the home of online investigations

You can support the work of Bellingcat by donating through the following link:

Russian Prosecution Cites “Bellingcat Methodology” in Savchenko Trial

March 25, 2016

By Bellingcat Investigation Team

Translations: Русский

As part of the case against the Ukrainian pilot Nadiya Savchenko, the Russian prosecution used the methods previously utilized by Bellingcat in proving that the Russian military, from its own territory, carried out artillery attacks against Ukrainian army positions. These methods were included in the expert testimony of Aleksandr Bobkov, the Head of Operative Monitoring of ScanEks, an “engineering-technological center” based in Moscow.

One of ScanEks’ primary tasks was to analyze the satellite imagery around the area of Metalist in Ukraine’s Luhansk Oblast between June 16-30, 2014 in order to draw various conclusions regarding the military activity in the area. Through this, the Russian prosecution sought evidence that the Ukrainian military, with the Aidar Battalion, shelled a checkpoint that resulted in the death of two Russian journalists. Savchenko, as the Russian prosecution argued, assisted the Aidar Battalion with this shelling, by acting as a spotter and relaying the coordinates of the Russian journalists. The prosecution sought the expert testimony of ScanEks in order to prove that this shelling that Savchenko supposedly assisted with was carried out by Ukrainian forces, not separatists.

Firstly, it should be established that the Russian prosecution’s arguments against Nadiya Savchenko are entirely without merit and part of a politicized show trial. While she admits to relaying information regarding different checkpoints to the Aidar Battalion, Savchenko was captured by militants of the Luhansk People’s Republic approximately an hour before the Russian journalists even arrived at the checkpoint that would later be attacked. For additional analysis regarding Savchenko’s innocence, see the research conducted by the Conflict Intelligence Team (CIT). The analysis carried out by ScanEks regarding shelling is valid—with a sufficient number of craters—in determining the trajectory of fire at attacked checkpoints, but has no value in determining the guilt of Savchenko.

In determining areas of military activity, the ScanEks analysts used satellite imagery from Digital Globe, among other satellite imaging services, to locate craters, damaged structures, and traces of fires.

From page 81 of case file. White circles: craters Red circles: damaged roofs Yellow outline: bases Red shade: traces of fires Yellow shade: areas of military activity

From page 81 of case file.
White circles: craters
Red circles: damaged roofs
Yellow outline: bases
Red shade: traces of fires
Yellow shade: areas of military activity

The prosecution’s expert analyzed the craters visible in satellite imagery in order to determine the trajectory of incoming artillery fire. The U.S. Army’s procedure for analyzing craters was used, in which either a low-angle fuze delay crater (which would include Grad artillery fire) or high-angle shell crater (mortar) is measured to determine the origin of the fire.

pg49

From page 49 of case file

In February 2015, Bellingcat used a method of overlaying the figures provided by the U.S. Army for determining crater trajectories over craters on satellite imagery. With a sufficiently large selection of craters, this method allows one to determine the direction in which artillery was fired, thus pointing an analyst to the firing position.

bcat-art-traj

Bellingcat used this method to determine that between July 9 and September 15, 2014, the Russian military—not separatists—conducted large-scale artillery attacks against Ukrainian military positions. These attacks were staged in Russia with Grad artillery systems, with firing positions near established Russian military bases.

bcat-traj-map

During the proceedings, the expert specifically cited Bellingcat’s methods in determining the trajectory of artillery fire.

“Bobkov is telling about the methodology of satellite image analysis that is used by Bellingcat. He borrowed the methodology for his own expert appraisal. #Savchenko”

“The expert Bobkov used the methodology from the Belingcat site for determining the direction of exlosions. Ookay. #FreeSavchenko”

“An expert in the Savchenko trial used the Bellingcat methodology in analyzing satellite images. CC @RuslanLeviev and @ReggaeMortis1”

The prosecution’s expert measured 260 craters their analysis, fewer than the 813 craters that Bellingcat measured in a field near the Dolzhanskaya-Capital mine.

From page 78 of case file

From page 78 of case file

The analysis was conducted on a number of crater fields and checkpoints in the Luhansk Oblast. For example, in a crater field north of Tsvetny Pesky in imagery from June 19, 2014, the prosecution’s expert determined two directions of fire—one from the north-northwest, and another from the south-southwest:

From page 84 of case file

From page 84 of case file

In another crater field just outside of Stukalova Balka, dozens of craters trajectories were measured, pointing to the north:

From page 90 of case file

From page 90 of case file

Comparing the prosecution’s expert’s map to Bellingcat’s map of craters near Amvrosiivka, it is clear that the methodologies are quite similar:

bcat-amvrosiivka

The prosecution’s expert testimony determined that, at some point between June 16 and 19, a shell landed in a field to the northeast of the killed Russian journalists. From crater analysis visible in a figure included in the case files (the blue line in the top-right corner), the shell came from the direction of a Ukrainian artillery position to the north. In a table detailing these craters, the prosecution’s expert gives the azimuth of incoming fire as 353 degrees, indicating a north-northwesterly direction.

