Moscow, Feb.8 (ANI): Hacked e-mails have alleged that a Russian youth group Nashi is paying bloggers to further their political cause.
Payments have been made to a vast network of bloggers, journalists and internet trolls to create flattering coverage of Vladimir Putin and discredit his political rivals.
According to The Guardian, the mass of data appears to show evidence of the sinister tactics used by Nashi, and includes:
Price lists for pro-Putin bloggers and commenters, which indicate that some are paid as much as 600,000 roubles (12,500 pounds) for leaving hundreds of comments on negative stories about Putin.
Plans to pay more than 10m roubles to buy a series of articles about Nashi's annual Seliger summer camp in two popular Russian tabloids.
Calls for paid Nashi activists to "dislike" anti-regime videos posted on YouTube.
Ideas for smear campaigns against what one activist calls the "fascist" Russian opposition leader, Alexey Navalny, such as a cartoon video likening him to Hitler and a suggestion someone dress up like the blogger to beg for alms in front of the US embassy.
The group of Anonymous hackers told online news portal Gazeta.ru in an interview that they carried out the hack, planned since spring of last year, "as a sign of protest against the government's actions in the public internet sphere".
Opposition leaders have accused Nashi of being behind a series of attacks, including repeated scuffles with the liberal youth leader Ilya Yashin and in an incident in which ammonia-laced cola was thrown in the face of the former deputy prime minister Boris Nemtsov.
Nashi denied being involved in the latter. (ANI)
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