2017 In Review: Interviews with World-Known Investigators

Bellingcat, OCCRP and investigative journalist from Nigeria
02.01.2018
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BELLINGCAT: WE WORK BETTER THAN SECURITY FORCES

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The website of Bellingcat was launched shortly after the crash of Boeing 777 in the Donetsk Region of Ukraine controlled by the separatists. The investigation continues, but it is already known that the plane was shot down from the ground by an air defense system. The plane began to literally break up in the air. All 298 people on board died.

It was the specialists of Bellingcat who carried out an investigation in which, with the help of open data, they prove that the aircraft of the Malaysian airlines was shot down by Russian soldiers from the Russian air defense system Buk. Alexander Litoy spoke with Arik Toller, one of the leaders of the international community of Bellingcat. He told how he joined the team of investigators, why it's dangerous to write about yourself too much on social networks and what can be dangerous about investigations based on open data.

DREW SULLIVAN: “WHEN THE SYSTEM IS BUILT ON CORRUPTION, IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO CONTROL IT”

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In 2007, journalists Paul Radu and Drew Sullivan launched a project on investigating corruption and organized crime (OCCRP). For ten years, the project has grown into a major media uniting journalists around the world. The website publishes investigations on corruption in Eastern Europe and the CIS, Central Asia, Africa and Latin America. The main goal set by the project participants is to show people from different countries how corruption directly affects their lives.

Anastasia Stogney talked to one of the founders of OCCRP, the head of the Eurasian part of the investigation of the Panama Papers, Drew Sullivan. The journalist told why it is necessary to engage in investigative journalism, what was achieved during the 10 years of the Center's work and reflected on the “corruption mentality” of Russians and East Europeans. 

NIGERIA: CORRUPTION, VENGEANCE AND SPIRITUAL STAMPLES

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Russia and Nigeria – although they are on different continents, they are very close when it comes to a certain indicator – corruption. On the international rating of corruption, Russia occupies 134th place, and Nigeria is 140th.

Both countries are also similar in their methods of combating this problem. Special committees and departments are engaged in the search for “scapegoats” and do not disturb people close to the president. Complaints and petitions to anti-corruption committees lead nowhere, and the government and the president continue to rely on a class of rich and powerful. The whole fight against corruption is more like a cosmetic procedure. However, all the same, investigative journalists manage, at least a little bit, change the situation in Nigeria.

The editor of the Nigerian newspaper Premium Times, a two-time holder of the African Investigative Journalism Award, as well as a CNN prize for African Journalists, Emmanuel Mayah talks about these things in his interview to Artem Filatov.

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