Suspicion and hacking suspicion in the Kremlin: Donbas reconstruction plan upsets Russia

Suspected of escaping and hacking in the Kremlin
Donbas’s recovery plan is upsetting Russia

Sergei Kiriyenko is considered a close confidant of Russian President Putin. Maybe he should restore Donbass. The alleged Kiriyenko’s plan for the Russians to pay for it briefly circulated in the Russian media. But is the letter real?

In Russia, the escaped Donbas reconstruction plan is provoking heated debate, although its authenticity has not been confirmed and it may be the work of hackers. The reconstruction plan was briefly published on Monday as an article on the website of the pro-government Russian newspaper Izvestia. It was written by Sergei Kiriyenko, the deputy head of the Russian presidential administration and an influential confidant of President Vladimir Putin.

In the article, Kiriyenko aims to prepare the Russian population for the painful cuts that the recovery of eastern Ukraine will bring. “Yes, it will cost several trillion rubles,” he reportedly writes. “This money will be provided from the Russian budget – also at the expense of a temporary reduction in our country’s standard of living.”

According to Bavarian Radio, there is a lively debate on the Russian-speaking network. For example, it is questioned why the population should bear the costs apparently caused by the “military special operation”. Users also ask if only their standard of living or Kiriyenka will fall. Others ridiculed the plans simply as a “surprise for children.”

Numerous spelling mistakes

However, “Izvestia” interrupted the article again after a few minutes. The newspaper itself spoke of a hack. The American think tank “Institute for the Study of War”, on the other hand, found parallels to the incident that took place shortly after the start of the war: In late February, the Russian news agency RIA mistakenly published an article discussing Ukraine’s takeover of the past.

However, Medusa’s independent Russian exile medium has doubts about the authenticity of the alleged plans. Like BBC editor Andrei Sakharov, the Kremlin’s critical platform points to numerous spelling mistakes in the article. According to Sakharov, the article was also published twice, with an interval of forty minutes. An expert on Russia suspects that the publication was “most likely a hack by an anonymous party.”

According to Bayerischer Rundfunk, the reason for the publication could be a power struggle in the Kremlin. Kiriyenko is seen as a possible successor to Putin, who, according to Medusa, had the task of turning Donbass into a new federal district of the Russian Federation.

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