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Identifying The Berlin Bicycle Assassin: Russia’s Murder Franchise (Part 2)

December 6, 2019

By Bellingcat Investigation Team

  • In the previous part of this investigation, we identified the assassin of Zelimkhan Khangoshvili as Vadim Nikolaevich Krasikov, a 54-year old Russian citizen traveling with state-issued false identity papers. Khankoshvilli, an ethnically Chechen Georgian citizen who had fought against Russia in the Second Chechen War and was linked to Georgian military intelligence, was shot and killed at close range by a cyclist in broad daylight at a park near Berlin’s Kleiner Tiergarten. We disclosed that the detained suspect had been a key suspect in a previous murder in Moscow in June 2013, where the killer had also used a bicycle to approach his victim and escape.
  • We also disclosed that Russia had terminated both domestic and international search warrants issued for Vadim Krasikov just over a year after their issuance, in mid 2015. This lifting of the warrants occurred only a couple of months before Krasikov’s fake identity papers were issued under the new, cover name of “Vadim Sokolov”.
  • Following our publication, Germany’s Federal Prosecutor announced that it is escalating the investigation to a federal level, based on its assessment that the murder was likely commissioned by representatives of the Russian state. In its public statement, the Federal prosecutor’s office confirmed the key findings presented in our previous reports., including the true identity of the suspect and the evidence for the Russian state’s involvement.

In this part of the investigation we present newly discovered evidence that at the time Russian authorities detained Vadim Krasikov – presumably around the time his search warrants were revoked in 2015 – he was wanted for a second, previously unresolved murder in Karelia. A recidivist murder charge would have resulted in a severe jail sentence, in all likelihood a life jail term. This circumstance would have aggravated his personal prospects, and, coupled with his track record as a hitman, would have made him a suitable target for recruitment by Russia’s security services.

Crucially, we report evidence that as early as in 2007, Vadim Krasikov had close links to Russian security services and is likely to have been a member of one of FSB’s spetznaz units, the elite team known as “Vympel”.

 ***

At 11pm on 4 April 2007, Yury Kozlov, a member of the city council in a small town in the northwestern corner of Russia, was not home when his brother came to see him. Yury Kozlov’s phone was switched off and his car was missing, and at the place where his car was usually parked, his brother Alexander could see dark damp spots that appeared like they might be blood stains. Alexander got worried when his brother failed to show up after midnight, and called the police.

Article from NewsRU regarding the disappearance of Yury Kozlov, from 2007

After an overnight search operation in the sleepy town of Kostomuksha in Russia’s Republic of Karelia, Yury’s car was found near the train station the next morning. It had been left deserted, and there were signs of fighting and blood on the car floor, as well as traces on the ground from a body being dragged. Witnesses living nearby claimed to have heard two shots that followed a noisy scuffle.

The search continued for the next few days, weeks and months, but to no avail, until on 23 July, mushroom-pickers found a decomposed body in the Karelian forest, about fifteen kilometers from the location of the car. Kozlov’s relatives were able to identify the body as belonging to Yury, age 44. Police reported that he had been killed with several pistol shots into his body.

Theories about the motive for the murder ranged from business strife between Kozlov and another local entrepreneur – both were building rival shopping malls in a town that hardly had a population for one – to a family feud with another local clan. No suspects in the murder were publicly announced, and the investigation slowly turned into a cold case.

But behind the public view, local investigators had been working on leads even before the remains of the body had been found.

A form contained in Krasikov’s passport dossier showing markings requesting his file in connection with a 2007 criminal case

A review of hand-written notes on one form from Vadim Krasikov’s passport file, seen above, shows that on 19 April 2007 – two weeks after the entrepreneur had vanished- the local Karelian investigative office had requested a copy of Krasikov’s passport file. The marks on the form also reference a criminal case number in connection with which information was being sought: №18200712003.

We tried to obtain, via a whistle-blower with access to the local Karelian police database, a case file on Vadim Kasikov (the so-called IBD-R dossier that aggregates all information on suspects or victims in a given region). There was no file on Krasikov in the Karelian police records.

However, the same source was able to pull up data on the case file 18200712003: indeed, this was a criminal case launched on 5 April 2007 in connection with the disappearance of Yury Kozlov, the Kostomuksha entrepreneur. The criminal case was initiated pursuant to article 105 of Russia’s criminal code, which means that even before finding the dead body, the investigators were presuming Kozlov had been murdered.

The fact that the police had a suspect so early in the investigation had never been publicized. The missing local IBD-R record on Krasikov makes it impossible to study why investigators thought Krasikov a person of interest in the case. For the next few years, no further public information about the process of the investigation was made public.

***

Eight years later, on 10 April 2015, a local news website brought news of the cold case being revived. The site reported that the investigation had been resumed when, “a short time ago”, police had detained two persons in Moscow who had reportedly made confessions to the murder, and had even been brought to Kostomuksha in the process of the investigation. The website also reported that searches were being held at the offices of an influential local family who had run the rival shopping mall project in 2007.

While it was impossible, given that Krasikov’s police file was purged, to find hard evidence that he was directly linked to the 2007 murder, a number of circumstances clearly pointed us to that conclusion.

First, it was known from Krasikov’s passport file that he was a person of interest in the case. Second, there is no file for Krasikov in the local IBD-R Karelia record. This absence is abnormal in the event he was a person of interest, which is established from the markings on his passport form. What was even more unusual, however, was that in the victim’s own local police file – Yury Kozlov’s IBD-R dossier – there exists no data relating to his disappearance and murder. In other words, both local police files in Karelia that would have had a reference to the local 2007 murder – just like Krasikov’s own national police dossier – had been thoroughly, and apparently manually, purged. Thirdly, several months after the detention and alleged confession in Moscow (which would have taken place in late 2014 or early 2015), Krasikov’s national and international search warrants were taken down.

We concluded that Krasikov was either one of the two captured suspects, or a third accomplice that the two suspects pointed to after their arrest in Moscow.

The Untouchables from Vympel

Faced with purged records of any of the crimes and associated court cases (no reference to the criminal case mentioned in Krasikov’s passport file exists in the Karelian court system), we approached Alexander Kozlov, Yury Kozlov’s brother. He confirmed to us that shortly after his brother’s murder, investigators had focused on three suspects who – hotel records showed – had arrived and stayed in the town hotel in Kostomuksha the evening his brother vanished. One of the suspects was indeed Vadim Krasikov. 

Alexander told us that on 20 November 2014, police detained the other two suspects: Oleg Ivanov (born 23 July 1976) and Vladimir Fomenko (born 23 June 1976). Police were already searching for Krasikov on an arrest warrant in connection with the 2013 Moscow bicycle murder. At some point in 2014 or early 2015, Krasikov was also detained. All three of them were brought by investigators to Kostomuksha, and they all admitted to having been in town on the night of the murder, but claimed that had nothing to do with the crime itself – arguing that they flew in and out as tourists.

