Russia's Mysterious 'Kompromat' Leakers Blocked
Published: July 28, 2014 (Issue # 1821)
The Russian government on Sunday blocked access to the website of Shaltai Boltai, a mysterious group that has been leaking what it claims to be the documents and e-mails of high-ranking officials involved in ongoing events in Ukraine.
The leaked materials purport to elucidate shadowy dealings behind the annexation of Crimea, covert operations in eastern Ukraine and the inner workings of Russia's state-run media.
On Sunday, however, visitors to the group's website were greeted with the message: "This site has been blocked by order of the government of Russia."
Roskomnadzor, Russia's communications watchdog, sought the website's closure last Wednesday. It was shut down on Sunday in accordance with a St. Petersburg court order tied to a civil lawsuit, according to Lenta.ru. The group's Twitter account was also blocked.
The group, named for the Russian version of nursery rhyme character Humpty Dumpty, took the Russian blogosphere by storm last year after publishing the text of President Vladimir Putin's annual New Year's greeting to the nation before he had made it.
Ever since then, the group has periodically released new materials of an incriminating nature, often referred to as "kompromat." After Russia's annexation of Crimea in March, the group published e-mails allegedly sent from government officials detailing Russia's involvement in the peninsula's referendum. Later, the group released details on pro-Kremlin journalists who were rewarded by Putin for their coverage of Crimea.
As of Monday morning, the group's site was accessible from outside of Russia.