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July 17, 2019

By Bellingcat Investigation Team

JIT Indictments and Reactions: Analyzing New Evidence Linking Separatists and Russian Officials to MH17

Today, 17 July 2019, is exactly five years since Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 (MH17) was shot down by a Buk missile, fired from territory in East Ukraine controlled by Russian-directed militants. After five years it has become clear that the Buk missile launcher that downed the plane came from Russia’s 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade, and…

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July 16, 2019

By Bellingcat Anti-Equality Monitoring

Ukrainian Far-Right Extremists Receive State Funds to Teach “Patriotism”

Authored and researched by Oleksiy Kuzmenko, Michael Colborne  Ahead of Ukrainian parliamentary elections on July 21, it is clear from polling data that Ukraine’s far-right groups and their ideas enjoy little popular support among its citizens. Despite this, Ukraine’s government continues to provide funds to notorious far-right extremist groups and their affiliates — including two…

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July 11, 2019

By Alexander McKeever

Afrin: Incidents Of Desecration And Destruction Of Cultural Sites

Soon after the inception of Turkey’s Operation Olive Branch in January of 2018, reports began trickling out of Syria’s Afrin district detailing the desecration or destruction of numerous cultural sites in the region. Just two days into the operation, airstrikes inflicted significant damage on Ain Dara, a “Neo-Hittite temple…built by the Arameans in the first…

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July 9, 2019

By Bellingcat Investigation Team

The Arrest of Vladimir Tsemakh and Its Implications for the MH17 Investigation

Last week reports appeared online that the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) arrested Ukrainian citizen Vladimir Borysovich Tsemakh (b. 4 July 1961) in connection to the 2014 downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 (MH17). Tsemakh was previously known to have been the commander of an air defense unit in Snizhne, the town nearest to the Buk…

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July 6, 2019

By Bellingcat Investigation Team

GRU Globetrotters 2: The Spies Who Loved Switzerland

In the first part of this “GRU Globetrotters” series, Bellingcat and its investigative partner The Insider teamed up with BBC Newsnight to trace the London movements and potential role of Russian GRU officer Denis Sergeev during the time that the Skripals were poisoned in Salisbury. The research was made possible thanks to telephone metadata which…

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July 3, 2019

By Nino Kandelaki

Roadblocks in Turkey’s New Southeast Strategy: An Analysis

With the resurgence of direct military conflict with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in 2015 and in the wake of the 2016 coup attempt, Turkey began to reinstall and reinvigorate the invasive security apparatus it constructed during the 1980s.  This report uses satellite imagery to track the development of 73 checkpoints across southeast Turkey, showing…

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July 2, 2019

By Daniel Romein

More Europol’s “Stop Child Abuse” Photographs Geolocated

In November 2018, Bellingcat wrote about two photographs related to child abuse crimes – photographs which were geolocated to Shenzhen in China. This investigation was crowdsourced by Europol as part of their Stop Child Abuse campaign that has been running since 2017. Images are shared on their website with the goal to identify the objects…

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June 28, 2019

By Bellingcat Investigation Team

The GRU Globetrotters: Mission London

In a series of previous investigations, Bellingcat and the Insider identified the two key suspects in the Novichok poisoning of Sergey and Yulia Skripal, and the subsequent poisoning death of Dawn Sturgess. We identified the two suspects, who travelled under the fake identities of Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, as Russian military intelligence (GU/GRU) officers…

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June 26, 2019

By b33lz3bub

Lord Of The Flies: An Open-Source Investigation Into Saud Al-Qahtani

Before tuning in via Skype to oversee the murder and dismemberment of Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Saud al-Qahtani, a high-level adviser to the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), was best known for running social media operations for the royal court and serving as MBS’s chief propagandist and enforcer. His portfolio…

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June 25, 2019

By Alexander McKeever

Remnants Of The Deiri Opposition: Contention And Controversy In North Aleppo

Since the onset of its direct intervention in Syria, Turkey has struggled to create stability in northern Aleppo. Writing in mid-2017, Aaron Stein and others attributed this to the Turkish development and support of two conflicting security apparatuses; the newly created local police forces and existent militant opposition, as well as local council governance structures…

