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Senior GRU Leader Directly Involved With Czech Arms Depot Explosion

In 2018, Bellingcat and its investigative partner The Insider identified the two persons whom UK police charged with the Novichok poisoning of Sergey and Yulia Skripal as GRU officers Col. Alexander Mishkin and Col. Anatoly Chepiga. In 2019 Bellingcat identified a third GRU officer implicated in the poisoning operation, Maj. Gen. Denis Sergeev.  In...

Persian Posturing: Iran’s Drone Fleet Seen From Space

“We are one of the five leading countries in the world in the area of drone technology”, beamed Iranian General Sharam Hassanejad of the Vali-e Asr drone force in an interview with Iranian state media last October. The general’s words were not an empty boast. Iran has amassed a significant arsenal of drones — an arsenal which satellite imagery can...

What Oil, Satellite Technology and Iraq can Tell us About Pollution

Few countries have oil reserves as deep as Iraq. The extractive industries bring jobs and tax revenues to a nation that has been hobbled by invasion, war and insurgency for close to two decades. Yet this economic activity comes at a cost. Oil spills, pollution and declining air quality have taken a significant toll on the environment, and on the health...

The Curious Case of CIPDH: Fantasy Passports, Misappropriated Identities and ‘Human Rights Defenders’

Adam Bandt is a well-known face in Australian politics. He became the first member of the Australian Greens to be elected in a federal election to the country’s House of Representatives in 2010 and was nominated leader of the party last year. As such, Bandt is regularly pictured in newspapers and appears on news broadcasts in his home nation where...

Mahbere Dego: Clues to a Clifftop Massacre in Ethiopia

On an arid plateau somewhere in Ethiopia, a man in uniform pushes a dead body which goes tumbling head over heels off the edge of a cliff. More corpses are strewn around nearby rocks and boulders. The scene comes from one of five graphic videos which started appearing from 9 March, 2021, on the EthiopiaMap Telegram channel. Viewed together, they show...

Suez Canal: Satellite Clues on a Stricken Cargo Ship

On 23 March, facing strong winds and a sandstorm, the container ship MV Ever Given lost control, ran aground and is currently blocking the Suez Canal. The race is on to unblock the canal — whose obstruction reportedly holds up US $9.6 billion per day. Given the canal’s immense strategic importance, the ship’s predicament has attracted the attention...

Berlin Assassination: New Evidence on Suspected FSB Hitman Passed to German Investigators

In a series of investigations in 2019 and 2020, Bellingcat, along with its investigative partners The Insider and Der Spiegel, identified the person suspected in the August 2019 assassination of Georgian asylum seeker Zelimkhan Khangoshvili in Berlin. The suspected assassin, who traveled to Berlin under the name of Vadim Sokolov, a Russian citizen,...

Flying High: The US Connection to Venezuela’s ‘Narco-Planes’

In late September last year, Venezuela’s interior minister, Nestor Reverol, posted several photos to Twitter that showed the wreckage of an aircraft he said had been shot down just south of Lake Maracaibo in the country’s rural far west.  Reverol stated that the “illicit aircraft” was detected by Venezuelan military radar and targeted in accordance...

Launching an Open Source Aircraft Database for Venezuela

Read this article in Spanish here Aircraft tracking has become a prominent feature of the open source researcher’s toolbox in recent years. Aircraft tracking websites allow anyone to keep their eyes on everything from police activity to COVID-19 vaccine deliveries. As I wrote in this guide, the ability to know what aircraft are doing in the air at...

Woman Accused of Stealing Nancy Pelosi’s Laptop Appears in Video Making Nazi Salute

On January 6, 2021, Riley June Williams, a 22-year-old home care worker from Pennsylvania, was one of roughly 800 rioters who breached the US Capitol building in Washington D.C. While many engaged in property damage and violence that day, Williams’ case stands out given her ex-partner has alleged to the FBI that she stole a laptop from Nancy Pelosi’s...

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