Plein Publiek: Christo Grozev of Bellingcat

Programme editor
Programme editor
In the talkshow Plein Publiek, De Balie will enter conversation with Christo Grozev, lead investigator of Bellingcat, an investigative journalism group that specializes in fact-checking and open-source intelligence.

It is early April 2022. The West holds its breath in horror, watching corpses in civilian clothes lying on the streets just outside the town of Bucha (Ukraine). From that moment on, all eyes are on Russia. Meanwhile, Russian state propaganda is spreading fake news at an alarming rate. 

How can you verify what really happens in Ukraine, when access behind the front lines is limited? How can you prove a state is committing war crimes? Grozev will explain and discuss the open-source intelligence strategies he uses, making use of both professional and citizen journalists.   

Christo Grozev (Bulgaria, 1969) is an investigative journalist and the lead Russia investigator for Bellingcat. Through his investigations, he found out the identity of the Russian officers that were linked to the attack on MH17, and the suspects of the 2018 Salisbury poisonings. This latter investigation earned him the European Press Prize for Investigative Journalism. The documentary Navalny (2022) shows how Grozev’s investigative skills helped the Navalny team find out who is behind the poisoning of the Russian opposition leader.

Plein Publiek

Plein Publiek is a talk show as talk shows are supposed to be, without annoying commercials or interruptions in between. Moderator Yoeri Albrecht receives politicians, scientists, philosophers, and other big thinkers. Paying attention to dialogue, interpretation, and debate. Because content comes first.


Christo GrozevJournalist & Executive Director Bellingcat
Marieke de HoonAssistant Professor of International Criminal Law at the University of Amsterdam
Ruslan DeynychenkoExecutive Director
Piet PloegChairman Stichting Vliegramp MH17