Disinfo: Buzzfeed hires Russophobic journalists, spreads false information and incites hatred


Buzzfeed, which sees “Russian threats” everywhere, hires Russophobic journalists to conduct anti-Russian investigations, spreads false information and incites hatred.

Bulgarian journalist Christo Grozev, who also works with Bellingcat, is often involved in Buzzfeed’s dubious “investigations”, for example on the Skripal case. Grozev has spread a great deal of false information, such as the claim that Donetsk “separatists” received instructions to falsify the results of the referendum. Grozev graduated from the American University of Bulgaria, which is sponsored by the Soros Open Society Foundation and the US Agency for International Development.

Anton Shekhovstov, who like Grozev also built his career on the use of defamation, has publicised his books through Buzzfeed.


Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative aimed at discrediting serious journalists and scholars that engage in research on pro-Kremlin disinformation and propaganda, by claiming they are Russophobic and spread false information.

The article, which seeks to discredit serious researchers such as Christo Grozev, Anton Shekhovtsov, and Andreas Umland, also implies that “Russophobic” researchers are linked to the Hungarian-American investor and philanthropist George Soros. This claim is consistent with pro-Kremlin conspiracy theories about Soros.

The partnership between the American University in Bulgaria and the Open Society Institute dates back to 1992. The aims of the Open Society Scholarship Programmes are to promote critical thinking, free and open intellectual inquiry, and cross-cultural tolerance and respect, NOT to spread anti-Russian disinformation.

No evidence is provided that Grozev has spread false information. On the contrary, Grozev is a qualified investigative journalist and has done serious research on the Skripal case, the downing of flight MH17, and the planned coup in Montenegro in 2016. The information that Donetsk separatists received instructions to falsify the referendum, which the article claims is false, is actually true. For Grozev’s investigation on this issue see here.

Similar cases can be read here claiming that Buzzfeed and Bellingcat deliberately spread anti-Russian disinformation.

The geopolitica.ru website had previously posted an article that attempts to discredit Grozev, Shekhovtsov, and Umland and to link them to Soros.


  • Reported in: Issue 174
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 22/11/2019
  • Language/target audience: Italian
  • Country: Montenegro, Russia, Ukraine
  • Keywords: Sergei Skripal, West, Anti-Russian, Donbas, NATO, Conspiracy theory, 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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