New Document Leak Reveals Scope of Collaboration Between Moscow and Donetsk

Image mixed by Kevin Rothrock.

Image mixed by Kevin Rothrock.

Anonymous Ukrainian hackers have leaked a cache of documents revealing the interactions between separatists in eastern Ukrainian and a Russian far-right political party. Among the seemingly endless bureaucratic documents, a few hidden gems reveal plans for a fuel delivery network between Russia and the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DNR), as well as an elaborate political campaign.

On September 23, a group of Ukrainian hackers claimed to have stolen a large cache of files (nearly 2.4-gigabytes-worth) from the servers of the far-right Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR), headed by the notorious Vladimir Zhirinovsky. On September 26, someone leaked 11 files from the cache on the torrent tracker. The data spread from there.

This is just a fraction of the hundreds of files leaked by anonymous hackers who allege these came from a server belonging to LDPR. Screenshot by Aric Toler.

This is just a fraction of the hundreds of files leaked by anonymous hackers who allege these came from a server belonging to LDPR. Screenshot by Aric Toler.

Neither the DNR nor LDPR has commented on the information leak, but even a cursory glance at the documents suggests that they're genuine. Unsurprisingly, most of the leaked files are incredibly mundane: scans of officials’ passports, receipts, records of TV ad purchases—but there are at least 19 files that concern the Donetsk rebels directly. These documents offer fascinating insights into the relationship between the Russian Far Right and the separatists now active in eastern Ukraine. 

Here are just a few items RuNet Echo has turned up, while investigating the data leak. (A note to readers: no, that last item isn't a joke.)

  • A scanned image of the passport of Denis Pushilin, the ex-chairman of the DNR.
  • The budget for an information campaign to be conducted in Donetsk.
  • A memo from the DNR detailing a request to deliver fuel along a hidden route under the Russia-Ukraine border.
  • A plan to get a Tolstoyan fable elected to a seat in the Ukrainian parliament.

Ukrainian media outlets say Pushilin’s scanned passport is a smoking gun—proof that Russia is working with the separatists. The image, however, is only circumstantial evidence. A scanned passport photo doesn't necessarily prove anything, though a reverse Google image search reveals that the image taken from the LDPR servers did not appear online until two days ago.

The memo about a top-secret fuel delivery to the rebels, on the other hand, suggests the collaboration between Moscow and Donetsk is on a larger scale than either side lets on.

According to the leaked memo, Russia and the DNR agreed to prices and transit routes for diesel fuel deliveries as early as August 20. A report dated September 4 indicates that the transaction was completed “at the highest levels” in Moscow. The memo isn't addressed to anyone in LDPR, however, so it's impossible to say to what degree the party was actually involved in Russia's fuel negotiations with the Donetsk separatists.  

от «20» августа 2014 г. Совершенно секретно
По состоянию на 20.08.2014 г. мы имеем все необходимые договоренности, чтобы осуществить импорт дизельного топлива на территорию Донецкой Народной Республики с территории Российской Федерации.
Механизм осуществления импорта будет проходить по такой схеме:
1. Группа лиц имеющая на руках необходимую сумму в российских рублях, должна прибыть в г. Новошахтинск, для взаиморасчета с поставщиками ДТ. В присутствии этой группы купленный объем ДТ будет слит в схему скрытых и хорошо законспирированных подземных коммуникаций, которые проходят под границе Украины и РФ.

August 20, 2014. Top secret
As of 8/20/2014, we have all of the necessary arrangements to carry out the import of diesel fuel from the territory of the Russian Federation to the territory of the Donetsk People’s Republic.
The import procedure will occur according to the following plan:
1) A group of individuals, having on hand the necessary amount in Russian rubles, is to arrive in the city of Novoshakhtinsk for settlement of accounts with the suppliers of diesel fuel. In the presence of this group, the purchased quantity of diesel fuel will be emptied into the system of hidden and well-concealed underground pipelines, which passes underneath the border between Ukraine and Russia.

The leaked data also includes a proposed plan (which apparently never got off the ground) to create a viral political campaign to be juxtaposed against the wildly popular campaign of Darth Vader for mayor in Kyiv and Odessa. In the proposed “Political Project Buratino,” someone (likely an LDPR official) explains a plan to create a viral campaign for Buratino, a beloved character from a fairy tale by Aleksey Tolstoy loosely based on the Italian novel The Adventures of Pinocchio.

According to the plan, one of the most effective ways to generate interest—and potentially curry political favor—is through humor (as the Darth Vader campaigns demonstrated). The Buratino campaign was supposed to appeal to the “against-all” electorate, offering them a comical, fictional candidate to support in protest against the real contenders. This scheme gave rise to Buratino.

