On Friday, October 8, the Russian Ministry of Justice made the Bellingcat investigation site into the register of “foreign agents”, including nine Russians who work for Russian-language media or non-governmental organizations.
According to the BBC Russian Defense Service, the head of the Media Rights Center Galina Arapova, journalists Andrei Zakharov, Tatyana Voltskaya, Ekaterina Klepikovskaya, Roman Perl, Evgeny Simonov, Elena Solovieva, Daniil Sotnikov and Elizaveta Surnacheva were included in the register of foreign media agents.
In addition to Bellingcat, Caucasian Knot and MNews were announced as foreign agents.
The West called the decision another round of repression against the media and suppression of dissent.
It is noteworthy that the Kremlin’s list of foreign agents was expanded simultaneously with the award of the Nobel Peace Prize to Dmitry Muratov, editor-in-chief of Novaya Gazeta.
Recall that the online edition Bellingcat is widely known for its investigations into the poisoning of Alexei Navalny, Sergei Skripal, as well as investigations into the downed MH-17 passenger aircraft. Russian special services are suspected of involvement in all these crimes.
Eliot Higgins, founder of Bellingcat, ironically recognized as a foreign agent with a “Russian version of the Nobel Prize,” notes Reuters.