Alexander tells us that only Ivanov and Fomenko were formally charged with the murder, and were brought before court in Karelia’s capital Petrozavodsk (Alexander himself attended the court hearings). Krasikov was never brought to court, and Alexander Kozlov never understood why.

In arguing for their release on bail, the defense told the court that they could not have committed the gruesome murder, as they were highly decorated veterans of FSB’s Vympel spetsnaz team. Several other veterans from the elite Vympel unit came to offer the court character testimony, and even offered bond payments to ensure their comrades would be let out on bail.

Even the court decision to extend their imprisonment, which Alexander shared with us, refers to their legacy at the elite special operations group in its decision to acquit:

“Fomenko is an honorable defender of the fatherland, decorated with multiple state orders, including the Courage Order, the Services to the Fatherland Medal, the Suvorov Medal…..and also a named Glock-100 pistol awarded personally by the President of Kyrgyzstan”

Extract from a court decision from Petrozavodsk’s court, listing the awards bestowed to Fomenko – including a Glock-100 from Kyrgyzstan’s president.

In 2015, Alexander was told that the case has been taken up by the Directorate for investigation of extraordinarily important cases of Russia’s central investigative committee, or SledCom. He was later told that the case had been dropped due to insufficient evidence against the suspects and no further new leads. We have reviewed letters sent from SledCom to Alexander Kozlov that confirm his statements.

Alexander Kozlov appears to have no doubts that all three suspects – including Krasikov – shared a common past in Russia’s elite FSB unit. Court documents show that Alexander wrote to the court stating he fears for his life, given that the third suspect – Vadim Krasikov – was still at large. While there is no paper-trail of his work for the spetsnaz group, there is also no record of any gainful employment he had pursued. Krasikov’s former wife, approached by our partner Der Spiegel, said she did not know what his job had been while they were married, as it was “some business women are usually not informed about”. We also found flight booking record showing that Krasikov flew to Kyrgyzstan – the place where at least one of the other accomplices in the Karelia murder had earned a high award- on two occasions, once in 2011 and a second time in 2017.

Alexander Kozlov tells us that having seen coverage of Krasikov’s arrest in Berlin, he plans to write to the SledCom chief and insist on a re-opening of the cold case, now that it is clear that Krasikov is indeed a murderer.

The Petrozavodsk court system does not yield any results under either the case number of the criminal case Alexander personally attended, nor under any of the names of the charged – and acquitted – suspects.

Catch and Release

The most plausible hypothesis of what happened in 2015 was that Krasikov – who was already wanted under the 2013 murder arrest warrant – was detained at some point in 2014 and was forced to confess not only to the Moscow 2013 murder but also the Karelia 2007 murder. This, in turn, likely led to the arrest of the other two accomplices in the Karelia murder.

In this scenario, Krasikov would have known that he was facing prospects of a lifetime in prison. This would have made him highly susceptible to recruitment as a hitman for Russia’s security’s services, especially under Alexander Kozlov’s hypothesis of his elite spetsnaz background. Russian security services are known to have used criminals – some with FSB or police background – in similar predicaments for extraterritorial assassinations in at least two other cases we have researched (see Public Private Partnerships, below).

***

Following the capture of Vadim Krasikov and the release subject to whatever arrangement he achieved, there is a blank period until the end of 2015 where he does not pop up in any data sources we have reviewed. However, three months later, on 3 September 2015, the first trace of another persona – Vadim Sokolov, born 20 August 1970 – appears in the Russian legal universe. That is when the first domestic passport (a rough equivalent to an European ID card) was issued to “Sokolov”, the fake persona who at that moment would have been 45.

Living a parallel life to his new persona as “Sokolov”, Vadim Krasikov continued his own life, out of prison and ostensibly out of trouble with the law. The annual tax report for Vadim Krasikov for 2015 shows that he earned 140,000 rubles (approx EUR 2,000) from employment at a company named ORD Ltd. Later years’ tax filings show that he continued to be “employed” by this firm through 28 February 2018. A review of the Russian companies register shows that there are three companies with that exact name. When approached by us, none of the three said they employed, or knew of a Vadim Krasikov. If that is true, Krasikov’s employment status was entered into the tax database without grounds – something that, like many other things in this case, would have required an intervention from a state actor.

Krasikov did not travel commercially for the 14 months following his presumed detention (the travel databases consulted by us for this research capture all commercial forms of travel but not personal auto travel). He resumed air-travel in July 2016, when he flew to Simferopol (Crimea) on 17 July and stayed until 1 August 2016. A year later, on 31 August 2017, he flew from Moscow to Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan. He stayed there five days and returned to Moscow on 4 September 2017. In the next year, he flew from Moscow to Crimea a total of four times, each time staying between 5 and 7 days, with the last trip returning him to Moscow on 12 July 2018. We have not yet been able to correlate his travel dates to significant events in either Kyrgyzstan or Crimea during the times of Krasikov’s trips. However, shortly after the annexation of Crimea, Krasikov’s  two 2007 partners in crime established a private security company in Crimea, and his trips may have been related to that enterprise.

Timeline of key events in the lives of Krasikov and “Sokolov”

On 26 July 2019, Vadim Krasikov made a one-day return trip from Moscow to St. Petersburg. This was a Friday; on the following Monday, Krasikov would appear at the French consulate in Moscow, carrying documents – including fake employment papers issued by the St. Petersburg company RUST – that would misrepresent him as St. Petersburg resident Vadim Sokolov, an engineer earning 80,000 Rubles (EUR 1,100) a month who wanted to see Paris. The French consulate would naively buy into this fiction and issue him a visa the next day.

Purge, Rinse, Repeat

Bellingcat already reported that many previously existing records of Vadim Krasikov have vanished from Russian registries at some point in the last months or years, while others have been falsified. These include records of his driver’s license, criminal records (both national and local), and residential records.

We have since also discovered that records relating to Krasikov’s second wife have also been purged from registries. While offline data sources show that Krasikov married his second spouse in Moscow in 2010, there are no records of such marriage in the current version of Moscow ZAGS (family status database). Records of two cars owned by his wife from offline sources downloaded as recently as 2018 currently cannot be seen by sources with access to the traffic-police database. Similarly, residential records from the two addresses where his spouse has been listed as registered in the last five years show no entry for Krasikov’s wife, including in historical checks.

Public-private partnerships

The use of criminals as proxy assassins by Russia’s security services is not without precedent. In April 2019, a car bomb exploded prematurely as it was being placed under the car of an officer from Ukraine’s military intelligence at his home in Kyiv. The Ukrainian military intelligence officer had played a crucial role in incapacitating Russian military activities in one critical military confrontation in the Donbas a few years earlier.

The person who was placing the car – and who lost his limbs in the explosion but despite severe blood loss, was saved by Ukrainian medics – had traveled to Ukraine under a fake identity.