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July 17, 2019

By Bellingcat Podcast

Bellingcat Podcast: MH17, Episode 1 Guide: The People Who Fell From the Sky

You can listen to the first episode of the Bellingcat Podcast on the downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 (MH17) by subscribing on any major podcast application by searching “Bellingcat”, including at Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, and TuneIn. You can manually add the podcast RSS feed to your favorite podcast app with the URL: bellingcat.libsyn.com/rss…

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July 15, 2019

By Bellingcat Investigation Team

New Bellingcat Workshops Announced for Amsterdam and Copenhagen

Bellingcat will hold a series of workshops this summer and autumn, with the new workshops being Amsterdam (two in August) and Copenhagen (October/November). Munich: July 22-26 (Full, with no wait-list) London: July 29-August 2 (Full, with short wait-list) Amsterdam: August 12-16 Amsterdam: August 19-23 Berkeley (San Francisco): August 19-23 (Full, with lengthy wait-list) Zurich: August 26-30 (Full, with…

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July 12, 2019

By Natalia Antonova

How To Tell Stories: A Beginner’s Guide For Open Source Researchers

Many open source researchers rely on journalists to turn data into a narrative that will then reach a wider audience. Yet journalism today is in a crisis! You can trust me as a person who comes from a traditional journalism background — oh, the sheer amount of horror stories I can tell over whiskey. In…

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June 21, 2019

By Charlotte Godart

The Most Comprehensive TweetDeck Research Guide In Existence (Probably)

To some researchers, TweetDeck might seem superfluous in a world where Twitter Advanced Search exists. The platform would appear to be just a prettier version of what you are already doing through Twitter. However, I am here to show you how TweetDeck can vastly simplify and organize your research while allowing you to collect a…

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May 23, 2019

By Dan Kaszeta

Analysis Of The Park Patriot “Sarin Lab” In The Moscow Region

West of Moscow is a theme park called Patriot Park.  One interesting exhibit at this park is an alleged Sarin production laboratory, said to have been captured in Syria.  But is this really a production rig for the nerve agent Sarin? Photographs of the “Sarin Lab” courtesy of the Conflict Intelligence Team (CIT) Sarin Production…

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May 6, 2019

By Bellingcat Investigation Team

New Bellingcat Workshops Announced for Munich, Berkeley, and Zurich

Update: Our future workshops are all full, but with a wait-list available. Please message us if you are interested in being added to any of these events’ wait-lists. Bellingcat will hold workshops in Europe and the United States in the coming months, where participants can learn the tools and methodologies used by Bellingcat in their…

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April 8, 2019

By Aric Toler

Using Phone Contact Book Apps For Digital Research

Popular apps such as TrueCaller or GetContact advertise the ability to see who is really calling you, even if you do not know the number, and alert the app user of spam or scam calls. However, the way that these apps gather information to determine the name of an unknown caller is not as broadly…

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March 26, 2019

By Brenna Smith

How To Track Illegal Funding Campaigns Via Cryptocurrency

After posting a tutorial on tracking GRU agents’ bitcoin (BTC) transactions, I’ve received numerous responses asking how to find out even more. I aim to please, so I’ve put together another tutorial using Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades’ bitcoin funding campaign as a case study. What You’ll Need To effectively analyze any bitcoin address, I rely…

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March 21, 2019

By Nathan Patin

Bellingcat’s Invitation Is Waiting For Your Response: An Investigative Guide To LinkedIn

Whether you’re investigating a company purporting to have damning information on Robert Mueller or conducting research on anti-Islamic State foreign fighters in Iraq and Syria, LinkedIn can serve as a useful resource for online researchers across a wide variety of subjects. This guide aims to provide helpful tools and techniques for identifying LinkedIn profiles and…

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March 8, 2019

By Bellingcat Investigation Team

New Bellingcat Workshops Announced for Sydney (April 1-5) and Melbourne (April 8-12)

Bellingcat will hold workshops in Australia for the first two weeks of April, where participants can learn the tools and methodologies used by Bellingcat in their investigations. We will hold a workshop in Sydney on April 1-5 and in Melbourne on April 8-12. Participants are required to bring their own laptops, and Google Earth Pro…

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