From page 103 of case file

From page 103 of case file

Additionally, all four shell impact sites on the road—one of which may have killed the journalists—are within ten kilometers of this northern Ukrainian artillery position (bottom-right of figure).

From page 102 of case file

From page 102 of case file

The prosecution’s expert also used a technique from Bellingcat’s analysis by examining the craters at the checkpoint after the attack, determining their location via geolocation and matching them with satellite imagery. In matching the landmarks (such as the road marks, billboards and a traffic police post) and the locations of the craters visible in the videos of the June 17 shelling and its aftermath, the expert is able to determine the craters visible in satellite imagery were indeed caused by the June 17 shelling. Bellingcat used the same analytical method from a Ruptly video of the aftermath of a Russian artillery attack on a Ukrainian military position.

From pages 132 and 133 of case file

From pages 132 and 133 of case file

Comparison shot from a Ruptly video and the 15 August 2014 satellite imagery from Google Earth of a Russian artillery strike against Ukraine

Comparison shot from a Ruptly video and the 15 August 2014 satellite imagery from Google Earth of a Russian artillery strike against Ukraine

The spokesperson of Russia’s Investigative Committee, Vladimir Markin, has praised the analysis of Bobkov and ScanEks, saying that, “the testimony is fully corroborated (…) by the results of the examination with the use of satellite imagery.”

The prosecution’s expert correctly applied the methods of crater analysis that he described as from Bellingcat. However, all this proves is that the attack on the checkpoint that resulted in the deaths of two Russian journalists, along with other artillery attacks on nearby targets, was from the artillery fire of the Ukrainian military. The issue of Savchenko’s guilt is irrelevant to this analysis: she did not act as a spotter for the fatal attack against the Russian journalists, as proven by the prosecution’s own evidence and shadow analysis.

Now that the Russian judicial system has accepted the validity of Bellingcat’s methods of crater analysis, we hope that the Russian government and state media will reexamine our previous investigations into the Russian military carrying out artillery attacks against Ukrainian military positions.

Bellingcat Investigation Team

The Bellingcat Investigation Team is an award winning group of volunteers and full time investigators who make up the core of the Bellingcat's investigative efforts.

Join the Bellingcat Mailing List:

Enter your email address to receive a weekly digest of Bellingcat posts, links to open source research articles, and more.

199 Comments

    • stranger

      I even like her article this time regardless of her usual b/s, which is limited to the last few paragraphs this time.
      That was a romantic time on the collapse of USSR when people hoped to get freedom and a wealthy life as in the west. It turned out to be the following years of he11 disaster of 90th instead, including raising of oligarchy, including those Chechen wars and teracts. During Putin the country was gradually reassembled. The high oil prices allowed to raise the living standard and people got some kind of security in various aspects of life compared to 90th. I believe that is the main reason of still very high popularity of Putin. And not what you are always saying about any mythical ‘Russian nationalism’ or state propaganda or dictatorship or whatever stupid memes. Then it all has come to another dead end because that potential of growth has been exhausted, but at a different level. What to do and who is guilty? – the eternal Russian question is actual again and as always.

      Reply
  1. RAB3L

    According to Wikipedia and often quoted: ‘Latynina opined that the version that FSB did the bombings was not only absurd, but purposefully invented by Berezovsky after he was deprived of the power. Her major argument was, that since Berezovsky was one of the key figures to push Putin into the power, he knew for certain the theory was wrong. If Berezovsky felt that “there are some people else beyond Putin, some fearsome siloviks who can explode houses, they [the Family] would throw Putin away, as a hot potato.’

    There are serious flaws in her reasoning. The only people who knew that Putin was backed by the FSB was the FSB, otherwise Latynina would have been correct; the ‘Family’ would have dropped him. He was selected because they thought he was loyal and they were concerned with the consequences of a change of President. Time proved that they were right to be concerned, although Putin did pardon Yeltsin and every other person who had been decorated by the state, which included himself!

    The Americans refused Litvinenko asylum because they thought that he had insufficient to offer them. It’s as simple as that, nothing to do with the FSB.

    Everything about the Twin Towers is known, in stark contrast to the bombings. Since the presumption of innocence doesn’t apply to governments, you would have thought that Putin et al would have gone out of their way to prove their innocence if that was the case. No, the exact opposite has happened.

    How to explain what happened in Ryazan? Whatever happened, either exercise or bombing, it was illegal as it included gross violations of Russian law, including non-notification of local authorities, including the FSB, and the use of live weapons. Yet nobody suffered any consequences. Such an occurrence in a normal democratic country would have lead to the fall of the government. But in Russia nothing!

    Just in case you still believe that Dubrovka was an Islamist plot, as well as the case of Arman Menkeev, four or five of the hostage takers, including Movsar Barayev, were in Russian custody immediately before the siege. There is also the case of Abu Bakar. From Wikipedia:

    John Dunlop identifies “Abu Bakar” as Ruslan Elmurzaev, claimed by Mikhail Trepaskin to have been a resident of Moscow, not Chechnya, and to have been involved in various criminal activities operating out of the Hotel Salyut in Moscow. There were reports that Elmurzaev had not been killed in the storming of the theatre. Film director Sergei Govorukhin, one of the volunteer negotiators at Dubrovka, has said that he is convinced that Elmurzaev, who he identified as an FSB agent, is still alive. Russian prosecutors were unable to show Elmurzaev’s corpse and during a visit to Chechnya in October 2003, Russian intelligence officers confirmed to him that Elmurzaev was alive and well and living in Chechnya.