The would-be assassin traveled under the fake identity of Aleksey Lomako, a non-existing Kyrgyz citizen born in 1983. In fact, back then Bellingcat identified him as Alexey Komarichev, a Russian citizen born five years earlier, in 1978 (coincidentally, Krasikov’s fake alter ego is also five years younger).

Fake Kyrgyz passport used by Russian hired operative Alexey Komarichev to travel to Ukraine in April 2019

Facial comparison between “Lomako” and Komarichev using Microsoft Azure Face API confirms both are the same person. In analyzing open source data and leaked Russian databases, we then identified the most plausible reason for this operative’s acceptance of, what turned out almost literally, a suicide mission. While a former police officer investigating drug crimes in Moscow, Alexey Komarichev had been caught accepting a bribe. This resulted in a criminal charge that – in addition to a prison sentence – required him to pay a criminal fine of nearly 48 million rubles (approximately EUR 700,000). The hefty fine plus the prison term are likely to have appeared as a less attractive option to accepting a risky mission abroad, in return for absolution.

While at the time of the explosion there was no information to help decide which of Russia’s security services would have recruited Komarichev, an arrest of another Russian operative in Kyiv a few days later provided the answer. The contents of Komarichev’s mobile phone contained reference to another person with a Kyrgyzstan passport, which Ukrainian authorities found out to be still in the country. A reverse face search in open source data led to the real identity of the accomplice: Timur Dzortov, a former Spetznaz officer in Ingushetia. He was detained in Kyiv and confessed that he and Alexey had been recruited by the GRU in 2017, underwent additional weapons, sabotage and bomb-making training in Moscow, Rostov and Donetsk, and were deployed to Kyiv with the express mission to assassinate a Ukrainian military counter-intelligence officer. Previous unsuccessful attempts, by Dzortov’s confession, included a knife attack that was planned to appear as random street crime, and murder by firearms. When they found out that the target could not be easily approached within striking distance, the instruction from their GRU handler in Moscow was changed towards placing an IED under the target’s car.

Fake Kyrgyzstan passport issued by GRU to Timur Dzortov.

At the time of Dzortov’s arrest in Kyiv, all data about his existence had been deleted from Russian state-run databases. Both Dzortov and Komarichev are still in Ukrainian custody.

 

In a recent investigation, the New York Times disclosed another case of Russia’s security services using ex-convicts to liquidate targets were believed to have spited Russia years earlier. In 2015, after being wounded in fighting in the Donbas, a Russian citizen with a hefty prison record was recruited by Russian security officers in Moscow after he tried unsuccessfully to join the Wagner PMC to go and fight in Syria. A year later he found himself in the Western Ukrainian town of Rivne, where he profiled, tracked, shot and killed an unsuspecting Ukrainian prison guard. The killer had received a list of six targets, and had been trained in the basics of trade-craft, using floral code-words to decipher instructions he would receive as text messages from Moscow. After he killed the first target, he flew back Moscow to claim his award and prepare for his next assignment, but was captured during a cursory trip to Ukraine to surprise his Ukrainian girlfriend on her birthday. Having found about the murder, she tipped off Ukrainian police.

An analysis of the six targets that were on the laymen assassin’s list showed that they shared only one thing in common: all of them had assisted, in roles of military advisers or volunteers, Georgia’s army during its 2008 war with Russia.

These two recent state-commissioned assassination attempts bear certain common features with the Berlin murder, and may produce clues as to the most likely motive behind it. In both cases Russian security services used ex-criminals, supervised by actual staff officers, to try and create a layer of deniability. And in both cases the motive was not national security concern or operational necessity. Rather, the motive appeared to be revenge for prior actions by the targets that had been seen as hostile to Russia, in one case during the war in eastern Ukraine, and in the other during the Georgian-Russian war. This may well have been the motive in the case of Khangoshvili, who took active part in the second Chechen war, but was also involved in the Georgian-Russian war when he reportedly acted in service of Georgia’s military intelligence.

 

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132 Comments

    • Free

      Probably my last comment here – you people don’t want to engage in any sort of constructive discussion. You look only one side of the medal – the fact that russian institutions are worse than european ones. You take comfort in that and you even present it as a true discovery, like it was not self evident to any reasonable person. Guys, sorry to break the news, but russia lost the cold war long ago. Their gdp per capita is somewhat comparable to greece in ppp. Their economy is smaller than Spain. And there is nothing covert about what they do – even stones know that Russia is pursuing its interest abroad, legally and illegally. Russia has been doing that for a long time and eventually lost the big game. It is still playing to some extent. You can agree or disagree with their tactics, operations etc. You can claim they are evil and you are good, they can claim the exact opposite. People fight wars, it’s the human nature. You cant name any single government that does not have some sort of intelligence operations. Among other things, that’s what governments collect taxes for – approve a budget, create an agency, call it with an acronym, and task it of advancing their interest abroad, however they can, while bending the rules to do it. Duh.

      But russia is only one of many adversaries of europe. And by far not the most dangerous. A country that produces Lada cars cannot be ridiculed by any article you could possibly write. Its impossible that you can ridicule russia more than what they already do to themselves by assembling (assembling?!) those cars.

      On the contrary, europe should be good, efficient, accountable. So:
      Bellingcat investigates supposed russian killers.
      Bellingat officially alerts european counterintelligence services, publishes russian methods, tracks them down, and it gets continent-wide news coverage. They even explain step by step how they did it.
      Few months later – nothing changed and bellingcat claims here that counterintelligence services were fooled again, by the same people, with the same modus operandi. The same thing! Bellingat here claims that counterintelligence people insist in giving visas to people popping up in the RF database with no previous history! Either these articles are false, or european counterintelligence willingfully ignored bellingcat warnings. And yes servus, I do understand that the passports are “real”, and it’s the identity that is fake. Your comment is so dumb, but repeat with me: bellingcat did explain how to check on false personas with real passport and “virgin” identities, did give to counterintelligence these databases, how to access them and all the info. Officially at the UK parliament, in front of BBC cameras.

      And the funniest part of all – is that I am the only one here to see a problem. You are cheering at one single supposed spy being caught, while bellingcat shows that the entire european visa system could be fundamentally flawed and nobody is protecting schengen. Where is the bellingcat investigating chinese spies? And what about islamic terrorists? Is our system right now giving visas to all those criminal tourists as well? China never stole technology, correct? Iran – best buddies, right? Terrorists willing to enter EU – never heard about? Perhaps you are actually so dumb to think that russia is the only country that hands out original passports with newly created identities to their operatives and lies in the visa application procedure. Other adversarial countries are too honest to do that, in your mind. When they send a spy, they write about it in the visa application form and they get it denied. And on top of that you are also narrow minded enough to think that all the other countries that are following this story did not get the clear message – schengen system is apparently so flawed that even after a warning (on BBC!!) that the procedure does not work – the system is not updated and the same incidents happen again after a few months. And you are not worried that all other countries can exploit these evident schengen visa debacle to advance their own interests. Because we catched one russian, so all is good.

