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Category: UK & Europe

January 30, 2019

By Bellingcat Investigation Team

Wagner Mercenaries With GRU-issued Passports: Validating SBU’s Allegation

At a Monday press conference in Kyiv, Ukraine, the Ukrainian Security Agency (SBU) announced that it had intercepted passenger manifests from Russian MoD-chartered airliners transporting mercenaries working for Wagner, a Russian private military company (PMC). The manifests, involving flights from Russia to several African and Middle-East destinations in the latter half of 2018, allegedly transported a total…

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January 25, 2019

By Italian Arms

Turkmenistan (#ItalianArms): A Dictator, Millions of Euros, and Italy’s Bureaucracy

Turkmenistan is among the world’s most repressive countries, and is largely closed off to the outside world. When it comes to press freedom, only North Korea and Eritrea are rated worse. The president and his associates have total control over all aspects of public life in Turkmenistan. Yet the country is nonetheless a major buyer…

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December 18, 2018

By Vincent Triest

How Albania Accidentally Exposed Its Own Intelligence Operatives

The Republic of Albania, a NATO member, has been posting sensitive information about its secret service online, publishing thousands of payments made by the spy agency. By doing so the identities of foreign and domestic operatives have been uncovered, and number plates used by the intelligence officers, and other sensitive details published to the web….

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November 22, 2018

By Bellingcat Investigation Team

Second GRU Officer Indicted in Montenegro Coup Unmasked

Two officers from Russia’s military intelligence (GRU) are sought, via Interpol, as suspected organizers of an unsuccessful 2016 coup in Montenegro, a small country on the Adriatic Sea in Southeastern Europe. The true identity of one officer is public, while the other officer is known only under his cover identity. Bellingcat has been able to unmask the real identity of the second suspect indicted by the Montenegro prosecutor, and to confirm that he is indeed a senior GRU officer.

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November 16, 2018

By Bellingcat Investigation Team

Spies Without Borders – How the FSB Infiltrated the International Visa System

One of the unanswered questions lingering after Bellingcat’s unmasking of the identities of suspects in the botched-up poisoning of Sergey and Yulia Skripal, is how two (or, likely, more) undercover GRU officers were able to obtain visas to travel to the UK. Securing a visa to the UK – as to most of EU destinations…

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November 9, 2018

By Dan Kaszeta

Debunking Maps of Alleged “Islamic No Go Zones” in London

Various right-of-centre political commenters have, at different times, alluded to the existence of so-called “Islamic no go zones” in Western Europe. Generally, these are defined broadly and variously areas where the local authorities do not have effective police presence, a majority of the local population is Muslim, and “Sharia law” is in effect. Some commenters…

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November 6, 2018

By Aric Toler

Open Source Monitoring of NATO Trident Juncture Exercises

Russia’s massive annual military exercises, which are named after cardinal directions (e.g. Vostok for east, Zapad for west), garner a tremendous amount of international attention and intense scrutiny. While in some rare circumstances Russian military exercises parlayed into larger international conflicts, such as the July 2008 Kavkaz military exercises that were followed the following month…

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October 9, 2018

By Bellingcat Investigation Team

Full report: Skripal Poisoning Suspect Dr. Alexander Mishkin, Hero of Russia

Read The Insider Russian report on this same topic here. In  a preceding report on the investigation into the two suspects in the Skripals poisoning case, Bellingcat and its reporting partner the Insider disclosed the identity of one of the two suspects. The person travelling under the alias of Ruslan Boshirov was identified as GRU’s Col….

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