Russia labels research collective Bellingcat as "foreign agent"

The Russian Ministry of Justice on Friday (8 October) designated the international research collective Bellingcat as a "foreign agent". In addition, two companies and nine journalists, one of whom works for BBC Russia, have also been labelled as such. 

The decision means that the organisations are under strict surveillance by the Russian authorities. They have to state in their communications that they have this label and are subject to strict financial supervision.

In a reaction to the decision, Bellingcat founder Eliot Higgins tweeted, "Russia considers Bellingcat such a threat that we have been declared a foreign agent." Higgins, interpreted the qualification as "the Russian Nobel Prize".

The ministry's decision came hours after Russian journalist, Dmitri Muratov, won the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize. He received the prestigious award for his "courageous struggle" for freedom of expression in his homeland.

The Kremlin says that such steps are required against citizens and organisations financed from abroad and that carry out political activities against Russian interests. Bellingcat is registered in the Netherlands. However, Western governments say that labelling it as a "foreign agent" is intended to impede the work of journalists and restrict dissent.
 

source: commonspace.eu with agencies
photo: Eliot Higgins, founder of investigation group Bellingcat. Getty Images.

Related articles

Editor's choice
News
Borrell tells the European Parliament that the situation in Afghanistan was critical, but the EU will remain engaged

Borrell tells the European Parliament that the situation in Afghanistan was critical, but the EU will remain engaged

Borrell underlined that the European Union will make every effort to support the peace process and to remain a committed partner to the Afghan people. "Of course, we will have to take into account the evolving situation, but disengagement is not an option.  We are clear on that: there is no alternative to a negotiated political settlement, through inclusive peace talks.
Editor's choice
News
NATO-Russia Council meets for a "not an easy discussion"

NATO-Russia Council meets for a "not an easy discussion"

Speaking at a press conference after the meeting at NATO headquarters in Brussles, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, who chaired the meeting, said: “This was not an easy discussion, but that is exactly why it was so important.” He noted that NATO Allies are ready to meet again with Russia to discuss a number of topics in greater detail and to put concrete proposals on the table. “There are opportunities for constructive engagement which should not be missed, in the interest of security in Europe,” he said.

Popular

Editor's choice
News
NATO-Russia Council meets for a "not an easy discussion"

NATO-Russia Council meets for a "not an easy discussion"

Speaking at a press conference after the meeting at NATO headquarters in Brussles, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, who chaired the meeting, said: “This was not an easy discussion, but that is exactly why it was so important.” He noted that NATO Allies are ready to meet again with Russia to discuss a number of topics in greater detail and to put concrete proposals on the table. “There are opportunities for constructive engagement which should not be missed, in the interest of security in Europe,” he said.