      I am more interested in the big picture. If what bellingat writes is true, somebody that I pay to protect my country, instead of doing his or her job, issued a shengen visa to a serial killer, after being directly pointed and warned about where to check and who was trying to get it and what tacticts they would use to fool him. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice? If this is true, I would like to know who is responsible for this security disaster. Why nothing changed and nobody was fired when this was evident after the UK parliament audition. Are we talking corruption then? Was the visa bought? This would be so incredibly shameful.

      But you don’t care about the real problem. If the schengen system is broken and they don’t fix it, you don’t care. You prefer to look at russian incompetence, rather than focusing on european incompetence. For you its not a discussion, its just like cheering at a football game, or commenting a movie, disconnected from real life. I am starting to think that either you pay very little taxes, or you don’t pay them at all. Perhaps you are used to a low standard of public service. It is not my case. I pay half of my income in taxes and don’t like my money to go wasted. It is my right as citizen to demand accountability. I want good hospitals, and good schools. And I also want good security. And I am not getting it, if all what is written above by bellingcat is true.

      Sorry to say, but I expected a higher level of discussion and engagement here. You are boring and narrow minded, and you don’t even make justice to the effort of the people that wrote these articles. Instead of having a confrontation about how to improve our society and use an opportunity to ask to our institutions to be better, you take comfort in knowing that russian institutions are worse than ours. And you even think that this is a point that has to be made, like it was not self-evident. If for you its surprising and has to he highlighted that russian living standard are lower than european ones, I can only suggest you to come out of the rabbit hole. Farewell.

      Reply
      • Amused

        ” you don’t even make justice to the effort of the people that wrote these articles”
        🙂 🙂 🙂 Dear Free 🙂 most comments are written by authors of articles posted on this site.

        Reply
        • Free

          Dear Amused, what can I say – it would be sad if this is the case. I hope that you are wrong and that the authors, unlike the commenters, are not ideologically blind. I hope that they can understand that the real value of their articles is proving once again (like many did before them) that eu and us intelligence/counterintelligence is either inept, or evil, or corrupt, or a mix of the three. And I also hope that the authors, unlike these rabid commenters, are spending time to challenge and fix our broken system, and making a strong case for a reduction of the invasive and useless surveillance state we live in, instead of complacently pointing the finger at the russians while exchanging high fives to each other. (by the way, why always the russians? Only good guys and real tourists are coming from china?).
          However, fortunately or unfortunately, in our democracy there is space for all opinions – including revanchists. So if this is the case, and you are right, it will be just another squandered opportunity for reforms, another finger pointed at an external threat to deflect attention from the inefficiencies of eu and american institutions that ends up in much noise and zero impact. If these articles tell the truth, all this already happened, in front of the uk parliament, when the surveillance state took note, and nothing happened, and see you at the next murder. The big state wins, fear keeps running, new liberticide laws can be approved, and the semiprivate big brother can spy a little more on all of us and tell us that we shall not worry – its for our security.

          Reply
      • Gerhard

        I assure you Western intelligence is learning from Bellingcat..it always takes courage to be the first one to point to the elephant in the room, but everyone has a pulse and internet access, and they want to look like they’re not completely incompetent. Russian intelligence is also learning, of course.

        But make no mistake — Russia (along with China) has established itself as the enemy of Western democracy, and NATO was established to contain and neutralize that threat. NATO will not rest until acts such as described in this article have been eliminated or at least minimized, and Russia’s ability to threaten Eastern Europe destroyed militarily, economically, and socio-politically.

        That is the stated and immovable goal of all allied Western countries, and will continue to be so until a liberal democratic government open to a Western style of diplomacy has been established in Moscow. Full stop. You are outnumbered, outmaneuvred, outgunned, and will collapse just as you did in the Cold War.

        Yes, your services and diplomacy have some successes now and then, like the 2016 U.S. election, Crimea, Nord Stream 2, disruptions in Ukrainian government, etc., but at what cost? The total economic and diplomatic isolation of your country to a point where living standards fall below sub-Saharan Africa? What will it take for you to wake up and rise up against your feeble coward of a leader who plunders your meager earnings for yet another nuclear missile program or development scheme designed to benefit only him and his cronies?

        What kind of strong, mighty country pulls its military men out of regular service to send them to die anonymously in the Ukrainian forest, only to tell their family they deserted their post and went missing?

        So it’s easy to be cynical, but as for right and wrong, yes, I think Russia has demonstrated that it is as close to evil as a state entity that exists in this world. So no, it’s not all the same between countries, it’s not a game, but Russia will lose, and its people will lose most of all in the long-term.

        So down another shot of vodka and cheer your cowardly autocrat’s minor, morally corrupt victories as your society disintegrates and beloved civilisation crumbles, or join the side that almost managed to liberalise Russia in the 1990s.

        Reply
      • Servus

        Farewell ?

        Oh please your situation is desperate, it’s obvious (does Greece or Italy need to argue it’s a normal country ?) please don’t do anything unreasonable.

        Reply
        • Gerhard

          But thank you for the word of the day: liberticide! Definition: Putin’s master guiding policy, ideology, and theology all in one.

          Reply
        • Gerhard

          Also, very soon once Putin has succeeded in completely cutting Russia off from the global internet we’ll know for sure that any Russian posters are government-affiliated. We can at least thank him for that. You’ll just have to do better posing as Westerners.

          Reply
      • Servus

        re: free Fiodor
        At least you assume your true identity, as a Russian state defender, and one can add a professional propagandist. You claim to get a part of your salary in EU, where is the other one coming from? I asked you because you raised that as an important point, giving you a right to be a “concerned EU taxpayer” ?
        Your Russia Today or other outlet identity or maybe even a true one can be easily established by comparing the writing styles.
        It might be interesting because you seem to have direct links to Russian propaganda operations and test different ideas of the damage management like “Krasikov’s passport was fake” , it was not, (first tested by the M like Masha).

        Russian propaganda tries to project an image of Russia as a “normal state”, with all it’s weaknesses and defaults, like any other state. And a rather ‘poor one’, not really in position to threaten anybody and marginally present in the world’s “big picture”.

        This type of propaganda tactics is called “Discussing menu with a friendly Cannibal “.
        The Cannibal says, “look, we are not that different, you like meat, I like meat, you like roasts, salad, red wine, me to. I use knife and fork as well..
        So, how about a “constructive dialogue” or “lets look at the bigger picture”?
        Obviously he hides the essence of his intentions; to eat you up.
        Is discussion about menu possible with a friendly Cannibal ?