    As was proved at Dubrovka and Beslan, the chekists attached very little value to human life. At Dubrovka, they knew for sure that up to 20% of the hostages would suffer fatal consequences from the gas that they used. At Beslan they fired tank rounds and thermobaric weapons into a building containing hundreds of children and they fired first. They were more than capable of carrying out the bombings. Just another ‘active measure’!

    Reply
    • stranger

      Those are just general speculations based on nothing. Nothing material. Reread again the article of Latynina, she gives the context and a lot of details, try to disprove those particular details, instead of just bla bla bla.

      As for Litvinenko please read Goldfarb’ revelations. He said US did accept Litvinenko and the embassy was ready to send a car for them, but since they moved to another city on the night before, because they imagined they were followed by FSB, the embassy called back in some time and denied. That all might have been a fantasy of Goldfarb, except the fact Litvinenko did requested US asylum first. And the fact that Berezovskiy’s trustee and fellow brought another small fish to him. And that the cession of FSB blown up the houses originated from those people without any insider leak even though Litvinenko was formerly an FSB agent.

      If you go to the memorial at the place of Twin Tower you could see some strange looking guys with posters and pictures proving to you that the towers were blown up instead, that the planes could not have collapsed the buildings, and that it was a government’s malicious plot. So everybody is free to believe in whatever secular religion.

      You hate Putin (or Russia, in any combination), you want to remove him, so you blame him in everything, that is understood. You get down to the same level as ISIS Jikhaddists fanatics at the same time and help them indirectly. But whatever method is justudied in order to dirt up Putin, even religious fanatism, right?

      Reply
      • stranger

        Felshtinskiy actually stated in his letter to Latynina that it was him to invent the FSB involvement version, neither Litvinenko nor Berezovskiy. And only then he tried to persuade his old friend Berezovsky. He confessed it himself, don’t you believe him?

        Reply
      • stranger

        Also Berezovskiy himself had informal relationships with Chechen thugs and their field commanders, financed them sometimes, immediately before the second Chechen war. Was he related in any way to the invasion of Basaev and Khattab to Dagestan, which started the war and was immediately followed by the appartment’s bombing?
        Why did Litvinenko and Trepashkin claimed at the press conference that FSB ordered them to kill Berezovsky and for what? Why did Berezovskiy have to escape to London? Was he involved in any way in the beginning of the second Chechen war? You can also see all people you mentioned were tightly related all together.

        Reply
      • RAB3L

        I have Goldfarb’s book. He states clearly that he asked the Americans if they had refused Litvinenko asylem because they had moved to Istanbul. They said no, they had changed their mind. Which makes you a liar.

        It wasn’t the planes that brought down the towers. It was the fuel within them. From Wikipedia: The director of the original investigation stated that, “the towers really did amazingly well. The terrorist aircraft didn’t bring the buildings down; it was the fire which followed. It was proven that you could take out two thirds of the columns in a tower and the building would still stand.”[335] The fires weakened the trusses supporting the floors, making the floors sag. The sagging floors pulled on the exterior steel columns causing the exterior columns to bow inward. With the damage to the core columns, the buckling exterior columns could no longer support the buildings, causing them to collapse. Additionally, the report found the towers’ stairwells were not adequately reinforced to provide adequate emergency escape for people above the impact zones.[336] NIST concluded that uncontrolled fires in 7 WTC caused floor beams and girders to heat and subsequently “caused a critical support column to fail, initiating a fire-induced progressive collapse that brought the building down”.[331]

        Reply
        • stranger

          “Which makes you a liar.”
          Please curb you tongue, a secular religion fanatic. Have a good one.

          Reply
        • stranger

          “He states clearly that he asked the Americans if they had refused Litvinenko asylem because they had moved to Istanbul. They said no, they had changed their mind.” US officials don’t report to Goldfarb and were not obliged to give him explanations. He said he talked to somebody like his friend informally etc etc. I didn’t read all his book, but remember this fragment and what I wrote above. Refresh your memory if you need it.

          Why are you explaining about the Twin Towers? I have no doubts in the official version. I just compare your version about Moscow bombing to the conspirologiests of the Twin Towers, so that you didn’t feel along.

