Anonymous claims responsibility for Russian government website outages

The group declared war against the country on Thursday.

Sputnik Photo Agency / reuters

On Saturday morning, as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine entered its third day, some of the country’s official government websites went down following a series of alleged cyberattacks. Among the sites that aren’t accessible as of the writing of this article include that of the Kremlin and the country’s Ministry of Defence. Several Twitter accounts claiming affiliation with Anonymous say the international hacking collective is behind the attacks.

“Faced with this series of attacks that Ukraine has been suffering from the Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, we could not help but support the Ukrainian people,” said one account. At the start of the conflict, the group said it would launch a “cyber war against the Russian government.” However, the Kremlin has denied Anonymous is behind the attacks, according to CNN.

It’s believed Anonymous is also responsible for hacking several Russian state TV channels. People have uploaded videos showing those channels playing Ukrainian music and displaying images of the country’s flag and other nationalistic symbols.

The collective has also pledged to “keep the Ukrainian people online as best we can,” even as the invasion takes a heavy toll on the country's internet infrastructure. While there hasn’t been a widespread blackout, some parts of Ukraine, particularly those areas where fighting has been the most intense, have seen greatly diminished access. That's something that has prevented people from staying in touch with their loved ones.