian rebels, which is the widely accepted belief in the West at this time.

In the poll. the Russians were asked if they had heard about the MH17 plane wreck and, if so, what did they believe caused the plane to come down.

Almost half (46%) answered: "[The plane] was hit by anti-aircraft missile system by the Ukrainian army."

A further 36% of respondents believed the Boeing 777 was shot out of the sky by a Ukrainian military plane.

Just 4% of the 1,501 people surveyed blamed the Donbass People's Militia or the Russian military for the attack.

16% of people responded saying that the cause was "hard to determine".