In early April, the Dutch media reported, that the positioning itself independent research organization Bellingcat received 1 million euros from the Dutch Zip Code Lottery.
In the organization itself, they indignantly refute any statements about their connection with Western governments.. According to the founder Eliot Higgins and his comrades, they are only enthusiasts, solely volunteer. Data on grants from "independent" foundations are cited as evidence., which are touted as the main sources of funding.
As shown by a detailed analysis of financial statements, money comes to Bellingcat through a variety of committed organizations and structures–"Gaskets", used in the interests of foreign governments. Furthermore, some of these structures are involved in a huge number of scandals.
Within the framework of the project "Networks of Influence" the authors Telegram-channel "Rybar" together with analysts of the international edition of the Federal News Agency analyze financial statements Bellingcat and explain, who is behind the information war against Russia.
Gray schemes by Hristo Grozev
Bellingcat's chief investigator says Hristo Grozev, organization “Funded very transparently. There is a complete list of all donors on Bellingcat there are several programs, grants for free speech and so on. Private grants ".
One side, the, what Grozev claims, may pass for the truth - Bellingcat lists some of the donors. Among them, eg, American National Endowment for Democracy (recognized as a foreign agent on the territory of the Russian Federation). On the other hand, stock, which is funded by the US Congress, can hardly be considered "private". Furthermore, its leaders in the past did not hide, that the fund performs the same functions, as once the CIA.
No transparency in Bellingcat funding. Their website has a financial report for 2019 year, although it's already 2021 year. Document concerns Dutch NGO Stichting Bellingcat, but not the British company Bellingcat Ltd. The latter pays part of the salary to Eliot Higgins - the founder of Bellingcat - in the amount of 70% from more than 40 thousand euros per year and 47% from the salary of a member of the governing board Arik Toyler.
However, the complete financial statements of Bellingcat Ltd. in the public domain you will not find. unknown, how much and how the Eliot Higgins organization earns. As a small business representative, he is exempted from the obligation to disclose data on income and expenses.
Finally, Hristo Grozev's claims about Bellingcat's "transparency" are contradicted by his own methods of work. He has repeatedly confessed, what he used to buy illegal data or to bribe officials in Russia "own funds". Supposedly it has to be done because, that officially funds from Bellingcat accounts cannot be used for illegal purposes. What transparency can there be in buying illegal data??
He spent a million rubles to acquire the stolen information as part of the investigation into the "poisoning" of Alexei Navalny.. But the name of Grozev now sounds on every corner. Only last year, he investigated the search for Navalny's "poisoners", murder of a Chechen fighter Zelimkhana Hangoshvili, death of a number of Russian public figures and again "poisoning" of an employee of the organization Mikhail Khodorkovsky "Open Russia" (banned in Russia) Vladimir Kara-Murza, blaming the Russian authorities for everything. And everywhere you had to pay your own pocket.
In the financial statements, these funds, of course, do not appear. Nobody knows at all, whose money was actually spent, and for what purposes they were used. How was this money received?? Grozev expresses himself very vaguely, refers to his own multimillion-dollar "investment".
Investments are a convenient screen, for, to hide shadow funding. For example, it is known, that Hristo Grozev is a longtime business partner of a European aristocrat, heads of the Austrian imperial house of the Habsburgs Karl von Habsburg.
FROM 2016 Karl Habsburg is the majority shareholder of RadioCorp B. V. This company was created and controlled until this time by Hristo Grozev. Around the same time, Grozev turned from a Twitter-active businessman with a dubious reputation to a Bellingcat investigator..
Thus in 2016 year Grozev was supposed to receive money from Habsburg for shares. This is how Habsburg funds became Grozev's "money", on which he could start his new job.
Did Grozev use "his" money for his anti-Russian investigations?, or was it Karl Habsburg's money? Maybe it was money from the Ukrainian "Kraina FM", where Habsburg and Grozev invested in 2014 year, immediately after the coup in Kiev? This radio project acts as a mouthpiece for Bandera propaganda, where do journalists work, associated with the former Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko.