        Russian is engaged in an aggressive hybrid war against Western democracies, that occasionally gets hot when they kill people standing in their way or use these murders to terrorise justice, police and politicians, to allow them with Russian state objective NI 1. And it’s large scale laundering of stolen USD billions. What to do with all this money coming from outright theft of state money, corruption and extortion? This is a real problem for Russian power elites, some get cough (for not sharing enough with right people) and even Russian press reports about hundreds of millions of USD notes stored in a Moscow flat…

        The corruption, theft of public money, extortion and violence is an essence of Russian state, and the oppressive and aggressive rest just follows from there.

        The Russian GNP maybe that of Italy but it’s not advancing Russian peoples destiny, 15% of Russians are poor (official statistics) and poverty grows steadily, 25% of men die before reaching 50 because of alcoholism, homicide (rates 10 or more times higher than in Europe), poverty and poor health care. RF government lower vodka price some time ago to quiet the people, while life expectancy goes systematically down. The social disaster of vodka and poverty is immense, there are 4 times more orphaned and abandoned children in Russia then after the terrible WWII…
        And thing are only getting worse while there seems no resource limits on any special operations, interference with elections in US, France, Britain, Italy…read also a very informative NYT article about open GRU election corruption in Madagascar…, trying and succeeding in buying politicians in UK, US, Italy , supporting financially extreme right and left..

        This is not a normal state but a Cannibal menu.

        Reply
        • M

          You are wasting time at bellingcat – you should write and publish thriller novels – 🙂 Minion you would be the next Robert Ludlum.

          Reply
          • Jeroen

            Seems like a compliment to you Servus.
            Like touching the right nerve, or a sensitive spot.
            Well done well writen

        • Gerhard

          Exactly — that’s why I say keep posting away, propagandists, so that we may examine the techniques and methods of your sociological laboratory experiments here..very soon they’ll have psych profiles with certain language characteristic of certain posters cross-referenced with databases of Russian outlets so they’ll know what you want to eat for breakfast next Monday before even you do.

          So please..keep posting as specifically as possible with all of the latest talking points, and don’t hold back on the latest juicy theories proposed at your last group meeting! We can’t wait!

          Reply
        • Free

          Dear Servus, let me please write here once more time. I dont understand why you are not discussing my points. I will not do anything stupid, I promise.
          If bellingcat article is true, it means that we have a national security hole, that the schengen visa system is not only broken, but also incapable of updating after being publicly pointed to methods that already fooled it.
          Unlike you, I don’t care what is the origin of the next murderer that enters schengen illegally. He can be iranian, or chinese, or whatever. I would like to know that he will be denied his visa or arrested at the border before committing a crime, not after. Before-not-after. Is it really difficult for you to understand? Bellingat claims that there is a national security emergency at schengen level. According to bellingcat, our national security is managed by people that were warned officially in the UK, did nothing, and here we are again, they got fooled again by the same adversary with the same methods. Is this true? Why this is happening again with the same methods? Who is responsible of this disaster? Why nobody was fired? Where is the apology for letting this happen? Is this smelling corruption? Are they using this as a way of keeping up fears to increase their budgets? How is it even remotely possible that not a single cross check was performed on these databases and on issued visas in the schengen zone, between the UK audition and this article? And the reason I care, is because the big government imposed upon me the surveillance state saying that it was for my own good, and that all this nsa spying everything was for my own security, and that it would stop terrorists if I gave access to my data. The government got my money, and approved its multibillion budgets, even if I knew it was a lie, and I voted against it, but my party lost. And bellingcat is apparently proving again that its a lie and services cant even keep out serial killers from my borders after having been warned. As gerhard said before – they have low salaries. Is Bellingcat proving that their results are even lower than their salaries?

          Reply
          • Servus

            Dear Cannibal,

            I understand your frustration, apparently some basic facts in the story escaped you.
            BUT don’t worry, it’s enough to read again the two Bellingcat articles about mr Vadim Nikolaevich Krasikov aka Vadim Sokolov (two names but the same person, not obvious but it happens).
            If you still have issues grasping what sort of documents and who issued these, maybe you can read the articles again or make a drawing.

            sincerely, your servant

          • Servus

            Fiodor,
            I don’t argue with your fabricated “off-the wall” problems or issues because this would be “discussing menu with a Cannibal” , thanks for providing such a simple school example of it.
            Your propaganda ideas are a lead balloon not even your loyal “useful idiots” would swallow these.
            But, as you guys are not afraid of ridicule and frankly are short of ideas, we will certainly have RTs, Sputniks and propaganda websites vigorously propagating it . Go ahead, meet the reality check, it will be amusing to see all your brave “idiots” identify themselves as your subordinates and get laugh at.

            Falsely accusing French police or all powerful secret services to let Krasikov murder a refugee is an idiotic propaganda diversion, an attempt to divert the attention from real questions :

            What was the role of Russian embassy in the Berlin murder planning, organising, initiating, managing, providing operational support?
            Which “diplomats” survived the victim, established its habits, gave a start signal of the operation when the victim left home or entered park?
            Who provided the bicycle, gun and other accessories?
            Are there any non-diplomatic Russian employees of the embassy that quickly packed and left Germany?
            Who, when and where trained Krasikov for this operation? Gave him pictures, videos, Berlin plans and planned the whole operation?
            Which RF service is responsible for this operation, delivery of false identity, documents and clean up/modifications of divers databases?
            Who else did Krasikov meet at the state terrorist training camp? Who did he met and what does he know about other undercover operations in Russian and abroad ?

            Krasikov talks so some answer are certainly known to German and French authorities. Street videos and mobile phone billings will provide additional evidence.

            What should German reaction be? How to prevent future murders or how to keep RF accountable ? How to increase a price for such special operations? One German MP talked about reviewing common business ventures, what should be the impact on North Stream project? Freeze it, gain more control so one would need less interactions with Russians in the future? Or just cancel it ?
            Not responding forcefully will encourage further special operations, just like it was with the weak answer to Litvinienko murder that encourage assassination attempt on Skripals.

            Can German politicians or businessmen accept to have a common project with Russian Federation, when RF does not hesitate to kill people on German soil? Can you talk with guys that hold a gun in their hands, show resolve, aggressivity and don’t hesitate to use it?
            What should be the future of RF relation to EU, should Macron calm down with his plans to improve relation with RF? What should be EU or maybe a worldwide answer to RF murders? More deeper sanctions ?

          • concerned citizen

            Free, you’ve spotted one of many problems with the Bellingcat version of reality.

            In order to believe Bellingcat, we must also believe other things that just aren’t plausible.

            Where is the backup for any of Bellingcat’s stories about Russian spies/assassins? It’s always some database they claim to have but can’t show you. Oh and free face match websites. 70% or so match from a blurry small photo is good enough for Bellingcat.

            Bellingcat is allowed to spin its tales because it’s convenient for our governments. Would any of it stand up in court? Of course not, their methods and reasoning are laughable.

          • Servus

            Concerned Tovarisch,

            Funny you should worry about Bellingcat trustworthiness ;
            Unusually, this particular report has an independent confirmation
            German authorities have independently identified mr Krasikov, not such a big deal, there was an old Interpol search warrant for him.

