DISINFO: Bellingcat is a Factory of Fakes used for an information war against Russia
  • Outlet: sputnik-georgia.com (archived)*
  • Date of publication: March 03, 2021
  • Article language(s): Georgian
  • Reported in: Issue 235
  • Countries / regions discussed: Russia
Information war Hybrid war Skripal Alexei Navalny MH17

DISINFO: Bellingcat is a Factory of Fakes used for an information war against Russia


The authors of the fakes [Bellingcat] on the downing of a Boeing in Donbas, the chemical attack in the Syrian Ghouta, the poisoning of the Skripals and Navalny, never bothered to come close to the truth. It is impossible to talk seriously about these fabrications, as they compromise the field of journalistic investigation.

Anti-Russian investigations are published on Bellingcat, which was registered in Higgins’ name. However, none of the investigations are supported by evidence. Nevertheless, each of them becomes an excuse for an information attack on Russia and further sanctions. Instruments like Bellingcat are a great weapon for hybrid war.


This is part of a recurrent Russian effort to discredit the highly respected investigative site Bellingcat, which uncovered many elements in cases such as the downing of the MH17 flight or the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergey Skripal and recently the case of Russian opposition activist Alexey Navalny that contradict and expose Russian disinformation narratives.

Bellingcat, an independent international collective of researchers, investigators and citizen journalists, was created in 2014 with the help of private donations received through the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter. In March 2019, it received a 500 thousand EUR donation from the Dutch postcode lottery. Half of the funding for Bellingcat comes from grants and donations and the other half from running workshops training people in the art of open-source investigations. Much of the grant money does not directly fund investigations and is used for support services such as the translation of documents and training.

Furthermore, Bellingcat has no clients to please. Bellingcat’s funding model frees it to pursue ethics-driven investigations, like documenting the targeting of journalists by police during the Black Lives Matter protests. It also sometimes partners with law enforcement, for example, it helps Europol fight child abuse and is developing best practices to facilitate use of their investigations in court.

You can find other examples of false accusations against Bellingcat in our database, such as it being anti-Russian, or a tool to destroy Nord Stream 2, and even instrumentalisation by governments to contradict proof of Russia's innocence or its alleged fabrication of evidence against Moscow.


Related disinfo cases


Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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