          Reply
    • stranger

      You are saying Dubrovka was also organized by FSB, right? Why? The second Chechen war started in 1999, Putin was elected in 2000, Dubrovka was in 2002. Why did FSB need it then – to show how helpless they are? How about Budyonovsk, Volgodondk, at least 2 or more downed planes, multiple blasts in subway and in the public places etc etc for over 15 years? Was it all FSB? Or only the buildings in Moscow were blown by FSB, according to you, but all others by Jikhaddists? What is you logic here? You are just ignoring all the information not fit into your conspirocy theory, including Jikhaddists camps in Chechnya, who was actually Gochiaev, who was Berezovskiy himself, the terrorists who were caught and known how they prepared the blast in Buynaksk, etc etc etc

      Reply
      • RAB3L

        From Wikipedia:

        What would have been the motive for possible Russian involvement? During the period preceding the hostage taking, heavy pressure was being brought to bear by the West and within Russia on Putin to negotiate with the Chechen moderates and their leader, Aslan Maskhadov. Public opinion polls in Russia showed that the conflict was eroding the popularity of the president. Promising peacemaking initiatives were also proceeding in the months preceding the theatre siege, some backed by the Council of Europe and the OSCE. Once the Russian special forces had re-taken the theatre, support for the war rose among the Russian public.[101] As evidence against Maskhadov, Russians cited a tape first shown on Al Jazeera and subsequently on Russian television, although only a fragment of the original tape was shown on Russian TV. On the original full length tape it was evident that it had been made in late summer, not in October, and had concerned a military operation against federal forces, not an act of hostage taking.[100] Nevertheless, Maskhadov had been discredited although there is no credible evidence to link him with the siege. In the end, it could be said that both the Russian government and the Chechen extremists had achieved their goals; talk of negotiations had ended and Maskhadov’s reputation had been damaged.[101]

        Reply
        • stranger

          I lived in Moscow when the hostages were captured at Dubrovka, I even remember how I was surprised to hear it first time in the car by radio when was returning home, and it seemed something unreal. I believe it was Ganapolskiy at the Echo of Moscow.

          What are you going to explain me about Russian public to support the war, about Maskhadov to frame?

          Nobody in Moscow even remembered or thought about that war, if it was not for those teracts.

          And especially nobody cared was it Maskhadov or Baraev or Basaev or Khattabov or Parad Urodov.

          What are you going to explain me about Russians?

          Reply
        • stranger

          Here is the illustration of what was going on in Moscow in 1998-2000+

          http://yandex.ru/images/search?text=%2B%D1%82%D0%B5%D1%80%D0%B0%D0%BA%D1%82%D1%8B%20%D0%B2%20%2B%D0%BC%D0%BE%D1%81%D0%BA%D0%B2%D0%B5

          There were dozens and dozens of teracts in Moscow and other cities. Are you claiming all of them were organized by FSB, what was the reasons for the others then? Please either give some reliable proves or don’t touch this sensitive topic. Digging up the sh1t is not a great fun, even if you pursue a so noble aim as to remove Putin.

          Reply
        • stranger

          You said – Maskhadov, international support? As far as I understand, by the time of Dubrovka capture the war in Chechnya has already ceased, and Maskhadov was hiding in the mountains with other more and less radical field commanders and their supporters.

          U.S. Rejects Chechen Separatist Chief

          Underscoring the harm the attackers did to the Chechens’ cause internationally, the U.S. official said Maskhadov had failed to disassociate himself from terrorism. Withdrawal of Russian forces from Chechnya was the key demand of the hostage-takers.

          The senior U.S. official who spoke Tuesday said that while there was no evidence of a direct Al Qaeda link in last week’s theater siege, it was clear that Al Qaeda operatives had trained Chechen fighters in Afghanistan and in Georgia’s Pankisi Gorge, a lawless area just across the border that Chechen fighters have used as a refuge.

          U.S. concern about Maskhadov focuses on his links to another rebel commander, Shamil Basayev.

          As of 2002:

          http://articles.latimes.com/2002/oct/30/world/fg-russia30

          Wikipedia is great for facts, not for opinions.

          Reply
        • stranger

          In 1995 Basayev was let to escape back to Chechnya after he had assaulted the police building killed policemen and civilians and then captured the child hospital. That opened the Pandora Box and Chechens started to capture hostages everywhere.

          http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/2357109.stm

          In 1996 the peace treaty was signed and Chechnya was left along on its own. Just to start over in 1999 when radical islamists grown up in Chechnya for that time and supported by international radicals imagined that they need to ‘liberate’ Dagestan by establishing the Islamic Khalifat there. They were not welcomed by Dagestanians, the invasion failed, immediately followed by their claims to ‘blow everywhere’ and then the apartment buildings blasts in Budyonovsk, Volgodonsk and Moscow.

          In 2002 Maskhadov (or whoever doesn’t matter) decided to repeat the ‘successful’ deed of Basayev in 1995 and captured Dubrovka. The last loud accord was Beslan in 2004.

          Do you think all of that was a malicious FSB plot?

          Reply
        • stranger

          Add the fact that Ahmed Zakayev, the Maskhadov’s spokesman, was a close friend of Berezovskiy and communicated a lot with Litvinenko, and you would get the whole picture of the group of people the FSB blast’s version is coming from. And you are so eager to join those people.

          Reply
    • stranger

      “As was proved at Dubrovka and Beslan, the chekists attached very little value to human life. ”
      who did care about human lives? Basaev who captured the maternity house and killed a hundred of people including probably mothers and children and was let to escape, Islamic fanatics who killed 2000 in Russia in dozens of teracts over 15 years?

