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Meet the Male State: Russia’s Nastiest Online Hate Group

In a courtroom in the city of Nizhny Novgorod on October 18, the future of a gang of online misogynist thugs who call themselves the ‘Male State’ (Muzhskoye gosudarstvo in Russian) looked to be hanging in the balance. A few weeks before, regional prosecutors had filed a lawsuit to have Male State banned as an extremist group. Founded by Vladislav Pozdnyakov...

Bellingcat Can Now Access Specialised Satellite Imagery. Tell Us Where We Should Look

Our team has purchased a subscription to Planet Labs, a private company whose satellites can capture 50cm resolution imagery of anywhere on Earth within a few days of a tasking request. Just a few years ago, satellite imagery of this quality was largely unavailable to the non-profit and independent researchers who play a key role in Bellingcat’s work....

Meet The Far-Right ‘Fanatics’ Getting Hungary’s Football Team in Trouble

Before Hungary hosted England in a World Cup qualifying match on September 2, the Hungarian national team’s manager said he supported England’s players taking the knee before kickoff to protest against racism. “I really hope that this [will] not happen,” Hungary manager Marco Rossi said when he was asked about the possibility of racist behaviour from...

The Telltale Traces of the US Military’s New ‘Bladed’ Missile

In the last few years the US military has carried out a series of airstrikes using a secretive weapon. To this day, the US authorities have made barely any public statements about the R9X Hellfire missile.  It appears to be used as a targeted assassination weapon against high-value targets: commanders and other prominent individuals. Over the last...

Is Ethiopia Flying Iranian-Made Armed Drones?

Since the outbreak of the conflict in Ethiopia’s Tigray Region, there have been reports on the possible use of drones by the ENDF, or the Ethiopian National Defence Force. Opponents of the government claimed that the Ethiopian military operated armed drones from an airbase in neighbouring Eritrea, a claim which Bellingcat addressed in a previous article...

Is Climate Change Heating up Central Asia’s Border Disputes? Clues from Satellite Imagery

In late April, dozens were killed, hundreds were injured and thousands of civilians fled their homes during border clashes between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. It was not the first land dispute between the two Central Asian neighbours over their often poorly demarcated border, though it was the most serious in years. This time, the spark was reportedly...

A New Platform Tracks Airstrikes in Yemen

Bellingcat has teamed up with Forensic Architecture, ECCHR and Mnemonic, alongside the Global Legal Action Network (GLAN), to create an interactive map examining airstrikes in Yemen. This is an inaugural project by Investigative Commons, the new Berlin-based hub bringing together open source, legal and investigative experts to examine human rights issues....

How Schoolchildren Became Pawns in Cameroon’s Anglophone Crisis

It was midday on 24 October last year when a group of men on motorcycles wielding machetes and firearms arrived outside Mother Francisca International Bilingual Academy in the Cameroonian town of Kumba. By the time they left, they had murdered seven children and wounded a dozen more. Several more children were injured as they saved themselves by jumping...

Help Bellingcat Build Tools For Open Source Investigators!

Open source investigations rely on the skills and efforts of human researchers. This will never change. However, tools can help make the research process significantly easier. We at Bellingcat, like many other research organisations and open source enthusiasts, rely primarily on tools that are available for free. On the one hand, this is because we...

White Boy Summer, Nazi Memes and the Mainstreaming of White Supremacist Violence

The video opens with a tranquil scene of calm lapping waves, accompanied by the song Venice Venture by Big Wild. Before long, however, the mood significantly darkens. Video plays of a 1999 interview with a white supremacist named Benjamin Smith. He tells the interviewer: “If they violate our constitutional rights and say we can’t put out our literature,...

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