            Funny you should mention evidence holding up in a court, it’s just a question of time when German court will disperse your objections. The accused admits the crime and cooperate with police.

          • Jeroen

            So do not worry so much about Bellingcat, it is not important what Bellingcat does anyway.
            But why are all these guys here so fanatically trying to convince day after day after day that BC is not important and not worth believing and its methods questionable?
            Why do they do that again and again when BC is so unimportant and so wrongfull all the time.

            Do not worry guys, culprits will be exposed and caught.

            Do not know about when your bicyclist will be fined for wrong parking his bicycle in a german canal, though.

            March 9th will start the MH17 trail and it will tells us all evidence the court will accept.
            And it will see you and other guys spinning all kind of stories before, during and after that trail, exposing all your stupidity.
            Russia should have admitted its mistake 5 years ago, but now it is far too late and damage control is useless.

            Everybody will see what some of their Russian leaders and military really are.
            The Russian people will see it.

            Have you ever asked yourself of the GRU/FSB checked all those 7 appartements in Buynaksk, Volgodonsk, Moskva and Ryazan of one of its residents had family relatives within the FSB, GRU or military?
            Could it have been your family where the FSB carried bags of RDX into the cellars and setting a timer?
            In Buynaksk military were killed?
            Was that done to infuriate both the military and civilians creating a strong motive to engage in the Chechen War in order to prevent the Russian Federation from disintegrating just like happened to the USSR?

            Anyway Ryazan made clear that some very dirty thing was going on.
            That somebody might consider to punish ďefecting intelligence coworkers is in itself imaginable…
            But planning blowing up about 6-7 apartement buildings in order to prevent Chechens getting an independent Caucasian republic?
            Blowing up Russian citizens? How many were killed? Over 300.
            How many wounded? Over 1000.
            By an FSB operation?
            I would vote for such a regime, would not you?

      • Jeroen

        The Russian Federation a normal European state with European values?
        Occupying 27.000 km2 square lands of one of its neighbours?
        Fueling and orchestring a bloody war with 13.000 killed (3.400 civilians) and 30.000 wounded, now soon entering its 7th year?
        Providing the military hardware, training, troops, volunteers, ammunition, landmines, drones, airdefense, electronical warfare to equip a complete standing armycorps. In Eastern Ukraine?
        With more main battle tanks than France and Germany together deployed near to the frontline?
        Shooting down MH17 (probably accidentaly) but lying and falsly accusing about that fact knowingly?
        Having illegal troops present in Moldavia and Georgia also?
        Not to mention what they did in Ryazan in 1999 and others cities?
        Killing a lot of its own brilliant and promising journalists and (some) politicians?
        Which prefer a national controlled internet with probably the same intent as China People Republic?
        A normal European state?

        Reply
  1. BS Bon Sens

    Dear Bellingcat, I read with great interest your “Identifying The Berlin Bicycle Assassin” (Part 1 and 2). A nice pieces of investigative-detective literature; reminded me Frederick Forsyth’ “The Day of The Jackal” (in a good way, in a good way 🙂 ). Though the amount of investigative work involved is truly amazing, I found your conclusions of Russian Government involvement as way too far-fetched. Here is some of my thoughts on the subject I wanted to discuss with you guys and with your readers:
    1). I think (and I really believe it’s A BIGGY!!!) it’s really not “plausible” that Russian Government would use an assassin who was already listed in the Interpol database. Too risky – in case of capture he would be eventually identified (as it actually happened) and his false documents versus his real identity would raise too many eyebrows (as they actually did). Opposite, if the hit were ordered by some non-state criminal entities, they wouldn’t even know (or didn’t actually care) about existence of any listing in Interpol.
    2). Getting legitimate domestic passport and subsequent Russian international passport for the fake person Vadim Sokolov “who at that moment (3 September 2015) would have been 45 (y.o.)” doesn’t necessarily mean involvement of some sinister state agencies like FSB or GRU. The key number here is age 45. At 45 years of age all Russian citizens have to replace their passports with new ones. The old passports are destroyed or returned to their owners with holes punched in them, or marked “void” or something. At this particular point it is probably relatively easy for a crooked passport-desk clerk to issue a genuine new domestic passport to a fictional non-existent person. Probably quite a few new Russian “citizens” were created this way. And, of course, with a valid domestic passport getting a new international passport is pretty much just a matter of applying for one.
    3). General observation: If Russian State wanted to go after every Chechen military commander of platoon level or higher who found shelter in Western countries it would probably need a battalion size army of assassins which is not really “plausible”. But what’s “plausible” that the attack on Mr. Khankoshvilli was related to his work as an intelligence agent for Georgia (a country in Caucasus, not a US state 🙂 ) and in particular to the “Lopota Gorge incident in 2012” (see https://www.thedailybeast.com/zelimkhan-khangoshvilis-murder-in-berlin-the-untold-story-of-a-chechen-jihadist-turned-secret-agent?ref=scroll). He clearly made a lot of enemies (other than Russian government) who didn’t forget and didn’t forgive. By the way, the media is strangely incurious about what Mr. Khankoshvilli was doing for a living at the time of his murder? Was he an independently wealthy man? If so how did he get his fortune?
    4). In one of the articles (frankly I can’t find it now) I read some interviews with residents from Berlin Chechen community where Mr. Khankoshvilli lived at the time of his murder who were eagerly and openly voicing their opinions that it was Russian government behind the attack. It struck me as kind of strange that they were not afraid that they might get included in the notorious Russian (or “Putin’s”) ”hit list”. After all crazy Russian assassins are killing people in Berlin in broad daylight; the person who apparently followed Mr. Khankoshvilli and passed info on his movements to the hitman is still most probably living among them… But if they actually believe that it was someone else (and not Russian government) who ordered the attack, then blaming Russia is kind of OK, not scary at all… Just a thought.
    5). If Krasikov was recruited by Russian State in 2015 in exchange for immunity for crimes in 2007 and 2013, isn’t it a little too long a wait until his “services” were requested in 2019? It makes no sense to let a murderous sociopath roam the dark alleys and expect him to behave and stay out of trouble for 4 years, not even in Russia.

    Reply
    • Jeroen

      It will never suffice to answer here in the comments section in line with only a certain script presented to you in the office.
      But if it were your personal thoughts thanks for sharing.

      You need to be interested to find out the truth, like for example journalists do or citizens like who support or work together within a collective like Bellingcat.

      It is better to be informed in these matters.

      Your point 3 distracting us from Russia’s role in the assassination?
      It was Putin himself who reacted to the assassination of Zelimkhan Khangoshvili that he was a “murder” and a “bandit” and that the Russian state had officialy requested Germany to hand over Khangoshvili to Russia.
      Russia wanted him in connection with an attack in the Caucasus where 98 were killed.

