Hacked emails shed light on Kremlin’s power base

EPA-EFE//NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA

Kremlin advisor and chief ideologist Vladislav Surkov (L) attend a meeting of business leaders with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev (R) at the Kremlin in Moscow.

Hacked emails shed light on Kremlin’s power base


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A massive cache of hacked e-mails and leaked documents from some of Russia’s most prominent and shadowy power brokers are expected to be published online by a group calling itself Distributed Denial of Secrets (DDOS), which claims to be “aimed at enabling the free transmission of data in the public interest.”

Emma Best, a US-born journalist and co-founded of the group, said the materials would include various archives of hacked and leaked materials related to Russia and various high-level Kremlin official that had previously been difficult for researchers to access.

“Stuff from politicians, journalists, bankers, folks in oligarch and religious circles, nationalists, separatists, terrorists operating in Ukraine,” Best has been quoted as saying. “Hundreds of thousands of emails, Skype and Facebook messages, along with lots of docs.”

The documents include leaks from Russia’s Ministry of the Interior, portions of which detail the deployment of Russian troops to Ukraine at a time when the Kremlin was denying a military presence.

Some of the most compelling information comes from Vladislav Surkov, a top aide to Putin and who often works behind the scenes on issues ranging from Ukraine to Russia’s support for secessionists in Georgia and Moscow’s relations with its restive North Caucasus region of Chechnya.

Surkov had already been hacked by programmers from Kyiv in 2016. The information that was released revealed much of the extent of Russia’s involvement in the Ukrainian conflict, including internal communications about troop movements and financial support for its FSB and GRU military intelligence officers operating inside eastern Ukraine.

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