Russia-bashers eat their own? Ukrainian ex-minister accuses Bellingcat of being infiltrated by...Kremlin agents?
Our strange saga begins with a very level-headed Facebook post penned by Ukraine’s former minister of veterans affairs and current member of parliament, Iryna Friz, who expressed deep displeasure with a recent Bellingcat ‘investigation’ revealing that Ukraine’s Ministry of Veterans Affairs had ties to far-right figures (oh no, who could have guessed?).
In her post, Friz accused Bellingcat of regurgitating an “exclusively Russian narrative” that there are “fascists in Ukraine.”
This can mean only one thing, according to the Ukrainian lawmaker.
“There are all signs that people from the Russian FSB have infiltrated [Bellingcat]. I otherwise cannot explain for myself the fact that they coordinate their work with Russian outlet the Insider, which is controlled by Lubyanka,” she wrote, referring to the Moscow headquarters of Russia’s Federal Security Service.
The former Minister of Veterans Affairs in Ukraine accuses @bellingcat of having been infiltrated by the FSB because we published an investigation of the ministry's involvement with the far right. She also claims that @the_ins_ru is infiltrated by the FSB as well. pic.twitter.com/2TjcDlXnTx— Aric Toler (@AricToler) November 13, 2019
Friz even went so far as to suggest that Bellingcat should probe staff with “Russian names.” In an open letter responding to the damning allegations, Bellingcat founder Eliot Higgins politely pointed out that it employs no Russians – only two Ukrainian-Americans.
Higgins further contested the notion that reports of Ukraine’s dangerous far-right were manufactured by the Kremlin, citing a 2018 report from the US State Department and an investigation by US-backed Freedom House.
The social media fracas spawned a number of entertaining tweets. One netizen lamented the poor treatment that Bellingcat had received at the hands of Ukraine – a country that it has vigorously defended, using Google image searches.
You've been doing PR for this government for all these years, and this is the thanks you get? How ungrateful— Watchdog Media (@watchdogmediai) November 13, 2019
The ‘citizen investigation’ outlet has produced a number of highly creative “investigations,” including a 4,000-word piece attacking Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard’s unwillingness to blindly follow Washington’s narrative about alleged chemical attacks in Syria.Also on rt.com ‘Suck my balls’: NATO-funded blogger Eliot Higgins checkmates critics with watertight argument
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