Дарт-Вейдер на прошлых выборах позиционировал себя как представитель – темной стороны силы. Буратино же, займет – светлую сторону. Таким образом, эти два персонажа, столкнутся в политической битве в своем – «стебном» сегменте. […] Буратино, как и Дарт-Вейдер будут вести предвыборную гонку используя лозунги и агитационную риторику «на грани фола». […] голосуя, за шуточного кандидата, электорат мстит всем надоевшим депутатам и власти, но подсознательно надеется, что хоть и шуточная, но приближенная к реальности программа и лозунги могут быть реализованы Буратино в случае прохождения в парламент.

In the previous elections, Darth Vader positioned himself as a representative of the dark side of the force. Buratino will work the same way—but from the side of the light. Thus, these two characters will face off in political battle in their own, “ironic” segment. […] Buratino, just like Darth Vader, will conduct his political race by using slogans and propagandizing rhetoric just on the verge of taking things almost “too far”. […] voting for the comic candidate, the electorate will take revenge against all of the boring deputies and authorities, but subconsciously hope that, even though it’s all a joke, the programs and slogans are realistic enough to be implemented by Buratino in the event of his winning a seat in parliament.

The political technologists responsible for this Pinocchio-inspired plot hoped to field a puppet candidate by exploiting a loophole in Ukrainian election law.

В случае принятия на этой неделе закона о система выборов с мажоритарными округами, кандидат в депутаты – Буратино (фамилия и имя меняются в паспортном столе, как это было с Дартом Алексеевичем Вейдером) выставляется на один из мажоритарных округов с большой плотностью студенческого электората.

In the event of the adoption this week of the law on the system of elections with majority districts, the parliamentary candidate Buratino (the first and last name would be changed in the passport office, as it was with Darth Alekseevich Vader) will be nominated into one of the majority districts with a high density of students in the electorate.

Looking at these documents, how certain can we be that they honestly belong to LDPR? There are at least three reasons this data leak is legitimate. 

The first and most convincing reason is that most of the leaked information directly relates to LDPR or its officials. If someone falsified these documents, it was nothing short of a Herculean effort, as many of these items date back years. In fact, some of the information found in the leak contains bank-transaction records and internal memos that were never available to the public.

Second, it is already public knowledge that LDPR provides material support to the separatists. On May 6, LDPR leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky sent a “Tiger” jeep to separatists in Luhansk, and on July 11 Denis Pushilin met publicly with Zhirinovsky in Moscow.

Finally, there are no bombshell documents in this collection. There are a few scans that lead us to believe LDPR and the separatists are closer than many once thought, but a conscious effort to incriminate either the DNR or LDPR would likely have called for uncovering, or fabricating if necessary, something quite incendiary. Instead, we're treated to reams of bureaucratic paperwork and a smattering of political campaign strategy. It's hard to believe that someone went to the effort to falsify 2.4 gigabytes of LDPR archival records.


  • Jimmy

    The entire world knows Russia is not only supporting terrorists, but has in fact invaded Ukraine itself (as many Russian citizens are now finding out when their dead SOs return for a private burial). Will be just another deny, blame it on propaganda, (the usual) from Russia. Nice report tho.

  • Freedomforall

    Russia supports terrorism

    • Sandy

      Yep, but worse, Russia instigates terrorism.

      • Oracle

        Dummies! Russia invented Terrorism! it’s Russia who bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki, it actually was Russia that forced USA to invade Vietnam! it’s Russia that triggered the world financial crisis. And it certainly is Russia who started the war in Ukraine. It was their idea to start that Maidane! If aliens invade Earth – don’t forget to tell that it was Russia who called them rofl. Have you tried to critically consider what every side of the conflict does? Have you considered why US own government blew up twin towers on the 11th September and what paths did that open for US government and military? Do you know that drug production in Have you ever tried to count how many wars US have fought in the last 100 years and which excuses it invented for them? Nah, you’d better cry that it’s all Russian fault heh. If you would – many of you would understand a little more of the higher-level politics. But now you act like a cave people shaking their clubs because the shaman said so! Don’t be lazy when it comes to thinking :)

    • Capt America

      So does the USoA.
      Score even.

  • Trueteller

    It”s not news when we see connections between Russian politic parties and terrorists,my God Russia officially invaded Ukraine,news is why Western democratic countries don”t want act morally,in own interest and according with obligations to Ukraine.Why this lack of leadership and absence of courage and common sense? We saw Hitler and Chamberlain after Hitler”s Anschluss.Why we are repeating same crucial mistakes with Putin and his anschluss? In 21th century??? Monster must be stopped or we will pay terrible price!

    • Jimmy

      Because the EU lacks the military power to intervene. It was released two days ago that Germany’s Air force is basically crippled due to complete under funding and mismanagement..

      “Only 42 of 109 Eurofighters are currently ready for service, while 38 of 89 Tornado fighters could take to the skies.” Meanwhile, Germany has promised 60 Eurofighters to NATO which it can’t provide.

