A GoFundMe crowdfunding campaign was launched Monday to disprove satellite photos put forward by the Russian military in their investigation of how Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 got shot down in Ukraine last July. Near 300 people were killed.
Bellingcat’s campaign to raise £800 and buy satellite images that tell a very different story reached its goal in a little over an hour. 34 people gave to the campaign.
Huge thanks to everyone who donated, maybe we'll make this a more frequent thing if we identify more key locations in the story of #MH17.
— bellingcat (@bellingcat) June 1, 2015
Born out of a £50,000 crowdfunding campaign last August, the citizen journalism website with a love for open source investigations has long maintained that MH17 was shot out of the sky with Russian missiles.
On May 31, Bellingcat published an analysis of the Russian Ministry of Defense images and a story titled “How to Find Historical Imagery of Russia’s Faked Satellite Photos.”
Today the Bellingcat account was challenged by Russian blogger ‘ntv’. His work was highlighted by SputnikNews.com in a post titled “Exposed: Russian Blogger Cuts British Online Investigators Down to Size.”
This is by no means the first time Ukraine, Russia and crowdfunding aligned for crowdfunding journalism.
Two of the most popular campaigns in Kickstarter’s Journalism category so far this year were on opposite sides of the fight over Russian propaganda.