Ukrainian “Cyber Resistance” Hackers Leak Months Of Medvedev Email Communication To InformNapalm

On June 27th, Ukrainian hackers from the "Кібер Спротив" (Cyber Resistance) team have leaked a trove of internal communications belonging to former Russian president and current Chairman of Russia's Security Council, Dmitry Medvedev.

This is an adaptation and summary of the findings published to Ukrainian outlet, InformNapalm. All credit belongs to them and their sources. I’m publishing this from my perspective, as I’ve yet to find a smoother, easier read translation of the findings. I am not a Ukrainian speaker, and am leaning on several other translations and more than one LLM to help me string this together. While I am very much pro-Ukraine, I still need to point out that IN is decidedly part of the Ukrainian war effort, so our perspectives don’t completely align, but I found that the subject is still extremely interesting and worth sharing. I hope you’ll agree.

An interesting find this week.

On June 27th, Ukrainian hackers from the “Кібер Спротив” (Cyber Resistance) team have leaked a trove of internal communications belonging to former Russian president and current Chairman of Russia’s Security Council, Dmitry Medvedev. The emails are specifically those of his assistants, and were observed over the course of six months, beginning in January.

The communications are relevant to Russia’s nuclear threats, posturing in the in the Arctic, and Medvedev‘s public appearances (regarding planning, performance, talking points, and other details). The data, obtained earlier this year, has been selectively released to the pro-Ukraine intelligence community, InformNapalm.

Medvedev, in particular, has become known for his frequent nuclear threats against NATO and Ukraine’s allies throughout Russia’s invasion. The breach revealed that Medvedev relies heavily on meticulously crafted scripts and scenarios prepared by his assistants, particularly Alexey Zaklyazminsky, to navigate public events.

Russia's Medvedev says Japanese PM should disembowel himself | Russia ...

Image of Medvedev from Sputnik/Yulia Zyryanova/Pool via Reuters

Zaklyazminsky has been instrumental in scripting Medvedev‘s public speeches and responses to major news events. The documents indicate that Zaklyazminsky, who has a background in education and science, holds strong conspiracy beliefs, including Wi-Fi/5G as a threat to children’s health (perhaps this was shared in an additional attempt to discredit Medvedev). He plays a crucial role in drafting Medvedev’s communications and managing his public image.

The emails reveal that Zaklyazminsky monitored planned events involving Medvedev, prepared questions and responses for meetings, and ensured Medvedev stayed on message. This included detailed scenarios for seemingly routine events. In addition to the orchestrated public appearances, the leaks expose Medvedev’s involvement in militarizing Russia’s economy. Communications show complaints from the Tula Cartridge Plant about sanctions impacting exports and requests for increased domestic purchases of ammunition. There are also recommendations for subsidizing expanded drone production for engineering firm, Kronstadt JSC, and proposals for developing new armor-penetrating grades.

An aside: Kronstadt is a company known for developing maritime and aviation unmanned systems. Their ability to produce UAVs for the Russian military have increased since the 2022 invasion began. Their two most famous products are the Orion and Helios MALE (medium-altitude long-endurance) drones. They’ve definitely had a heavy hand in Ukraine.

Orion UAV

A significant portion of the leaked documents pertain to Russia’s Arctic ambitions. The communications include those from analysts of Russia’s Higher School of Economics, suggesting expanding Russia’s maritime territory in the Arctic and revising baseline systems to claim additional waters as historically Russian. There is also a proposal to justify the deployment of nuclear weapons in the Arctic region, aimed at establishing military control over strategic areas.

This is particularly interesting, as there have been growing tensions in the Arctic since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began, exacerbated by Russia’s militarization and territorial claims. A report by the British Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) discusses heightened nuclear risks in the Arctic, particularly with Russia’s recent efforts to increase its presence in the region.

The so-called “MedvedevLeaks” data published by InformNapalm puts a lot of emphasis on the Russian government’s control over Medvedev’s public persona and the broader strategic aims of Russia’s political elite. I strongly suggest you go to their article and check it out. It offers some interesting (and unnerving) insight into a figure I often dismiss as quite ridiculous, if not potentially dangerous.

A screenshot of a slide relevant to the development of Russian nuclear energy as one of Кібер Спротив’s leaks