Documenting Russia’s Targeted Killing Program



Your Title Goes Here

Your content goes here. Edit or remove this text inline or in the module Content settings. You can also style every aspect of this content in the module Design settings and even apply custom CSS to this text in the module Advanced settings.

What was this project?

Our project addressed the following research questions: 1) how intelligible and credible is the belligerent/warning public messaging in terms of intent to respective intended recipients (i.e., internal political opponents and investigative journalists and whistleblowers), 2) how do these audiences interpret these violent “acts of admonition” on the personal and/or group levels, and 3) how do they react to these incidents in terms of public (online) and offline responses?

The results of this study could prompt the evolution of public and online, as well as personal offline, patterns of behaviors and activity that are aimed at regime’s monitoring evasion and deception and improved patterns of personal and local communities’ online and offline security protocols.


Current Task Team Leader: Erica Buckland

Faculty Lead: Dr. Kiril Avramov

History of this Project

Project “Bearclaws” has managed to establish one of the best literature reviews focused on the topic of post-Soviet kinetic action available. For the past 2 1/2 years the project has assembled own database that allows for incoming researchers to add details, expand or perform analysis based allowing for further discreet features exploration related to the different cases.

Goals for 2022-2023
  • Finish and publish the project’s white paper.
  • Collect additional OSINT text and image data for analysis to supplement the existing database features related to Russian authorities public messaging on specific cases.
  • Deliver a visualization for “Bearclaws Geography” tool (a complimentary aid to the white paper that aimed to aid academic researchers, journalists and support civil society representatives).
  • Publish a brief article in an online professional journal.
  • Publish a peer-reviewed article in a professional intelligence / IR related academic journal.
What students learned
  • Post-Soviet kinetic and non-kinetic activities expertise – you will familiarize with the history of Russian covert action post-2000.
  • OSINT collection techniques – you will be exposed to a range of OSINT collection techniques that will enable you to pursue further analysis.
  • Applicable analytical approaches – you will learn how to implement applicable structured analytical techniques suitable for data interpretation.
  • Qualitative analysis methods – you will familiarize with applicable qualitative methods and tools for analysis of collected data.

Get in Touch

Want to work with us? Have an idea for a project? Curious about some aspect of the lab? Please reach out. We promise we’re friendly!