      Now there is a peace in Chechnya, a complicated one but a peace, it was not that time. There was no peace in Moscow either. The buildings were blown in the south east of Moscow where I lived. My subway line was blown in rush hours – 28 dead, others were just shielded by their bodies. That was years ago, now it is different.

      You may also ask people of Israel who are under constant terroristic thread and how they deal with their Arabs citizens and what are their policies on hostages captures. Why is it a taboo to critic Israel but it is a modern fashion of not very smart guys to bully Russia for everything? No, you can if you wish, it just characterizes yourself in the first turn.

      And now you are exploiting this topic just to remove Putin, because any dirt would help? To claim the FSB theory you need very convincing proves, you have no. So far Latynina is more convincing that Felshtinskiy, not by her opinion but by the facts she is giving verses the arguments in the Felshtinskiy’s book.

      So why dig this dirt without a point?

      Reply
    • stranger

      “Everything about the Twin Towers is known, in stark contrast to the bombings. ”
      A lot is known about the bombing and you can find it in that Latynina’s article. Everything is known about Buynaksk, there are known facts about Gochiaev and his connections to extremists and his own letters and communications with Felshtinsky and Litvinenko and other facts.
      If you are just ignoring the facts and giving a general empty speculations instead, that doesn’t mean there are no evidences at all, you are just omitting them.

      Reply
    • stranger

      That your John Dunlop is no more than a belletrist, rather than a scientist. That is the same niche with scientific fantasts like the Secret Materials serial. They are exploiting the public interest to conspirology, combined with a suspicious and unknowledgeable attitude to Russia. The kind of belletristic detective which is just ‘based on real facts’. They just earn money and popularity by that.

      Book Reviews: “Dunlop’s attempt to draw his “joint-venture” theory relies on the idea that both Russian authorities and Chechen radicals could have a common interest in pursuing the war, a fact that unfortunately does not constitute a proof in itself. ”

      Refer to the original sources instead. For the Moscow blasts allegedly organized by FSB, the author of the idea is Felshtinskiy (the same kind of historian/belletrist earning money and popularity), tightly collaborating with his old friend fled oligarch Berezovskiy and all his circle including the small fish Litvinenko, Trepashkin (a fellow of Litvinenko by FSB), a bigger fish Akhmed Zakaev (PR person in (shadow) Maskhadov’s government), Goldfarb, and who else. All later authors are just repeating the same ideas.

      Reply
  2. John Zenwirt

    [Trump Shakes Up Campaign Less Than 3 Months From Election Day]

    Donald Trump’s campaign chairman was a key player in multi-million-dollar business propositions with Russian and Ukrainian oligarchs — one of them a close Putin ally with alleged ties to organized crime — which foreign policy experts say raises questions about the pro-Russian bent of the Trump candidacy.”

    http://tinyurl.com/zdvvmtr (NBCNews)

    Reply
  3. RAB3L

    More obfuscation, whataboutery, denial, never-admit-to-anything etc, etc. Not at all convincing Sergei! As for Latynina, her ‘theory’ was based on one article in Kommerant, which itself was based on the ‘official’ ‘investigation’. However, the ‘investigation’ did at least come up with one gem of information, that the explosives used in the 1999 bombings were stored for two months in a wharehouse in Kislovodsk and thus before the ‘invasion’ of Dagestan had even started. So even by the Russian’s own ‘findings’, the bombings cannot have been revenge for the failure of the ‘invasion’, but strongly suggests that events were pre-planned.

    Patrushev’s ‘delay’ in announcing an ‘exercise’ in Ryazan is even more incriminating. At the latest, he would have been informed of events in Ryazan on the morning of the 23rd September, in the unlikely event that he was unaware before this date. Putin also made comments on TV on the same day about ‘terrorist’ events in Ryazan. Rushailo also made comments on the same events on the following day. It was only on the 24th, after two of his agents had been arrested that Patrushev claimed that it was an ‘exercise’. That it cannot have been an exercise is proven by the fact that Patrushev suffered no consequences, not to mention that numerous Russian laws had been violated. Proof that Patrushev suffered no consequences is proven by the fact that he is still making similar claims. In 2015, he claimed that Madeleime Albright had stated that neither the Far East or Siberia belonged to Russia. This ‘theory’ was based on the hallucinations of an eccentric KGB physic:
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jul/15/russia-kgb-psychic-oleg-kashin
    Here’s Putin doing exactly the same thing:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/19/world/europe/putin-cites-claim-about-us-designs-on-siberia-traced-to-russian-mind-readers.html?_r=0
    There comes a point when patriotism becomes idiocy, Sergei!

