Meet the internet researchers unmasking Russian assassins

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Aric Toler is part of Bellingcat, an international Internet research organization that has meticulously investigated conflicts around the world. This week, the online group outed one of two Russian agents believed to have been involved in poisonings in the U.K.

Aric Toler isn’t exactly sure what to call himself.

“Digital researcher, digital investigator, digital something probably works,” Toler says.

Toler, 30, is part of an Internet research organization known as Bellingcat. Formed in 2014, the group first got attention for its meticulous documentation of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. Toler used posts to Russia’s equivalent of Facebook, VK, to track Russian soldiers as they slipped in and out of eastern Ukraine — where they covertly aided local rebels.

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