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Huge Set of Russian Documents Leaked Online

Distributed Denial of Secrets releases 175GB of documents
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 26, 2019 12:19 PM CST
In this Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2015 file photo, the reconstructed wreckage of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 is put on display during a press conference in Gilze-Rijen, central Netherlands.   (AP Photo/Peter Dejong, File)
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(Newser) – A leaked trove of Russian documents called "The Dark Side of the Kremlin" is so huge that no one seems to know everything that's in it, the New York Times reports. Transparency advocates leaked the mammoth 175-gigabyte stash at Distributed Denial of Secrets and the Internet Archive, culling it mostly from sites across Russia, Ukraine, and other countries. But now it's all in one place for people to read: "Our motive is to collect and make available materials for a subject that was very underexplored—Russian power circles, how they interconnect, their influence operations," says Boston transparency advocate and reporter Emma Best. "People have a cursory understanding of that, but outside of a few experts it hasn't been looked at in detail and contextualized."

What we know: The trove includes documents on Kremlin ties to the Russian Orthodox Church, oligarchs' business deals, inside dope on Russian arms deals, and the results of a "hacking spree" against Russians who allegedly lied about the downing of a Malaysia Airlines passenger plane in Ukraine in 2014. Best, 32, says it's not about payback for Russian hacking of the 2016 US elections—or alleged hacking of the DNC after the 2018 midterms, per the Hill—but admits "it does add some appreciable irony." Distributed Denial of Secrets is run by fewer than 20 people across several countries and operates much like Wikileaks, inviting people to submit confidential documents. (The Mueller probe reportedly investigated Roger Stone's ties to Wikileaks before arresting him.)

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