    Reply
    • stranger

      “that the explosives used in the 1999 bombings were stored for two months in a wharehouse in Kislovodsk and thus before the ‘invasion’ of Dagestan had even started.”
      So Basaev from Chechnya and the international terrorist Khattab from Yordan invaded Russian Federation in Dagestan in order to establish a religion Islamic Khalifat , then were kicked out, then announced publically that they are going to blow up everywhere in Russia, then immediatelly the first blast in Buynaksk, Basaev took responsibility, the terrorists were found and gave very detailed witnesses how did they prepare and delive the explosives and where did they get the truck, then blasts in Moscow, the storage employer recognized photo-robot of Gochiaev who was known to be Islamic Imam and rented basements using fake passport for the company created just a couple of days before the only activity of which was to delive and store in the basements the sacks with ‘sugar’, then Gochiaev left Russia to hide in Pankisy Gorge the no-laws shelter for armed thugs in Georgia, then he is writing a letter to Felshtinsky/Berezovsky – give me $3 mil and I would announce the buildings were blown by FSB, then Felshtinskiy bounced the letter of Gochiaev where he was claiming he was framed by his friend who talked him over to rent the basements under a fake passport for a fake company, then several other teracts some failed where the terrorists were cought.
      And after that all you are saying – you see the explosives were prepared 2 month before the invasion then we must believe it was FSB. And international Islamic terrorists are joining the chorus – yes, it was FSB, FSB, we know for sure. Then the fighters of the informational front, trolls from the western Ukraine, Baltics, NAT0 or wherever join the chorus, Putin, Putin, he did every disaster in the world and even ruling the candidate at US elections. That’s how it works…
      As Latynina said when the Islamic terrorists blow up Russia and then claim that Russian blew up itself, that is too much. The opposition has other things to do other than joining sacred Jikhad against Russia.
      You must prove your conspirology, not otherwise. But hardly you can say anything not already mentioned in Felshtinsky and Litvinenko’s book.

      Reply
    • stranger

      You: “but strongly suggests that events were pre-planned”
      That might be prepared in advance. The invasion of Khattab was definitely planned in advance and those suspects were trained in his military camps in Chechnya when Chechniy was not subordinated to Russia that time after the end of the first Chechen war and was a nest for terrorists.
      How is it related to your (Felshtinsky’) conspirology of FSB responsibility for the blasts? Where is the logic?

      You: “That it cannot have been an exercise is proven by the fact that Patrushev suffered no consequences, not to mention that numerous Russian laws had been violated.”
      How is it proved? Ryazan is the cornerstone of Felshtinskiy theory and seems strange. But from the fact the director of FSB was not fired after such training, doesn’t follow it was the intentional attempt to blow up the building by FSB, just occasionally prevented by local Ryazan FSB department. There is no logic in your point again.

      Reply
    • stranger

      So you see the training of terrorist is Chechnya and the following invasion to Dagestan was made not even all by Chechens but by the Middle East extremists, particularly from Jordan, dreaming of the world’s Khalifat, almost ISIS.
      Don’t you want to join ISIS as a volonteer for the informational Jikhad for the sake of the world’s Islamic Khalifat? 🙂

      Reply
    • stranger

      If we refer to the facts, which you are trying to omit and claim ‘nothing is known’, here is how the version of FSB was forged by Feltshtinskiy and Litvinenko most probably in the favor of their patron and sponsor Boris Berezovskiy.

      They contacted Gochiaev when he was hiding in the Pankisy Gorge (an out-of-law shelter for extremists in the mountains of Georgia), who was the suspect of the blasts in Moscow and Volgodonsk according to the official investigation. They presented to the public only the first 1 minute (!) of the video interview with Gochiaev and gave ONLY the transcript of the alleged Gochiaev speech. Novaya Gazeta wrote that the people who provided this video allegedly demanded a lot of money for it. Anyway the original video was never shown.

      Gochiaev according to the transcript provided by Felshtinskiy and Litvinenko DID admit it was him to rend the basements in Moscow where the explosives were delivered. But he said he was ‘framed’ by his friend ‘who worked for FSB’. The name of the friend was not named. Why he used a fake identity/passport and a new born company to rent the basements was not explained. Why he didn’t ask his friend why the friend needed to bring sacks with ‘sugar’ to 5 different addresses in Moscow few sacks to each was left unclear.

      Most probably the version that FSB blew up the buildings was supported and promoted by the fled oligarch Berezovskiy in order to revenge Putin and be able to return to Russia, even though Felshtinskiy claimed he invented this version himself. Berezovskiy actually did a lot of efforts to bring Putin to the power as a trustable (as he thought) descendant for Yeltsyn. But then Putin probably got out of ‘control’ and Berezovskiy had to flee from Russia and ask for the asylum in London. Nobody basically knows why. The same Litvinenko and Trepashkin claimed FSB ordered them to kill Berezovskiy. Maybe it was needed for him to ask for the asylum in UK.

      Before that, during Yeltsyn, Berezovskiy was assigned as an official representative/ambassador of Russia in Chechnya (!!) in the Yeltsyn’s government. Can you imagine him at that position(!) And who’s the heck and why gave that to him. He PR-ed himself by helping to free hostages from Chechnya in a very simple way – just paid millions of dollars of ransom, in fact financing terrorists. The Russia General (Trushin or I forgot) wrote they were very disappointed when were coming to Chechnya at the same plane and Berezovskiy immediately left them along and went to the negotiations with Chechen field commanders escorted by armed Chechen security.

      There were some rumors that Berezovskiy might have known about the planned invasion to Dagestan (but I didn’t look for it, that was not wide spread). When in London, he still kept his relations with Chechens. Akhmed Zakaev, the ‘minister’ of Chechen shadow government, actually a PR and communication person for the rebel Chechnya in the west, was his closest friend and communicated with Litvinenko and Felshtinskiy as well.

