Igor Bezler — the former commander of a separatist militia in eastern Ukraine, who the Ukrainian Security Service has identified as a retired GRU lieutenant colonel — has filed a lawsuit in St. Petersburg against the investigative outlet Bellingcat, demanding that any and all mention of his name be scrubbed from their investigations. This coincides with another claim submitted to the Russian Investigative Committee in late 2020, seeking the launch of a criminal case against journalist Roman Dobrokhotov — the editor-in-chief of The Insider, Bellingcat’s investigative partner in Russia. According to The Insider, the complainant, Dutch blogger Max van der Werff, also has links to the GRU. Meduza special correspondent Liliya Yapparova investigates how these legal actions came about and what they might actually achieve, both in Russia and abroad.

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