Disinfo: Buzzfeed and Bellingcat deliberately spread anti-Russian disinformation


Buzzfeed and Bellingcat deliberately spread anti-Russian disinformation. Buzzfeed’s strategy is to spread false information in order to get the mainstream media to discuss an issue, to whip up scandals and influence public opinion. Bellingcat’s “investigations” of cases such as the MH17 downing and the Skripal case have intentionally spread disinformation. Both Buzzfeed and Bellingcat (and The Insider) receive funding from government and non-government organizations that are hostile to Russia.


Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative aimed at discrediting Western media.

Both Buzzfeed and Bellingcat  have conducted independent journalistic investigations into the MH17 case and discovered evidence of Russia’s involvement, which was later confirmed by Joint Investigation Team (JIT).

See similar cases: Bellingcat is a part of information war against RussiaBellingcat did not investigate Skripal poisoning and publishes leaks from the British Intelligence. 


  • Reported in: Issue 170
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 25/10/2019
  • Language/target audience: Italian
  • Country: Russia
  • Keywords: fake news, Europe, MH17


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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NATO justifies its actions with alleged Russian meddling in Ukraine

The new joint command for special operation forces of Croatia, Hungary, Slovakia and Slovenia comes at a time when NATO continues to increase military presence in Europe, especially the eastern countries. This has started after the coup in Ukraine in 2014, and NATO justifies it with the alleged Russian meddling in that conflict. Moscow has denied these accusation several times, asserting that NATO forces deployment near Russian borders is a provocation.


Recurring pro-Kremlin narratives that NATO is provoking Russia at its borders. In this article this narrative is strengthened by the Euromaidan being a coup d’état narrative, and the returning storyline that the  annexation of Crimea was an expression of Crimean citizens' desire to re-join Russia through a legal referendum.

The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution stating that the referendum in Crimea was not valid and could not serve as a basis for any change in the status of the peninsula. In order to justify the illegal annexation of Crimea and the reunification with Russia, Moscow regularly claims that Euromaidan was a coup d’état.

Russia does not interfere in internal affairs of African states

Moscow does not interfere into politics, social programs and ideology of the internal political life of its customers and partners.


There is ample evidence of Russia’s involvement in the internal affairs of different states in Africa and the Middle East. For instance, Russian paramilitary organisation Wagner Group has been involved in military conflicts and civil unrest in Africa.

According to Bloomberg, the Wagner Group works in at least 10 African countries, such as Sudan, Central African Republic, Angola, and Zimbabwe. On Madagascar, the Group accompanied the Russian political experts who were advising some of the presidential candidates on general elections in 2018. Wagner Group also provides military assistance in exchange for access to mineral resources.

NATO is posturing because of Russian tanks in Serbia

Croatia, Hungary, Slovakia and Slovenia have set up a joint command for special operation forces and it’s interesting that this news came in just as Russian systems S-400 and Pantsir S were being transported to Serbia to participate in military exercise “Slavic Brotherhood 2019”.

The timing of the announcement of the joint command formed between four countries, two of which have borders with Serbia, shows the psychological need of NATO to posture and demonstrate that it’s doing something after Russian tanks were brought to Serbia.


Part of a RECURRING AND long-running disinformation campaign on NATO and its military exercises.

On October 25th 2019, in the margins of the NATO Defence Ministers' Meeting in Brussels, the four countries did sign a Memorandum of understanding to establish a Regional Special Operations Component Command (R-SOCC). However, the decisions were not made hastily in a matter of hours after "seeing Russian tanks in Serbia" to satisfy a "psychological need", as the article suggests. The process had been in the works long before the military exercise in Serbia was even announced. Namely, the letter of Intent to establish R-SOCC was signed by Croatia, Hungary, Slovakia and Slovenia on February 13th 2019, also during meetings of NATO Defence Ministers in Brussels. There was no "posturing" in the continuation of this activity which has been ongoing for months.