      Btw, Gochiaev was not Chechen, he was Karacharovech, so it must have been a religion motivated move rather than for the sake of the separation of Chechnya. There were tensions between the secular Maskhadov government and radical islamists supported also by Arabic guests from the Middle East. And the invasion to Dagestan was done by that radical wing. Nevertheless Maskhadov later justified and joined the radical terrorists when he said he ‘had nothing to lose’.

      Probably Litvinenko and Felshtinskiy added a lot of their fantasy and reinterpretation in order to forge that version for Berezovskiy.

      Please use google translate in needed, but I believe you can read Russian:
      http://www.compromat.ru/page_12066.htm

      Reply
    • stranger

      Here is the only available fragment published by Felshtinskiy himself from the Gochiaev’s interview. They might have not agreed on the money (?) All the rest is just a published transcript allegedly said by Gochiaev in that interview. So who knows what Felshtinskiy and Litvinenko added or changed there. The name of his ‘FSB friend’ who allegedly told him over to rend the basements in Moscow by a fake passport was never named. Later Feltshtinskiy claimed Gochiaev himself was an FSB agent.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QlPYXqqE4Tc

      Reply
  4. stranger

    I’m not Sergey but let me answer.
    Latynina did not give a ‘theory’ she summarized all known facts so that you can deside yourself. The official investigation materials should also be taken into consideration along with the witnesses if the suspects in the court, the letters of Gochiaev himself, revealed by Felshtinskiy, the stories of Felshtinskiy himself and everything else.
    Do you think the ‘evidences’ you are giving are enough to prove your theory? You should prove your theory, not otherwise. But you are just trying to ignore the facts summarized by Latynina and claim ‘nothing is known’ instead.

    Reply
    • RAB3L

      Miss Latynina’s ‘case’ was based on one article in Kommersant which was itself based on the ‘offficial’ investigation, which itself was based on two trials both held in secret! Don’t you see a problem there? Obviously not! Do you trust the claims of Patrushev et al? For example, Putin, Patrushev and Rogozin have made claims that Madeleine Albright made a statement “that the mineral wealth of Siberia was so vast that it should not be owned by Russia, but by all humanity”.

      According to Wikipedia: “According to the New York Times, Madeleine Albright has always denied making such a statement and there is no evidence of one being made but this has not prevented Russian writers, columnists and even Kremlin officials, including President Putin and Dmitry Rogozin, from repeating the claim. [11][10] The source of the claim was found by journalist Anna Smolchenko. In 2006, Rossiyskaya Gazeta published an interview with retired Russian major-general Boris Ratnikov, concerning the security services secret mind reading division. Georgy Rogozin, a deputy of Alexander Korzhakov, head of presidential security from 1993 to 1996, was in charge of the division. According to Ratnikov, in 1999 just before the military intervention in Kosovo, which Ms Albright had supported, Rogozin had used a photograph of Ms Albright to read her thoughts, which included “a pathological hatred of slavs” and that “she was indignant that Russia held the world’s largest reserves of natural resources”. Rogozin would lie down and fall into a hypnotic state before ‘communicating’ with Ms Albright.”

      So Russian foreign policy is determined by seances and similar tosh? And you trust these people without reservation? There are other Russian works of fiction presented as ‘fact’ by your masters, e.g. The Allen Dulles Plans and statements from Churchill and Thatcher, ‘fact’ being a lie told so many times that it is accepted as fact by gullible Russians. You have the government that you deserve!

      Reply
      • stranger

        Well, again. You want to prove that Russia has blown up herself, so desperately, that you close the eyes on all the facts. Latynina are not giving one more ‘theory’ in contrast to Felshtinskiy, nor her ‘case’ is based on Kommersant. She is giving a summary of everything known for that case, including the official investigation, including the discussion with Felshtinskiy, including bragging of Felshtinskiy himself and interview with Gochiaev, including the islamic fundamentalism, and everything.

        That is not a matter of trust! Everybody can decide for himself after reading about the evidences!

        Did you read her article?? If you want to disprove it, say something like: ‘no, Gochiaev is lying, he did not rent the apartment building basements under a fake passport’,’no, Gochiaev was not an Islamic imam and his students didn’t organized the set of other suicide bombings Russia’, ‘no, Krumshankhalov is lying, they didn’t prepare the explosives, they didn’t borrow a truck from his relative to deliver it to Buynaksk’, ‘no, there were no Islamic extremists from the middle east in Chechnia and Ingushetia’, ‘no, Khattab and Basaev were lying when they promised to blow up Russians all over Russia’, etc, etc. Because you are avoiding to address what is known about the explosions and trying to turn it into a matter of merely trust.

        Who cares about Madeleine Albright, Patrushev, Berezovskiy, Putin or whoever, that is irrelevant.

        What matters is RUSSIA DIDN’T BLOW UP HERSELF!

