While the two sites have provoked controversy, their reporting on the two GRU agents accused of poisoning a critic of Vladimir Putin seems to be holding up, and getting picked up.
It is telling that the Russian government and pro-government news media have stopped issuing denials about the two suspects, initially identified as “Alexander Petrov” and “Ruslan Boshirov.”
One prominent Russian pundit, Oleg Kashin, chided the leakers of information about the two suspects saying they were unpatriotic, an implicit admission that the two men might actually be GRU agents.
Bellingcat and Russia Insider have published a wealth of evidence that the men’s real names are Alexander Mishkin and Anatoliy Chepiga and that they are associated with Russian military intelligence.
Bellingcat critics says is funded by the Atlantic Council and Google and is thus a pawn or front for anti-Russian Cold Warmongers. But that doesn’t mean their information isn’t accurate.
[Background: What is the GRU?)
Last month, the men identified as Petrov and Boshirov gave a curious interview to RT. The guarded and odd response to questions only increased suspicions that they were lying about their trip to Salisbury England, where former Russian intelligence agent Sergey Skripal was poisoned.
I can’t read the Russian documents reproduced so I can’t confirm their findings. But I like the on-the-ground reporting:
For final validation of our amassed findings, Bellingcat’s Russian investigative partner, The Insider, sent a reporter to the village of Loyga. The reporter was able to meet and talk to many residents, who all recognized “Alexander Petrov”, the person shown on photographs released by the British police and seen in the RT interview, as “our local boy” Alexander Mishkin. One person told our reporter that Alexander Mishkin had been her son’s play friend.