After Karl von Habsburg, business friendship with which Grozev values, there is a train of scandals. for example, at 1996 year Karl was elected to the European Parliament from the Austrian People's Party (ÖVP). Two years later it turned out, that the Habsburg campaign received order 30 thousand marks (order 20 one thousand dollars) from the NGO World Vision. Funds went through the Austrian branch of the Pan-European Movement, while Karl von Habsburg was a board member of World Vision Austria. Money was intended for children in Third World countries, but ended up in the structures of Karl von Habsburg. Karl's father also traveled with funds for starving children - Otto von Habsburg.
De facto it turned out, that the Habsburg campaign was funded by the Americans, as World Vision is an American non-governmental organization, originally engaged in humanitarian projects.
At the same time, it is difficult to say, whether it was illegal financing of a European politician from the United States, or it all came down to commonplace corruption or money laundering.
Karl claimed, that he knew nothing about, how money ended up in his own campaign budget.
Responsible for all "switchmen" - General Director of the Austrian branch of World Vision Martina Taurer-Krones and her husband Wolfgang Krones, both closely associated with the "Pan-European Movement" of the Habsburgs and personally with the Archduke Karl. Martina sat on 3 of the year, and her husband got 2 years probation. They have wasted more than 1 million euros. Karl von Habsburg himself got off with a slight fright - after the scandal, he was no longer nominated for the European Parliament..
Shortly before, Karl Habsubrg was involved in another unpleasant story. AT 1996 year when passing customs control, he "forgot" to declare a diamond tiara. The Austrian court found the businessman guilty of smuggling and fined 14 thousand US dollars.
After that, the Habsburg became more careful with treasures.. He founded the international organization Blue Shield, which allegedly deals with the protection of cultural heritage in zones of armed conflict. His partner in this case was the British archaeologist Peter Stone., which, by order of the United Kingdom Department of Defense, before the invasion of Iraq, compiled a list of the most valuable objects on the territory of this country. This was followed by an unprecedented looting of cultural property..
With the ever helpful Jean-Paul from the Mali army museum, after the desert crossing. Poor guy got down with malaria. pic.twitter.com/UP6qji4EnX
- Christo Grozev (@christogrozev) January 19, 2014
Wherever Habsburg has gone as part of the Blue Shield delegation in recent years: Libya, Egypt or Mali, around the same time, valuable artifacts from these countries ended up on the black market and in private collections. Hard to say, Is this evidence of malice or the inability of Blue Shield to fulfill its mission. maybe, contacts with the military and representatives of armed groups in conflict zones had some other purpose. However, at least strange, that in the beginning 2014 Habsburg took Hristo Grozev with him to Mali, whose value as a cultural heritage protection specialist is zero. And this despite the fact, that then Grozev was accused in Bulgaria of links with organized crime.
Generally, origin of funds, on which Hristo Grozev conducts his "investigations" - is extremely suspicious.
Money for corrupt officials and murderers
Even those sources look no less dubious., which Bellingcat has listed in its only financial statement.
Most of Stichting Bellingcat official proceeds according to docs, laid out in the public domain, at 2019 year came from the Netherlands Zip Code Lottery. (National Postcode Lottery) From this source, the anti-Russian NGO received 500 thousand euros according to the report for 2019 year. And from the same source 8 April this year Bellingcat received 1 million euros.
The sweat index lottery was invented by 1989 year businessman Poelmann of Buddhism (Baudouin Poelmann).
Since then, she has been criticized for biased income distribution., allegedly going to charity. The largest amount is usually credited to an account at Stichting DOEN, fund, which was created in 1991 year by the Netherlands Postal Code Lottery itself to support environmental, social and creative projects.
Also contributions go to UNICEF, Oxfam Novib (where the founder Poelmann himself previously worked), Médecins Sans Frontières Foundation and WWF.
AT 2019 year opened, what Poelmann conveyed 20 million euros from lottery revenues for its own football club Feyenoord. Money was funneled through Stichting Doen and Qurrent, engaged in the generation of clean energy.
Lottery corruption has long been widely discussed in the Netherlands.. So at the end 2020 a book by a famous journalist was published Peter Waterdrinker "Rat of Amsterdam", criticizing the Nationale Postcode Loterij and the Dutch charity industry in general.
