Hackers uncover emails showing pro-Putin groups paying bloggers to support the prime minister and attack his opponents. See here a video report from Newsy:
Embedded Video Source by Newsy.com
Transcript by Newsy
BY CELIA MURRAY
Former Russian President Vladimir Putin appears to have kicked his Presidential campaign up a notch by investing in the media — a little too much it seems. Hackers have uncovered emails detailing a plan to buy a little media love. Russian newspaper Gazeta filed this report:
“The letters that were made public discussed financing of pro-Kremlin internet bloggers, anti-opposition protests, as well as creation of a positive image of those in power.”
According to reports, Nashi (a pro-Putin youth movement) had plans to spend as much as $10 million rubles to buy a series of articles in two popular Russian tabloids. There were also plans to demonize Alexei Navalny — an avid blogger and critic of Putin.
The Guardian explains why he was on the target list.
“The fervour of Navalny’s work is cut with wit. When he described United Russia as ‘the party of crooks and thieves’ last year, it quickly became a meme and is now recognised by two-thirds of Russians. He writes sharp updates on his blog and tweets throughout the day, bantering with 180,000 followers.”
It’s been 12 years since Putin first won the presidency in Russia and many analysts say this will be the hardest election he’s fought yet. The Financial Times released this video about counter protests organised by Putin’s supporters:
“Yet while organisers had promised a turnout of 15 thousand, the actual number of attendees appeared to be a third of that. Moreover, some of those who did attend admitted that they’d done so for reasons other than their political affiliations.”
Whether or not the information released by the hacking group will have any affect on the presidential race remains to be seen. A writer for Web Pro News says — not likely.
“The attitude being displayed by … those in power in Nashi seem to indicate that it’s business as usual for them.”
But many believe that the wave of protest again Putin is a sign of the end of his career. A columnist for Foreign Policy says:
“As the Russian protest movement expands and radicalizes in the lead-up to the March 4 presidential election, the key question is not whether Vladimir Putin — and Putinism — will survive. They will not.”
Transcript by Newsy.
(Image source: newsy.com, time.com)