Disinfo: Bulgarian “journalist” Christo Grozev key in an ecosystem directed by MI6 and the CIA

Summary

The Bulgarian journalist Christo Grozev is a key segment of an ecosystem, directed by MI6 and the CIA, aimed at destabilising Russia's domestic social balance and hindering its interests in Eastern Europe. Grozev oversees the most closed segments of this anti-Russia ecosystem that operate within Russian media and educational and scientific organisations. Grozev declares his connections with the corrupt part of Russian secret services. He has helped Navalny to access the databanks of Russian secret services and to organise surveillance and provocations against officials of these services.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative aimed at discrediting serious Western journalists that engage in research on Kremlin-promoted hybrid warfare and hostile influence operations (disinformation, assassination attempts against opposition figures and defectors, clandestine paramilitary operations) by claiming that they spread disinformation and are driven by “Russophobia”.

This article adds a new twist to the narrative by claiming that such journalists are controlled by Western intelligence services and that they are involved in the West’s alleged efforts to destabilise Russia.

The article is also consistent with disinformation narratives that seeks to discredit Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny by claiming that he is an agent of Western intelligence.

Bellingcat - an independent international collective of researchers, investigators and citizen journalists using open source and social media investigation to probe a variety of subjects - and Christo Grozev, one of Bellingcat’s leading investigators, have often been targeted by pro-Kremlin disinformation campaigns.

There is no evidence to support the article’s claims. Christo Grozev is a well-known, award-winning and highly qualified Bulgarian investigative journalist and media expert, who has authored important investigations, such as the investigation into the identity of the suspects of the 2018 Novichok poisoning of Sergey Skripal and his daughter (which earned him and his team the European Prize for Investigative Journalism) and the investigation into the downing of the MH17 passenger aircraft.

Bellingcat discovered key information about the downing of MH17 on 17 July 2014, including tracking the missile launcher that shot down MH17 from its base in Russia to Ukraine, locating the field where the missile was launched from and identifying a number of suspects involved with the incident. Bellingcat's findings that the Russian military was involved were later corroborated by international investigators.

Grozev also investigated the October 2016 attempted coup d’état in Montenegro and the Alexey Navalny poisoning case.

Read similar cases claiming that Buzzfeed and Bellingcat deliberately spread anti-Russian disinformation and that Buzzfeed hires Russophobic journalists, spreads false information and incites hatred.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 256
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 10/08/2021
  • Article language(s) Russian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Russia
  • Keywords: CIA, Alexei Navalny, MI6, Anti-Russian, Russophobia, Conspiracy theory, Sergei Skripal

Belarus

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Zelenskyy is carrying out genocide of Russians

If earlier, the official Kyiv tried to disguise its Russophobia as caring for the Ukrainian language or the fight against "Russian aggression", now the comedian Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his "sprechenfuehrer" expressed themselves directly, not hiding their hatred towards Russians and the Russian language.

Zelenskyy has shown himself to be a complete fascist without any extenuating circumstances. He is ready to expel people from their homes and from their country along ethnic lines.

Disproof

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Russophobia in Ukraine. The disinformation is designed to sow discord among the different groups of citizens in Ukraine.

Ukraine is not an anti-Russian country. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Ukraine and Russia established diplomatic relations and signed a number of important treaties. On 31 May 1997, the countries signed a comprehensive Friendship Treaty. As a result, Russia recognised Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity. It also recognised that Crimea belongs to Ukraine but violated the treaty in 2014 when Russia occupied and illegally annexed Crimea.

External forces tried to exploit the election in Belarus to ignite a colour revolution

We acknowledge the aspiration of Belarusian society during the election period to certain political changes. Unfortunately, external forces tried to exploit this circumstance in order to achieve a new scenario to ignite a colour revolution. … The objective of this scenario was to overthrow the Belarusian leadership and give power to political forces under the control of the West, and to "disarm" Belarus from Russia.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Western attempts to organise a colour revolution in Belarus.

Western countries did not organise or help to organise protests in Belarus. Large-scale protests began in Minsk to contest the results of the presidential election in Belarus on the 9th of August 2020, which were not monitored by independent experts, and are largely considered fraudulent by both international observers and a large part of Belarusian society.

West trying to interfere in Russia’s legislative elections

Western countries want to disturb political stability in Russia before the upcoming legislative election in September, using a wide arsenal of dirty tools, falsities and baseless accusations, such as the Navalny and Skripal cases or the downing of the MH17. They are trying to influence the situation, destabilising the situation in Russia. The Special Services of these countries wouldn’t hesitate to support those interested in promoting all kind of extremist tendencies.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about constant Western plots attempting to destabilise Russia. The allegation that Western countries want to interfere in Russia’s legislative election of September by rocking political stability is not backed up with proof.

Contrary to what this disinformation story claims, there is massive evidence of Russia’s involvement in the attempts to poison former Russian spy Sergey Skripal and opposition leader Alexei Navalny, as well as in the downing of the MH17 flight over Ukraine (you can see here, here and here for our previous specific debunking of these three incidents). By labelling these cases as “dirty tools, falsities and baseless accusations”, this disinformation message aims to deflect any Russian responsibility in these episodes, which are very serious violations of international law.

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