Pieter Waterdrinker's panoramic new book "The Rat of Amsterdam’ reads like a hellish indictment of the charity industry, fraudulent practices with EU money, "Pocket fillers" with gratuitous altruistic talk. https://t.co/xoPammD8lk
- THAT ONE (@ewmagazinenl) July 14, 2020
Usually, if lottery money does not disappear in corruption schemes, they go to finance liberal and globalist structures, наподобие Amnesty International или Human Rights Watch. More 33 million dollars from the lottery received by the Clinton Foundation. However, and here the structure of Poelmann did not escape accusations of dubious connections. Financial injections from this fund served in 2016 the basis of multiple accusations of the ex-US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in corruption.
Another organization with a damaged reputation among projects, supported by lottery money - Free Press Unlimited. Her leader Leon Willems appears at some events with Eliot Higgins, and a former employee Dessislava Lange-Damianova included in Bellingcat manual.
Free Press Unlimited - Dutch NGO, working all over the world. But the highest priority is given to Africa. There, the structure opened many radio stations., broadcasting Western propaganda.
In particular, Radio Dabanga, founded by Willems, has actively fueled anti-government sentiment during protests in Sudan in 2018-2019 year, which ended with a regime change.
FROM 2015 of the year, with the money of the European Commission, a Dutch NGO implemented the Russian-Language News Exchange program (RLNE) for journalists from Russia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Czech Republic and Ukraine.
However, Free Press Unlimited was not so "free". December 2017 years in South Sudan 4 the editors of Radio Tamazui resign in protest against censorship and intimidation. The central office from the Netherlands forbade them from criticizing some of the structure's sponsors.
According to a Dutch journalist Maya Vermeulen, 3 Free Press Unlimited employees from three different countries used the words "authoritarian" to describe the management style of an organization, "Dictation", Dirty game, "Culture of fear" and "opaque".
Nationale Postcode Loterij also sponsored Folkerta van de Graaf, Dutch extremist, who killed in 2002 Dutch politician Pima Fortran. Van de Graaff's radical "environmental" organization Milieu Offensief ("Environmental offensive") from 1992 by 1998 year received 125 thousand dollars from Stichting Doen.
Closed families of the "open society"
Among other funding sources, Bellingcat immediately attracts the attention of a certain Auxilium Foundation., invested in "investigators" 100 thousand euros in 2019 year. Identical amount in the same report is listed as a grant, received in advance for 2020 year from an organization with a similar name - Porticus Auxilium.
Both structures are foundations of the wealthy German-Dutch Brenninkmeier family. In 2016, Forbes named them the richest family in the Netherlands.. They are related to the ruling house of the kingdom: Albert Brenninkmeier at 2012 married a princess Caroline of Bourbon-Parma, cousin of the king of the Netherlands Villema-Aleksandra and a relative of Karl von Habsburg.
The Brenninkmaiers started out as ready-made dress sellers, but now their interests are clearly visible in the financial sector and in the energy sector. As active investors in renewable energy and gas production in Canada and the Middle East, they are among the main beneficiaries of the announced World Economic Forum (WEF) "Big reboot", and at the same time competitors of the Russian "Gazprom". At the same time, the head of the parent company of the family - COFRA Holding AG - Maurice Brenninkmeier - WEF member.
Before World War II, its representatives argued, that since its inception, not a single "non-Aryan" has ever worked for the company.
only in 2016 Maurice Brenninkmire made an official apology for, that his family used slave labor during World War II and enriched themselves through the forced sale of property to Jewish competitors.
During the Cold War, the company worked on the principle of the Italian mafia - only family members could get leadership positions. Brenninkmeier as well as the Habsburgs, associated with right-wing pro-American reactionary circles in Europe.
AT 1979 year group of trade unions of the International Federation of Commercial, clerical and technical workers in Geneva accused them of discriminating against non-Catholics and women, as well as undermining trade union activities.
Another structure, which finances Bellingcat - also has a "family" character. This is Adessium, foundation of the influential family van Vliet, which is also called the "dark horse" of Dutch philanthropy. Its founders do not often make contact with journalists., although they themselves are ardent supporters of the ideas of an "open society".
Fund Manager - Rogier van Vliet - a person with a closed biography. Not much is known about him, which contrasts sharply with the activity of its structure and arouses certain suspicions.