      Which again, leads me to call for a NATO overhaul. The purpose of which is mutual defense. Doesn’t seem very mutual, when everyone wants America to come save them because they refuse to fund a sufficient military themselves. Ukraine is on the other side of the world from the United States, and quite frankly, means very little to the US. This is an EU show.

      I do, however, agree with you. History always repeats itself if you refuse to learn from it!

      • Trueteller

        Exactly.But we don”t need open intervention in Ukraine,if our governments just provided weapons to Ukraine it would be enough for break Russian terrorist and it would be clear sign to Putin that West really supports Ukraine ,so Putin wouldn”t sent army in Donbass just before Donbass was liberated.I agree Ukraine is EU problem,but there”s no action in the world without US leadership,we all know that.Ukraine is US problem because if US and EU don”t stopped Putin now,tomorrow it will cost much more because US will need come here to save Europe.Again! Sorry for English.It”s not my language.

        • Jimmy

          Problem with sending Ukraine weapons. The country still doesn’t have any money to buy, gas, pay employees, buy other equipment.. etc. etc.

          This is a war of attrition, which Ukraine has already lost. There is no other tactical solution than to capitulate, and build up their military in the interim. Then one day down the road, when they have a little bit of money, they may be able to put up a resistance. But all the weapons in the world won’t save you, if you can’t provide basic services to the population.

          Don’t get me wrong. I’m not blaming the current Ukraine government. It was all accomplished by Putin’s buddies. However, facts remain facts……unfortunately. :(

          • Trueteller

            Our governments did it mistakes.I was in two wars,or two phases of one war,Croatia and Bosnia.Croatia was state without army,just a some police officers with rifles,but will of whole nation was on extremely high level,freedom or death,so Croatian government used high moral of nation and built army day by day buying a weapons at black market.Smart combination of policy,negotiations and strengthen the army brought a freedom and end of the war.Yugoslavian army(Serbian army actually) was fifth army in Europe at the time,but lack of will for fight in Serbia and political pressure from the other side was winning recipe.Ukraine has many many young people who are ready for fight,while Russia is not in same position.It”s too late now for stop the Putin,but after annexation of Crimea we didn”t boost Ukrainian army,which is huge mistake.Now Ukraine must protect coastal area and implement economic and political reforms,bring stability in the country and for 7-10 years can come in NATO.We should help them with arms,reorganization of army and with economy.Advisers and arms must start to flow to Ukraine from the West because it”s our interest and it”s a time that our governments do something which is morally and in our interest.We can be good guys,haha.

          • Visitor

            Europe should dramatically reduce its dependence on Pukin’s gas supply; then, a political pressure would be possible.

          • Trueteller

            Absolutely! There”s option with US gas,Saudi gas and Azerbaijan and Iranian gas.It must be done because next time situation will be worse.

          • Jimmy

            It should be done, and work should have already started. As I understand it however, it would take around 5 years to completely overhaul the EU’s gas infrastructure to flow west to east.

            Why hasn’t this already been started? People aren’t demanding it of their governments. It’s always easier for people and our governments to stick with the norm, then to try something new….and usually don’t until they are forced.

            Hopefully Russia doesn’t cut gas this winter to the EU.

          • Trueteller

            Jimmy I hope Russia WILL cut the gas this winter because it would be sign for our governments that is time for action,not just empty talk.I live at Croatian Adriatic coast where is soft Mediterranean weather,so it”s not problem,I am joking,but I mean it about gas supplies from Russia.I wish Ukrainians won”t have too big problems this winter,they are already have terrible situation. P.S. I am sorry because of my poor English language,but it”s not my language and I am not using web-translators.My knowledge comes from rock”n”roll lyrics and US movies.Mostly.

          • Jimmy

            I do agree. I just think time ran out before action was taken, and now it’s too late to really do anything until after winter. I do thank you for your insight from a different part of the world though. Great conversation. :)

          • Trueteller

            Mistakes are done,it”s late now for certain moves,but Ukraine was occupied hundreds of years and they are still here.Unfortunately Ukrainians will suffer this winter,nobody can”t change that,all what I hope is they won”t pass through war,bloodshed,destruction,coldness for nothing.This huge tragedy is contributed that Ukrainian ethnic genesis is finally finished,ironically,Ukrainian patriots can be grateful to Putin for something what they couldn”t do it last 20 years,he homogenized nation and now it”s clear to everybody where enemy lies.Thank you for interesting and bright observations and have a good day(night)-time!

          • Sergey Tokarev

            Hi Lieteller! Ukrainian nation is as homogenized as French and German were in 1940. Not for long. Why did you hesitate to say you are Croatian? Ethnicity is not your problem.