      Moreover even Putin had to admit in the presence of 100 journalist in Moskva that there NEVER had been such an official request.
      You probably missed that or did not mention that willingly?
      He told that these matters were only spoken off in contacts between Russia’s and Germany secret services.
      But politicians had not known about these and there for conflicting statements existed. Germany had signaled not to handover Khangoshvili, therefor such an official request had never been made, acording Putin.

      Funny how you guys try to influence the comments, not or never being interested in the facts or being well informed. Or lie about what you do know?

      The german investigators found evidence that the Russian state was involved.
      That and among others Russia not assisting properly with the murder investigation made Germany decide to ask two Russian diplomats with intelligence background to leave Germany.

      But you personaly may doubt everything of course.

      How Russian trolls should write things we, the uninformed citizens, should believe when even their office scripts conflicting with differents statements of Russian statesmen?

      Sounds to me like the attempted Russian appartement killing in Ryazan in 1999.
      When different ministers told different stories to the Duma.
      One was convinced that a terrorist bombing attack had been prevented.
      Another, probably lying, that in only had been a staged exercise…..

      Reply
      • Servus

        Good analysis !
        So, there are now few parallel propaganda smoke screens unsuccessfully tested in here .
        It’s time for EU’s desinformation center to start tracing these fabrications.

        Reply
      • Amused

        quotation from Jeroen ” things we, the uninformed citizens, should believe ”
        🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 You are the same ordinary uninformed citizen as petrov and boshirov were обычные гражданские. 🙂 your committed comments should be converted into a sharp political stand-up program.

        Reply
        • Jeroen

          Thank you for your compliments Amused

          In western countries people can be well informed and concerned citizens without working for state organs or secret services, maybe hardly imaginable in countries like China or Russia or Iran with (in future even?) closer control on information, news, television and the internet.

          And it is so easy, challenged by your encouraging words, I did my best and found something new yet unknown to me till today.

          There were even bombings in USSR in 1977!
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1977_Moscow_bombings
          Just an easy find, may have a further look into it.
          Interesting of that operation made it into the KGB handbooks as a classic case during study at the Academy?

          It bit more difficult to find the lying statesman in 1999.
          But I did find it.
          So who was lying, Minister of Interior Affairs Vladimir Rushailo or the FSB director Patrushev? About the Rzayan bomb planting?
          Look here after 15:40 in the NTV Russia airing from 2000!
          https://youtu.be/y9cRoXgawVA

          Reply
  2. Servus

    I guess yours, some quite good, questions will be answered soon; Krasikov talks, applied for political asylum in France.

    Der Spiegel will gladly publish some well organized leaks… French have his asylum application with a motivation full of details….
    The weakness of your theory is a need for lots of concordent corruptions of different g Russian authorities, not impossible but likely very expensive.
    And also attempt to second guess FSB and other Russian authorities motives and judging what would be reasonable for them to do. Who knows? Better to stick with known facts.
    For example, why do you think that true specialist at murder would be kept idle last 4 years?

    Reply
    • Amused

      Is he seeking asylum against the oppresion of the German authorities : ). They set him up for the murder because his bike fell into the river 🙂 ???

      Reply
  3. Servus

    Jeroen,
    Good you remind about FSB terrorist attacks on the ordinary Russian citizens, Riazan appartement building explosions Moscow metro bombs and others…

    The young Russian trolls may not realize that they work at an FSB affiliated company, the same organisation that has carried out these bloody murders.

    Apart from issues the trolls are likely to encounter when applying for a visa to any EU country ( forget about USA ) you will have no chance for permanent residency or citizenship. Certain GRU operative writing in here as M or Amused claims to have EU citizenship, you may lose it as some Islamic terrorists with dual German or UK citizenships discovered recently.

    So trolls, not only you work for people that don’t hesitate to kill random metro passengers like you but you can kiss your émigration plans goodby!
    There is no future in this job, and at one stage you may know too much and will have serious issues quitting…

    So, do yourself a service and find a less dangerous job.

    Reply
    • Gerhard

      Or even worse — you might find yourself awarded a visa without any problem, only to be mysteriously detained at some random point in the future and held indefinitely for “immigration violations.” For example, FBI has field offices in New York and Los Angeles just to monitor and penetrate Russian and Iranian operations. And both sides love to collect intelligence operatives for a rainy day in case they need someone to trade..like poor American Paul Whelan, former US Marine who was traveling for a wedding only to have Russian “state secrets” on a USB drive planted on him.

      You may end up with more than you bargained for on your honeymoon to Paris or family trip to Disneyland, that’s for sure!

      Reply
    • M

      Wow i noticed i was promoted in your eyes from a troll associated with the FSB to a GRU agent – in January you decipher that M like Masha is the nickname of the spokeswoman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia 🙂 🙂 🙂 .
      Don’t be distracted – work on a story called: Russian globtrotters 3 – What did Major General do in underground parking lots 🙂 Hugs and kisses

      Reply
      • Jeroen

        Did you say a Major General was involved in the cellar bombings in 1999 in Buynaksk, Volgodonsk, Moskva and Ryazan?
        Are you sure?
        I did not now that?
        Who were involved?

        Reply
        • M

          Russian globetrotters are a series of stories taking place in the 21st century, I’m sorry. this title is reserved 😉

          Reply
  4. M

    Russian globetrotters are a series of stories taking place in the 21st century, I’m sorry. this title is reserved 😉

    Reply
    • M

      To be honest, newspapers mentioned it before ( berlin case) but not on the first pages – as one of hundreds of news.

      The link you provided – you just keep recycling the same staff, nothing new.

      PS FBI are examining video from parking garage in EMCO headquarters – and that well dressed guy described by NYT is already unmasked by your Aric T as Denis Sergeev.
      Is Aric a psychic or does he have better investigative techniques than the FBI and the CIA combined???

      Reply
    • Servus

      Jeroen,
      M-ediocrity, like all the senior trolls receives a news brief, that’s why she knows something about what polish TV sends, yet another carelessness that compromises her cover as an “ordinary concerned citizen” . Hope her colleges denounce her and she’s fined for it.

      The guy that smeared the poison on the car handles of the Bulgarian arms merchant Emilian Gebrev, his son’s and technical manager’s was most likely a member of the team lead by GRU Denis Sergeev. His identification is pending FBI video analysis, so Masha just wants anybody to discuss her silly fabrications, lets ignore this low quality distraction .

      Reply
      • M

        So tell your colleague Aric not to tweet if he is drunk or stoned 🙂 because he with his behavior makes you unreliable.

        Reply
  5. Jeroen

    In 1956 the KGB send one of its agents under the fake/false identity of “Josef Lehmann” to Germany. He was odered by KGB chief Shelepin with Khrushchev knowing and approving it, to kill Ukrainan oppostion leaders living in Germany. With an (improved) cyanide gas pistol he killed one (Auschwitz surviving) Ukrainian leader in Munich 13 october 1957 and another Ukrainian leader 15 october 1959.
    In 1961 he defected to the west.
    After revealing a lot about KGB and his prison sentence in Germany he was probably handed over to the CIA, with him and his wife getting new identities and happily living in South Africa since 1984.
    The soviets tried failingly to blame others, but in the end Khrushchev promised that the 1959 murder would be the last on German soil.

