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Category: UK & Europe

August 30, 2018

By Oleksiy Kuzmenko

Ukrainian Far-Right Fighters, White Supremacists Trained by Major European Security Firm

Summary of Findings Since 2016, the European Security Academy (ESA) an EU-based company that offers advanced training programs for security, law enforcement and military professionals, has provided sophisticated training geared towards combat application to elements of Ukraine’s controversial Azov Regiment, also known as the Azov Battalion, which has been integrated into the Ukrainian National Guard…

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August 1, 2018

By Bellingcat Investigation Team

Exposing the Past Anti-Semitic Tweets of the Man Crowdfunding a “Giant Sadiq Khan Balloon” to Fly Over London

On July 5th 2018, a crowdfunder named Yanny Bruere launched a campaign to fly a giant-sized baby balloon with the head of Sadiq Khan, mayor of London, in response to the Trump baby blimp which made headlines worldwide. Gathering 50,000 pounds in about a week’s time, the campaign quickly gained popularity. In the meantime, however,…

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June 29, 2018

By Oleksiy Kuzmenko

Ukrainian President Cites Clickbait Ranking in National Address

To highlight the progress that the Ukrainian Armed Forces have made under his command, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has cited a military index created by a clickbait military-themed site without any expert, academic, military or government endorsements. This site,, ranked Ukraine’s military 29th globally in its “2018 Military Strength Ranking.” In his May 8th…

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June 26, 2018

By Oleksiy Kuzmenko

The Straight-Edge Neo-Nazi Group that Attacked a Ukrainian Roma Camp

According to Ukraine’s, the recent lethal attack on a Roma camp in Ukraine has been linked by the law enforcement to a popular VKontakte (VK) community called “Sober and Angry Youth” (Твереза та зла молодь Ukrainian, or Трезвая и Злая Молодежь in Russian). The largest page linked to this straight-edge, neo-Nazi group has over 85,000 followers,…

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May 25, 2018

By Bellingcat Investigation Team

MH17 – Russian GRU Commander ‘Orion’ Identified as Oleg Ivannikov

A joint investigation between Bellingcat, The Insider, and McClatchy DC Bureau has conclusively identified another key person of interest in the ongoing investigation of the downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 (MH17). The person known as ’Andrey Ivanovich’, a.k.a. call sign ‘Orion’, is in fact a high-ranking Russian GRU officer named Oleg Vladimirovich Ivannikov. Русская…

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May 10, 2018

By Bellingcat Investigation Team

Full Report: Russian Officers and Militants Identified as Perpetrators of the January 2015 Mariupol Artillery Strike

The full investigation can be downloaded here  A collection of intercepted phone conversations that were used as research materials in this investigation can be accessed here Our directory of archived videos of the Mariupol shelling and its aftermath can be accessed here Our map summarizing the estimated trajectories and potential firing sites near Mariupol can be…

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May 7, 2018

By Bellingcat Investigation Team

Russian Officers and Militants Identified as Perpetrators of the January 2015 Mariupol Artillery Strike

The Bellingcat Investigation Team has determined conclusively that the artillery attack on the Ukrainian town of Mariupol on 24 January 2015, which resulted in at least 30 civilian deaths and over 100 injuries, came from Russia-controlled territory. Bellingcat has also determined that the shelling operation was instructed, directed and supervised by Russian military commanders in…

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April 9, 2018

By Pieter Van Ostaeyen

Separating Facts from Fiction about Belgium’s Oldest Foreign Fighter, Bassam Ayachi

On April 4, 2018 French media reported that the 72 year old Shaykh Bassam Ayachi was arrested in the north of France on March 27. The media portrayed him as “the oldest Belgian Jihadi”, as “the mentor of generations of Belgian Jihadi’s” and above all as “one of the main recruiters for Belgian foreign fighters who left for the war in Syria”. In 2012 Flemish newspaper De Standaard even called him “the personification of radical Islam in our country.” His actual story is a bit more nuanced however, and this brief article aims to separate the fiction from the facts.

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March 12, 2018

By Aric Toler

Russian Meddling in North Carolina Politics, or Cialis Spam?

North Carolina congressional candidate Linda Coleman made national headlines last week when her campaign discovered that an old domain used for a previous election — — was hijacked by a Russian. Coleman saw political motives behind the incident, calling the “tampering” an “underhanded and deceptive” move. A number of local and national news articles…

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