          • Trueteller

            I told that I am Croat to troll who previously used “Sergey Tokarev” account,but you troll have so much work that you didn”t check account when you took the “Sergey Tokarev office”. Two months ago I had a weeks of discuss with your account. Check account troll!

          • Sergey Tokarev

            Do you despise yourself, liar?

          • Trueteller

            Whoever wants can check my and “Sergey Tokarev” posts and see “Sergey Tokarev” is Russian troll.You failed troll.Next time you must be more careful.”I was separatist fighter in Ukraine” is one of articles where I had discuss with previous serviceman of “Sergey Tokarev” office.It”s very easy see he was different person than now,his English was poor and his style was absolutely different. TROLL IS CAUGHT! P.S. Discussion between me and “Sergey Tokarev troll” started three months ago.

          • Sergey Tokarev

            Yep. I recall possibly I talked to you much earlier. I thought initially I talked to you only on KyivPost a couple of days ago. I have a good memory (spit spit spit), but sometimes forget this or that pubic louse. Regards.

          • Trueteller

            Nice try troll! I won”t waste my time anymore on proved Russian troll.You people can continue service “Sergey Tokarev” office…

          • Sergey Tokarev

            What is your motivation to write lies, to promote hate? Is it personal? Maybe you are pedophile and hate Russia for traditionalism?

          • Trueteller

            Ahahaha,what a traditionalism? Where KGB chooses patriarch and leadership of Russian Orthodox Church among atheists and communists? Hahaha. Putin is ex KGB,40% of persons in Putin”s inner circle are ex KGB officers and others are ex Soviet and Communist Party officials.Please cut the c… And now we are done troll.For good.

      • random

        Well actually Ukraine is a symbol of US failing to uphold its promises for security, basically US is breaking an agreement, showing it is afraid of the Russians, meaning, that the Russians can emerge as the leading superpower shadowing the US, that does seem kinda important, to me at least. Wouldn’t wan’t Russians as the new world order.

        • Jimmy

          The Budapest Memorandum was never a defense agreement, rather an agreement that the signatories would basically leave Ukraine alone. – NOT DEFEND IT.

          Read and enlighten yourself –

          According to the memorandum, Russia, the U.S., and the UK confirmed, in recognition of Ukraine becoming party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and in effect abandoning its nuclear arsenal to Russia, that they would:

          – Respect Ukrainian independence and sovereignty within its existing borders.
          – Refrain from the threat or use of force against Ukraine.
          – Refrain from using economic pressure on Ukraine in order to influence its politics.
          – Seek United Nations Security Council action if nuclear weapons are used against Ukraine.
          – Refrain from the use of nuclear arms against Ukraine.
          – Consult with one another if questions arise regarding these commitments.

          The only country that has broke its commitment to the Budapest memorandum is Russia.

          • random

            k, thanks for more info, seems Ukraine should have kept its arsenal, but Russians breaching agreements is nothing new, so they should have seen that one coming.

          • Jimmy

            No problem.

            It’s sad either way you slice it. While America could actually defend Ukraine militarily, it would be impossible to maintain with the underfunded Euro NATO countries – without the US permanently deployed to Ukraine.

            Again, and unfortunately; it’s just to logistically difficult (not impossible) without the proper European infrastructure.

            A good example of this. Some of America’s newer fighter jets, can’t use some (most) European bases, because they do not have the facilities for them (from maintenance to runway length, etc.)

          • random

            Well Russians would not win war of attrition vs EU no way, so if the US did intervene, the upkeep would not be a problem. Though the US strategy to drop oil prices (that is a critical hit to Russian economy and the people responsible for this war) is the most efficient weapon right now, and the least costly in human lives too, so gotta give a medal for the guy in charge for that.

          • Visitor

            Mr Eltsin who was the Russian president at that time (1994) had no intentions to build a clerico-fascist dictatorship extended to all the ex-USSR.

      • Jackie Bugdale

        Germany has made tons of money doing business with Russia in the past. Time to man up and stop lying.


  • memyselfandi

    You people are really fucking crazy,

  • Thanks Aric for the enlightening post!

  • John H Newcomb

    More reason to sanction the anti-semitic, xenophobe, misogynist Zhirinovsky as EU and Canada have done.

  • SunDancer

    Haha, it’s not Global Voices Online, It’s US/EU Fascist Voices Online.

    The terrorists and fascists are in the Kiev junta, and those in US/EU that support Kiev.

  • Sergey Tokarev

    I don’t get. They hacked some photos of IDs and plans to supply fuel. And? And then? Zhirinovsky knows Pushilin and deals with him? I saw them on a meeting in Moscow together. So? It is hard to imagine more empty article. They had to put some psaki into it.

  • Jackie Bugdale

    Well the fact that world leaders look on while and blah blah blah while this reign of terror continues day to day is the biggest tragedy of this century.

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