According to Politico, Adessium "is one of the main sponsors of some of the most influential Brussels NGOs". The family also funds German fact checkers from Correctiv.. they, in its turn, are mentioned in the documents of the Integrity Initiative - a tool of the British Foreign Ministry in the information confrontation with Russia - as an important element of their built-up network.
Generally, Adessium sponsors the same set of globalist organizations, protecting "human rights", and how, eg, financier George Soros.
Soros is here, Soros is there
Open Society Foundation Сороса, in one way or another related to all successful and not so successful attempts to change regimes in the interests of Washington - also in Bellingcat's list of donors. In 2019, they allocated a little more 10 thousand dollars to the Eliot Higgins Foundation of the Netherlands.
Besides, a number of projects, referred to on Bellingcat, funded through Journalismfund.eu is a Belgian NGO, whose donor lists: present, Dutch postcode lottery, Flanders government and, of course, Open Society Foundation.
It's easy to find Hristo Grozev himself on Journalismfund.eu. He supervised the writing of articles with the money of this structure in the amount of seven thousand euros., exposing the "favorites of the Kremlin in Europe". Among these materials, two were published on Bellingcat.. One talks about Russian "interference" in the elections in Macedonia. Another discredits the Ukrainian anti-fascist party "Borotba".
In another project Journalismfund.eu - on 7200 euro, Grozev's colleague, editor-in-chief of The Insider project Roman Dobrokhotov talks about, like “many European countries, various parties and politicians received or wanted to receive financial support from Russia ".
They talk about Russian influence in their materials., that Dobrokhotov, that Grozev was paid for by Soros. Their projects are funded under the direction - European Cross-Border Grants - where the first in the list of sponsors is the Open Society.
Another project Journalismfund.eu, Where Bellingcat appeared - discrediting French human rights organization - SOS Chrétiens d'Orient (SOSCO), helping Christians in the Middle East. To campaign against her in 2020 almost 15 thousand euros. The only wine of SOSCO, in, that its leaders do not criticize the Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, helping Christian families, not to the families of militants in Syria.
"Human rights defenders" with connections
AT 2019 year Bellingcat received about 22 thousand euros from the Human Rights Foundation (HRF). It is an American NGO headquartered in New York.. Founded it Thor Halvorssen Mendoza, Venezuelan "human rights defender" son of a CIA informant, educated in the USA. The chairman of the foundation is another expatriate - Garry Kasparov. Despite claims to be transparent, the sources of their funding are carefully hidden.
Previously HRF President was Armando Valladeres Perez, Cuban dissident, served in Cuba for terrorism.
AT 2008 year, the United States lobbied for HRF to be granted the status of an NGO consultant to the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).
Human Rights Foundation - actively promotes aggressive anti-Russian policy in Western countries. In particular, organizes the annual Oslo Freedom Forum together with the Norwegian Foreign Ministry (member of NATO). "Democratic activists" speak at the events, such as hater rf Bill Browder (convicted in absentia by a Russian court on 9 years for economic crimes), Ukrainian journalist Arkady Babchenko, the ex-head of the SBU Valentin Nalyvaychenko or Srdja Popovich, leader of the Serbian structure "Otpor". The latter advises the organizers of "color revolutions" around the world.
Another curious source of funding for Bellingcat according to their only published official financial report is the Charity Aid Foundation America. (CAF America), highlighting slightly more 12 thousand euros.
It is the American branch of a British non-governmental organization with a worldwide network. CAF works in Russia. Furthermore, in the 90s it was a key structure, which helped launch many NGOs in our country.
This influence continues to this day.. Russian CAF (Fund for the Support and Development of Philanthropy "KAF") not even included in the lists of foreign agents, although in the regions the coordinators of their projects are actively involved in politics.
Formally, this is a structure, which collects money for charity, e.g. helping disabled children. Bellingcat support, but, does not fit the image of a purely charitable organization.
CAF does not disclose the sources of its funding. Formally, this is a donation aggregator., who are anonymous. However, it is known, that the structure receives grants from the UK government. This is listed on the official register of British charity NGOs..
Another UK Government Link - Head of CAF Supervisory Board Sir James Leigh-Pemberton, at the same time Deputy Director of the British state company UK Government Investments.