        Reply
      • stranger

        “Kommersant which was itself based on the ‘offficial’ investigation, which itself was based on two trials both held in secret! Don’t you see a problem there?”
        That is not true! There are other evidences such as the communications between Gochiaev, Krymshankhalov and Batchev with Felshtinskiy and Litvinenko which they actually bragged themselves of.

        Reply
          • stranger

            Gochiaev suspected to be the head of the terrorist group responsible for the blasts in 3 cities, Buynaksk, Volgodonsk and Moscow has been NEVER detained. Nevertheless we know something about him from an alternative source: the Felshtinskiy and Litvinenko who actively promoted the version of FSB blasts under the own private investigation and were obviously sponsored by Berezovskiy.
            Even before the other 2 suspects Krumshankhalov and Batchaev were captured by Georgia actually and handed over to Russia, when they were hiding in Georgia in Pankisi Gorge, they allegedly according to Felshtinskiy wrote him a letter where admitted they did prepare the explosives and they did deliver them and stored in Pyatigorsk.
            Gochiaev handed over a video to Felshtinskiy and Litvinenko which was never published, but in the transcript they announced, Gochiaev explicitly confirmed he did help to rent the apt building basements in Moscow where the explosives was deployed.
            So we have some confirmations from the independent source such as Litvinenko and Felshtinskiy obviously related to Berezovskiy.
            Moreover when Felshtinskiy propose a sensational version such as FSB involvement, and you just repeat then, it is up to him to prove this theory and try to challenge it in order to test if it holds water. Everything he was able find he presented in his book FSB blows Russia. He didn’t actually try to challenge his idea there, and he omitted very important things such as Islamic extremists in Ingushetia for example as well.
            The other source we know is the official investigation where Krumshankhalov and Batchaev were giving detailed witnesses and those witnesses are published.
            Latynina also gives the connection of Gochiaev’s Islamic students to a number of other suicide bombing attacks in Russia.

            You can blame FSB, you may think it is the descendant of KGB, you may provide the innocent-verdicts stats in Russia (which is alarming indeed). But let’s separate the flies from the cutlets. How does it prove that FSB is behind those terroristic attacks? That is very important to find out and not mix everything together.

            And the burden of prove is on you as an apologist of a conspirology theory, not otherwise. Can you imagine what would be otherwise? I might tell for example that the twin towers were destroyed by aliens from Alfa-Centavra – try to prove me it was not, do you know a lot about Alfa-Centavra, how do you know it was not they?

  5. RAB3L

    You are so naive! From Wikipedia:

    “In November 2003, an article appeared in the weekly Moskovskiye Novosti, authored by an investigative journalist, Igor Korolkov.[117] It described a meeting between Mikhail Trepashkin and Mark Blumenfeld, a former businessman who had rented the basement in the apartment house on Guryanov Street to Gochiyaev, in which Mr Blumenfeld stated that the person who was making use of the Laipanov passport, and who was publicly presented by the investigation as Gochiyaev, was not in fact Gochiyaev. In Lefortovo Prison, Blumenfeld had been shown a photo of someone he was told was Gochiyaev but Blumenfeld replied that he had never seen the man but the investigators insisted that he identify Gochiyaev, at which point Blumenfeld ceased arguing and signed the document. The person who had met Blumenfeld was evidently not the same person depicted in the photograph but was, according to Blumenfeld, a man with a simple face whereas the person Blumenfeld had actually met looked externally like an intellectual. False-Laiponov had been seen by several persons. They all maintained that the original composite photo was very similar to the actual person who rented the storage facilities. The Russian Procuracy General unwittingly substantiated Trepashkin’s claim. Of the four storage premises named (two bombed and two not), the Delo (case) states that the witnesses for three, V.A. Avseev, Mark Blumenfeld and N.A. Gollubeva are not reported to have identified Gochiyaev as False-Laipanov. It should be noted that Blumenfeld’s account was different to the statement that he had signed for the FSB. One witness, Yu.E. Petrunkin, did identify a photograph of Gochiyaev as the man known by him as Laipanov. A driver, V.P.Sinitsyn, hired by False-Laipanov to deliver sacks of sugar, was not reported to have made an identification. Another hired driver, A.V.Prushinskii, stated that he was paid for his work by a man in glasses, about 1.8m tall, similar to the composite photo of Laipanov. It should be noted that Prushinskii was not shown an actual photo of Gochiyaev, even though one existed (it had been shown to Petrunkin).[112]”

    Reply
    • stranger

      First of all what is the source of this information? Just Wikipedia is not enough. Trepashkin probably as the colleague of Litvinenko by FSB and participated at theat infamous press conference where they claimed FSB ordered them to kill Berezovskiy.

      If we take the blasts in Buynaksk and Voldodonsk, more is know about the organization of those blasts, less in Moscow. Gochiaev again doesn’t deny it helped to rent the basements in Moscow and he has never been captured.

      So even if we assume your excerpt from Wikipedia is the truth, how does it prove the FSB involvement??

      Again RUBL, I understand your sentiments towards FSB, but we need to separate the flies from the cutlets.

      Reply

Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)

You can support the work of Bellingcat by donating through the following link:

TRUST IN JOURNALISM - IMPRESS