How British dropout gamer "revealed" "Russia's crimes in Syria" — "Russian Spring" investigation (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

How British dropout gamer "revealed" "Russia's crimes in Syria" — "Russian Spring" investigation (PHOTOS, VIDEO) | Русская весна

Bellingcat “experts” blaiming Russia for war crimes committed in Syria did not bother much to chose believable videos and collected quite a number of useless materials. It is of no surprise though taking into accout their chief’s biography. Eliot Higgins is a failed journalist (dropped out from the Faculty of Humanities of Southhampton University), bank clerk, shop assistant at lingerie store.

May 13 the so called experts from the “Beligncat Group” made an attempt to astonish the world community with the proofs of deadly aistrikes of the Russian AF in Syria.

Authors of this doubtful article are bragging about the fact they’ve collected and published more than fifteen hundred videos showing “moments of supposedly Russian attacks on hospitals, schools, markets, mosques, bakeries, plants and water-distribution infrastructure”.

It speaks for itself that the topic was eagerly caught by the Ukrainian media having spread the baseless allegations against Russia.

Screenshot of the Ukrainian newspaper web-edition.

Let’s find out which information contains “Bellingcat” report and could we call it unbiased.

What’s that on the video?

The videos colllected by the “experts” are of no great interest in fact.

They are really very doubtful and only the most vocal citics of Russian peace-making process in Syria could build their accusations based on those videos.

Let us explain why: as a matter of fact the authors did not bother much to chose believable videos and collected quite a number of useless materials.

Most of the videos do not show where the fire is spilled from. Many of them just showing clouds of smke far way. Other videos clearly show artillery fire not an airstrike.






Moreover the “experts” just confess – without being embarrassed whatsoever – they’ve found and took the videos from social networks, in particular on Twitter and Facebook and on Syrian YouTube channels.  

It turns out that the “work” of that “expert group” was just collecting, copying and pasting all the videos into one database. And this “database” has become the ground for accusing Russia of attacks.

Smoke and Mirrors

«Bellingcat» article is filled with various schemes and charts looking oh so very seriously at a first glance and make an impression of a very well structured evidential base of the “Russian agression”.

But at a closer look it turns out all the pictures are mere geographical and time references. 


Choice of sources is also not very original — the authors not only keep referring to numerous Western human rights organizations known for their”selective awareness” and double standards (“Physicians for Human Rights”, “Amnesty International”, “Human Rights Watch”, “Syrian Network for Human Rights”, “Violations Documentation Center”, “Airwars”, “Carter Center”, “Atlantic Council”), they cannot even restrain from quoting themselves which apparently should persuade the reader of reliability of the whole report.

Not the first lie

It is to be reminded that one of the most hideous “Bellingcat” projects was an attempt to shift responsibility for death of passangers of Malaysian Boeing-777 downed July 17 2014 by the Ukrainian army over Donbass to Russia’s MoD.

During that informational campaign “Bellingcat” “experts” have created dozens of materials already. The group’s activists published the report on 31 May 2015 telling that photographs of Ukrainian BUK missile launching system dislocation were fake. Some time before, March 3 2015 the group published another series of photos supposedly prroving that missile launching system belonged to Russia and was moving on the territory controlled by Donetsk and Lugansk rebels.

Representatives of Russian MoD replied that “the information provided is overtly anti-Russian and is built upon data wrench. The unproved data was used targeted on mere informational effect”.

“Bellingcat” group claims they used legal enquiry methods but legal experts doubt the mere possiblity of revealing Photoshop use under legal enquiry procedure.

Famous German legal expert specialising on photo- and video materials Jens Kriese claims it is impossible to detect fact of graphic editor usage. Still he says one cannot escape using some graphic editor “as the Russian were to use one or another software to prepare satellite image for presentation”.

«They added a frame and text modules with explanations. The detected compression could appear either because of that or due to multiple saving in JPEG format», — said german expert in June 2015.

According to him “Bellingcat” reasoning is not convincing from the point of legal expertise. They are based on the so called Error Level Analysis method (ELA). This method is not quite scientifical.

legal experts use computer procedures allowing to make firm conclusions: is it fake or not? Despite Bellingcat’s claims ELA does not give decisive and unmistakable results. Final conclusion always depends on a person, his point of view and his interpretation”.

“Bellingcat” referred to Web-portal containing software for image analysis FotoForensic.com. But its author Neal Kravetz on his Twitter distanced himself from Bellingcat’s conclusions.

He told his followers that “the report” was an example of “how one should not make an analysis”.

Dropout gamer

It is interesting that Eliot Higgins is being criticized even by Western media.

Western readers are being utterly ironic about Higgins’s work record: he’s attempting to analyse Syrian conflict having no profound knowledge of neither military theory nor having any combat experience. He also did not manage a University degree.

Higgins’s biography speaks for himself: h was dropped out from University of Southampton, former bamk clerk and shop assistant at lingerie store.

He kept himself very busy with computer games and commenting the article on British news media (he has left five thousand comments only at Guardian’s website).

January 2012 Huggins decides it was high time to light a beam of truth to the wide public and not limiting himself to mere commenting. He registered a blog and started expressing his own opinion about Syrian conflict dwelling on weapons though he has not any required knowledge or experience.

He openly admits it in his blog:

Still we see that “experts” led by Mr. Higgins are neither confused nor embarassed by сriticism and they keep producing fakes keeping with best tradtions of anti-Russian propaganda.