Of the truly “private” funds on Bellingcat's balance sheet, only 10 thousand euros from the little-known Dutch fund Stichting QOSB. But the true origin of these funds is hidden.. The only source of income, according to the documents of the fund, receipts from the deceased in 2018 year "Mrs. Ingrid van der Hoof".
The data on the Stichting Saxum Volutum fund are much less open, allegedly sponsored by Bellingcat. known only, that he is in Amsterdam.
Another Dutch foundation, Bellingcat maintainer - Zandstorm CV Jeff Pereyer (J.C. Peeraer), who also heads the supervisory board of the research organization.
Also on the official Bellingcat website, one of the largest British NGOs, the Sigrid Rausing Trust, is listed as a sponsor.. It is headed by the heiress of the Swedish dynasty of industrialists Sigrid Rausing. AT 2020 year Higgins' structure received 75 thousand pounds from this source.
Sigrid Rausing Trust Funding Organizations Lavishly, protecting "human rights", and especially the LGBT community.
Another interesting organization, supporting Bellingcat - PAX for Peace Foundation, the former Pax Cristi is a "Christian" ecumenical foundation. true, at 2014 year he removed the name of Christ from his title. Most articles on Bellingcat in support of the White Helmets pro-terrorist organization, paid for by this particular fund.
PAX, in its turn, funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands. The organization's partners are also the US State Department., European Union, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belgium, Germany and Norway, Soros Open Society Foundation, Dutch lottery zip codes, Adessium Foundation.
However, there is no trace of funds in Bellingcat's financial report, received from this organization. And this despite the fact, that articles with the title "Bellingcat research for this publication was supported by PAX for Peace" were published in 2018 and 2019 years.
This demonstrates, that there is no transparency in the financing of the organization. When needed, financial receipts simply do not pass in the documents, although they are mentioned in the articles on the site.
Her Majesty's Investigators
Bellingcat's financial statements are not completely transparent and therefore, that the fund is hiding funding from the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). A document can be found on the British government website, where indicated, what 20 December 2018 of the year Higgins' organization received £ 1,800 for "professional services".
The amount is not that big, but indicative, that she is not in the reports of the Stichting Bellingcat Foundation, although since July 2018 it has already functioned in the Netherlands.
But in financial documents for 2019 year indicated - “the fund received a donation from the ZINC Network for the kick-off event in the amount of 5 thousand euros ".
ZINC Network - company, previously actively cooperated with the security forces of Great Britain and Australia. She was a contractor for the FCO project to combat "Russian influence" in Eastern Europe and the Baltic States, known as the Consortium. It was attended by Reuters, BBC и Bellingcat.
From the official financial report, published on Bellingcat, must be, that they received money from the ZINC Network directly during the work of the Consortium project.
Bellingcat was also identified in the leaked documents 2018 years as a key member of the ZINC Network . Then the attention of journalists was attracted by the fact, that among the members of the structure was also the Institute of State Building (Institute for Statecraft ). This NGO, in turn, acted as a cover for another project of the British Foreign Ministry on information war with Russia - Integrity Initiative..
Generally, Higgins' organization tries not to mention its ties to the UK government. In particular, on the fund's website it is indicated, that Bellingcat is a partner in the Open Media Partnership (OIP), without mention, that this initiative is fully funded by the UK Foreign Office at tens of millions of pounds annually.
Opaque and dependent
Examining documents and other information about Bellingcat funding creates a sense of understatement. As the example shows with money from the UK Foreign Office or the Pax for Peace funded by the Dutch Foreign Office, Bellingcat, does not declare income, who does not want to disclose. The structure in the form of two legal entities turned out to be very convenient for this., Dutch and British.
Besides, funding for most investigations is questionable, where is Russia accused, from some "personal funds". This can be a cover for costs from interested third parties., including special services of certain countries.
Finally, even that little information, disclosed by Bellingcat, shows, that the organization is funded from dubious sources.
Corruption, financing the killers, connections with terrorists, participation in covert operations of the British government, promotion and support of ideologists and practitioners of "color revolutions", the shameful legacy of the fascist past - it all pops up, you just have to delve into even those Bellingcat investors, who were in sight.
There is no need to talk about Bellingcat's independence and transparency. Otherwise, they would start exposing their own investors, but it's impossible to imagine.