ISSN 2330-717X

Hackers Publish Surkov’s Plans To Destabilize Ukraine In Coming Months – OpEd

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In a case where those who live by hacking may die by it, Vladislav Surkov, the Kremlin’s point man on Ukrainian policy, has had his computer hacked by Ukrainian activists who have now posted online two documents detailing on the Kremlin plans to destabilize Ukraine over the next five months.

A Ukrainian hacker group said yesterday that it had broken into the email accunt of Vladimir Surkov, Putin’s chief advisor on Ukraine and was now publishing two documents, one about Surkov’s plans for destabilizing Ukraine in the next three months and a second on forming a Transcarpathian Republic (cyberhunta.com/news/kiberhunta-peredaet-privet-surkovu/).

While there is no way to independently confirm that the documents are in fact from Surkov’s email account, their level of specificity make them plausible and thus deserving of scrutiny. What will be potentially even more interesting is if CyberHunta publishes more such materials in the future as it promises to do.

The first document is 15 pages long and lists a series of steps Russia should take between November 2016 and March 2017 to destabilize Ukraine and provoke new parliamentary and presidential elections. Among the steps listed are talks with Ukrainian opposition parties to organize protests in the form of a “Customs Maidan” in the second half of November.

Other measures include activating some deputies in the Ukrainian parliament to expand corruption probes of the Ukrainian president and his team, and perhaps most worrying of all, “to introduce among volunteers [promoting these measures] one’s own people in order to sow panic, provoke church marches, and develop separatism in the regions.”

The second, shorter document concerns Surkov’s ideas on how best to promote the formation of a Trans-Carpathian “republic” in cooperation with Hungarian groups in order to weaken Kyiv’s rule.


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Paul Goble

Paul Goble

Paul Goble is a longtime specialist on ethnic and religious questions in Eurasia. Most recently, he was director of research and publications at the Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy. Earlier, he served as vice dean for the social sciences and humanities at Audentes University in Tallinn and a senior research associate at the EuroCollege of the University of Tartu in Estonia. He has served in various capacities in the U.S. State Department, the Central Intelligence Agency and the International Broadcasting Bureau as well as at the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Mr. Goble maintains the Window on Eurasia blog and can be contacted directly at [email protected] .

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