    With the current Russian leader things have changed worse.

    Reply
  6. Oswald Cobblepots

    What gets me about all of these articles no matter how well put together or seemingly factual they are is how obviously biased towards a political narrative they are. Its either anti Ukraine, Russia, Syria etc. The same narrative that is peddled by Western intelligence agencies and government, the same narrative that peddles fear of Russia many years after the cold war and paints the middle east as a murder and terrorism and yet 99% of said murder and terrorism can be traced back to the very corners of the world peddling the same rhetoric we see in newspapers and mainstream media.

    I’d believe this stuff if it for once even attempted by gritting teeth to pretend even for a moment to report on stuff that wasn’t so evidently planted to push a particular narrative. It’s always puppet and propaganda arms responsible for pandering to the public about how scary and dangerous people places etc are in order to instill in mass perceptions a desired collective belief. The same can be said for all the wars going back several decades, the classic diversion tactics and blatent bs fear mongering and hysteria stories.

    Come on, Bellingcat. When your entire reporting history is pages upon pages OF THE VERY SAME topics about THE VERY SAME COUNTRIES and usually with extensive information on reportedly highly secretive and exclusive agencies and accesses and storylines, it becomes obvious you don’t just have whistleblowers accidently stumbled upon in these situations. But in fact you are simply a propoganda arm of a wider entity with much broader oversight and capabilities far more powerful and outstretched than an alleged independent investigative journalism site using “OSINT”.

    Then there’s all the ties to state sponsored organisations and well, the very bloody hands that create all the bloodshed and spread all the nonsense to try and divert away from it in the first place. And then when you don’t comment on British intelligence involvement in several stories that have been proven to involve them kinda proves how impartial you really are. But hey, let’s keep on pushing the same storyline… Syria! Russia! Ukraine! Chemical weapons! Regime change! Everywhere but the west something bad is always happening and therefore evidence has to be gained in order to enforce “democracy”.

    Fu*k off. Wouldn’t surprise me if your offices are in the same place as all the over shell companies and dodgy establishments UK intelligence are known for setting up in order to prop up their missions.

    Reply
    • Servus

      Fiodor,
      Nice to share your vision of the world, that one could call ‘Olgino projections’.

      Example of projection « For example, a person who is habitually rude may constantly accuse other people of being rude. It incorporates blame shifting and can manifest as shame dumping.«

      You project your vision on the world on others and accuse them to be a part of a conspiration that is your every day experience of Russia. You work for a massive conspiracy attempting to influence western public opinion, your world is not what it seems to be, officials are not elected, constitution ignored (or Botox midget could not govern more then two mandates) and only thing that works is bribes.
      So not surprisingly, you can not get it into your head that people can be outraged by use oh chemical weapons against civilians in Syria or Sainsbury, or murdering people on a street. Maybe murder is such an integral part of Russian reality that you think it’s a part of ´daily routine ´ much as people don’t think about car accidents.
      The notion of an ´ independent journalism’ is simply outside your mental capabilities, so, don’t even try .
      As far as I can see, BC articles are focus on facts and verifiable details.
      Identifying Russian state murderers, uncovering a professional killer employed by the Russian state to kill a refugee on Berlin street is an excellent investigative journalism. For you it is a propaganda.

      ´its propaganda, shouted a pickpocket when his hand was grabbed in somebody else’s pocket ´

      Nice to see that BC hits a nerve with you and you lose temper and you turn to vulgarities.

      Reply
      • M

        Example of projection « For example, a person who is a spy suspects that the people around him also work for the services” 🙂

        Reply
  7. Jeroen

    Why did Russia insist Arthur A. Denisultanov with fake id Oleksandr Dakar who was charged with a failed June 2017 assassination attempt, pretending to be a French Le Monde journalist, trying to shoot and kill anti-Kremlin Chechen miltants Adam Osmaev and his wife Amina Okuyeva in Kyiv, to be on the list of prisoners of war of the latest exchange between Ukrain and its two eastern “rebel people republiks” on parts on the Donbas territority?
    Amina Okuyeva had protected her husband fired four bullets at Denisultanov who was later detained.
    Amina Okuyeva was later killed by other (military) operator(s) October 2017 who opened fire on the car which was driven by Osmaev and Amina, while at a railway crossing near Glevakha village in the Kyiv disctrict.
    Why Russia wanted him to be exchanged to “Donetsk PR” in return for Ukrainian prisoners?
    Which GRU Russian state killers were responsable for that murder on Ukrain soil?

    Reply
    • Amused

      https://112.international/ukraine-top-news/prisoner-swap-ukraine-extradited-accused-of-attempt-on-okueva-and-osmaev-47043.html

      I will quote the first sentence (for those who do not want to open the link):
      “Artur Denisultanov spent two and a half years in a Ukrainian pre-trial detention center waiting a court verdict, and three days before the exchange, charges against him were dropped” 2 and 1/2 in arrest and the charges were dropped 🙂
      He can still file a complaint against Ukraine for the long-term detention in custody at the European Court of Human Rights.

      Reply
      • Servus

        You have now confirmed that you guys monitor accesses to your fake news sites. Which was already obvious.

        You should be fined for such carelessness.

        Reply
      • Servus

        Re; « He can still file a complaint against Ukraine for the long-term detention in custody at the European Court of Human Rights.« 

        This would be great and give Ukrainian authorities a chance to once again publicly state the charges, demonstrate the evidence and Russian Federation bloody murders would make front pages again.

        Reply
        • Amused

          Minion, I see that your paranoia is doing well in 2020 🙂
          Why are you distracted and don’t analyze the UIA air crash?
          Such an outstanding expert in aviation engineering and chemistry, special services, conspiracy theories, etc.

          Reply
  8. David Coup

    Really enjoying reading Bellingcat articles!!!

    Regarding positive side of things: I Love Bellingcat, love all the OSINT tools you use and how you describe how they were used to gain intel in each article, and as Bellingcat is an online OSINT investigative outfit, it should stick to OSINT only

    Negative side of things ans what I don’t like: Too many articles on Russia, which doesn’t do Bellingcat any good imho, because it gives readers the impression that Bellingcat is under the influence of a government that is against Russia. Hell yes Russia is no angel and the articles about the GRU were fantastic, but probably every single country in the world carries out some sort of illegal or clandestine activities.
    Also, many articles that have been posted have nothing to do with Open source, like contacting people so they hand over documents, that isn’t OSINT, therefore it’s neither relevant or interesting as Bellingcat is just becoming a Guardian newspaper.

    So I love Bellingcat, but stick to open source.

    Reply

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