Thousands of confidential emails showing a strong financial and political connection between the Kremlin and separatist rebels in Eastern Ukraine have just been released by a group of Ukrainian hackers, announced Associated Press.
The 2,337 emails, whose legitimacy is partially questioned, reveal Vladislav Surkov, advisor to President Vladimir Putin and responsible for policy on Ukraine, has been in close contact with separatist leader Denis Pushilin. The correspondence contains information related to the conflict in Eastern Ukraine such as casualty lists and operational costs, or setting up a nationalist group to destroy the Maidan. Other email accounts involved belong to Russian billionaire Konstantin Malofeev and Georgy Bryusov, chief of the Wrestling Federation.
“We, Ukrainian patriots ‘KiberHunta’ today have access and full control of the correspondence of one of the enemies of Ukraine V. Surkov,” reads their website (approximate translation from Ukrainian). The correspondence shows “criminal Putin’s plans and his minions to continue capturing Ukrainian territory in Western Ukraine, including plans for the destabilization of the political life in Ukraine and holding early parliamentary elections.”
On their website, CyberHunta released more pdfs of documents describing measures to be taken to destabilize Ukraine, following the annexation of Crimea.
A spokesperson for Putin denied the accusations, claiming the emails are fake, while the Ukrainian National Security Service and Russian journalist Svetlana Babaeva back up the legitimacy of most of the documents.