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The Insider and Bellingcat declared undesirable in Russia

The General Prosecutor's Office has declared the activities of The Insider (Latvia), Bellingcat Ltd (Great Britain), Stichting Bellingcat (Netherlands), the Central and Eastern European Law Initiative Institute (CEELI) (Czech Republic) undesirable in Russia, TASS has learned from the General Prosecutor's Office’s press service.

The Prosecutor's Office claims that the organizations’ activities constitute «a threat to the foundations of the constitutional system and security of the Russian Federation.”

The Office sent the information on the decision to the Ministry of Justice for adding the organizations to the list of undesirables. At present, there are 56 organizations on the list.

Earlier Putin signed a law amending the Criminal Code article on participation in the activities of «undesirable organizations» (Article 284.1 of the Criminal Code). Previously, only activities on the territory of Russia were punishable, but now the article establishes liability for participation in the activities of «undesirable organizations» abroad.

The Insider and Bellingcat have also been recognized in Russia as «foreign agents». In addition, after the start of the war, Roskomnadzor demanded that Russian media exclusively use the phrase «special operation» in their coverage of the invasion of Ukraine. Since February 24, The Insider, as well as a number of other media outlets, have been blocked in Russia.

The Insider and Bellingcat conduct joint investigations. In 2021, an investigation by Bellingcat, The Insider and CNN, with the participation of Der Spiegel, about the poisoning of Alexei Navalny won a news and documentary Emmy Award for «outstanding investigative news reporting.” The Insider and Bellingcat also got hold of documents, from which it follows that the FSB Internal Security Directorate acknowledged that the phone conversations details which had been used, among other evidence, in the publication of the Navalny poisoning investigation, were indeed the details of acting FSB officers.

One of the investigations by The Bellingcat and The Insider revealed that Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, suspected by Britain of poisoning Skripals, were indeed officers of Russian secret services. This was confirmed by a number of documents, as well as direct and indirect evidence. Later, Britain confirmed the investigators’ information about the third poisoner. The For the first time the British police officially named the third Russian, who, according to them, had been involved in the poisoning of the former GRU officer and his daughter.

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