Ukrainian Hackers Leak Russian Interior Ministry Docs with ‘Evidence’ of Russian Invasion

Images mixed by Tetyana Lokot.

Images mixed by Tetyana Lokot.

Hacking collectives on both sides of the Ukraine-Russia information war have been instrumental in revealing key facts and documents that some would prefer to remain hidden. The latest leak by Ukrainian hackers purports to reveal new evidence of Russian soldiers’ presence in Ukraine.

On Friday, Ukrainian activist Evgeniy Dokukin and Ukrainian Cyber Forces, the hacktivist group he founded earlier this year, released 1.7GB of files taken from the Russian Interior Ministry. Later, Dokukin released an additional 34GB of data from the Interior Ministry servers, most of which has not yet been fully analyzed by journalists.

As with most leaks, most notably the September hack of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR), the majority of the leaked documents are overwhelmingly useless and dull. However, as in the case of the LDPR leak, evidence of Russian involvement in eastern Ukraine can be found buried underneath heaps of bureaucratic minutiae. While most of the files are inconsequential, the fact that they originate from the Rostov branch of the Interior Ministry is intriguing, as the Rostov region in Russia shares a border that spans hundreds of miles with eastern Ukraine.

Dokukin told RuNet Echo that he and the Ukrainian Cyber Forces hacked an e-mail account of the Russian Interior Ministry and two other servers, and that they also gained access to additional information that has not yet been publically released. Dokukin says he has personally not spent much time reviewing the documents taken from the Ministry server, but instead relies on journalists to parse through the gigabytes of information.

The Ministry Files
Even a quick look through the hundreds of documents makes it immediately clear that either all or nearly all of them are the real deal. A truly massive amount of manpower would have been necessary to fabricate the level of detail in the reports and lists in this leak, including metadata that seems genuine. For example, in a randomly selected document from the archive the document’s content and metadata all check out. Take, for instance, an “Overview of the state of the rule of law and public safety during public events held in the first quarter of 2014” from the General Directorate for the Protection of Public Order (GUOOOP). According to the metadata, the document was created on April 29, 2014 by Sergei Lukin, who, according to a number of news articles, is the Deputy Head of the same department. It is possible that a Ukrainian hacker spent months forging thousands of documents that perfectly match the style and content of Russian paperwork, along with matching metadata, but common sense and Occam’s razor would lead one to believe otherwise.

The most interesting document in the cache of files so far may be a police account written on August 26 describing the circumstances of an August 25 battle between Russian soldiers and the Ukrainian National Guard “10 km northwest of the small village of Prognoi.” The reason why the Interior Ministry—and not the Foreign Affairs Ministry—wrote this account is because four of the Russian soldiers sustained injuries and were evacuated to a Rostov garrison hospital. With independent verification, this police account could serve as proof of the Russian government’s knowledge of its military units operating in, or at the border of, a foreign country and firing upon its soldiers. This verification is not terribly hard to find.

Screenshot of the report that corroborates evidence of Russian soldiers's engagement with Ukrainian counterparts. Image from Google Docs.

Screenshot of the report that corroborates evidence of Russian soldiers's engagement with Ukrainian counterparts. Image from Google Docs.

On August 26, Andriy Lysenko, the spokesperson of the Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council, gave a briefing detailing an attack on Ukrainian border guards in the area of Krasnaya Talovka, which lies almost exactly 10 kilometers northwest of the small village of Prognoi. The Ukrainian account of this battle matches the account given by the Russian Interior Ministry.

Ukrainian account:

25 августа на участке “Красная Таловка” Луганской области была выявлена диверсионно-разведывательная группа, которая пересекла границу с территории России. В 15:00 хорошо замаскированный пограничный наряд автоматным огнем остановил продвижение диверсантов. Для подкрепления к месту боя прибыли дополнительные оперативно-боевые группы пограничников. Ожесточенный бой с российскими наемниками длился 2,5 часа. Диверсионная группа поддерживалась огнем из Российской Федерации – из минометов, 2 БТР и 2 БМП. Кроме того, украинских пограничников обстреляли неуправляемыми реактивными снарядами 2 боевых вертолета Ми-24 Вооруженных сил РФ. Во время боя погибли 4 пограничники, 3 ранены. Благодаря действиям героев прорыв через границу не состоялся. Противник понес значительные потери. Раненых и убитых диверсантов с поля боя в России эвакуировали на БМП под прикрытием огня БТРов и вертолетов.

On August 25 in the area of “Krasnaya Talovka” of the Luhansk oblast, a sabotage and reconnaissance group which crossed the border from Russia was detected. At 3:00pm, a well-disguised border detail used automatic weapons to stop the advance of the saboteurs. Additional operational combat groups of border guards arrived at the battle as reinforcements. The fierce battle with Russian mercenaries lasted for two-and-a-half hours. The diversionary group was supported with fire from mortars, two APCs, and two IFVs from the Russian Federation. Additionally, Ukrainian border guards were fired upon by unguided rockets from two Mi-24 combat helicopters of the Russian armed forces. During the battle, four border guards died and three were wounded. Thanks to the actions of the heroes, a breakthrough across the border did not occur. The enemy suffered significant losses. The wounded and killed saboteurs were evacuated from the battlefield in Russia with an IFV under the cover of fire from APCs and helicopters.

Leaked Russian document:

25.08.2014 около 15.50 при выполнении служебных обязанностей произошел факт получения ранений в ходе боестолкновения с войсками Нацгвардии р. Украина в 10 км северо-западнее х. Прогной Тарасовского р-на рядовыми к/с в/ч №51182 Полстянкиным М. В., Волгиным О. Ю., Алексеевым Ю. А., Герасименко А. А., проходящими службу в в/ч 51182 н. п. Миллерово. В 18.52 25.08.2014 вертолетом Ми-8 ВС РФ раненые эвакуированы в Ростовский гарнизонный военный госпиталь.

On August 25, 2014 around 3:50pm, M.V. Polstyankin, O.Yu. Volgin, Yu.A. Alekseev, and A.A. Gerasimenko, serving in contracted Unit 51182 of the Millerovo locality, suffered injuries in the performance of official duties during a clash with the forces of the National Guard of Ukraine 10km north-west of the small village of Prognoi of the Tarasovsky region. At 6:52pm on August 25, 2014, the wounded were evacuated to the Rostov garrison hospital via a Mi-8 helicopter of the Russian armed forces.

There are additional details from the leaked document that can be independently verified, especially through a Gruz 200 investigation of Mikhail Polstyankin, a Russian soldier who perished during the battle near Krasnaya Talovka. Gruz (Cargo) 200, referencing the code name of the transport for Russian military casualties, is an advocacy group that has documented Russian military casualties in the Ukrainian conflict. Presenting four pieces of evidence, including a Facebook post of a family friend on August 28 reporting the death of a Mikhail Polstyakin on August 25, Gruz 200 makes a convincing case that corroborates the account found in the leaked Interior Ministry document.

This leak is almost certainly genuine and provides a rare glimpse into the inner workings of the Russian Interior Ministry, though limited to the Rostov branch. There are other interesting details in this set of documents, such as Russia’s concern about weapons being trafficked from Ukraine, but the August 26 report documenting four injuries—one of which led to a death—of Russian soldiers confirms what nearly everyone has already suspected: Russia has used its official, enlisted military personnel to engage in combat with Ukrainian soldiers.

Ukrainian Cyber Forces
Dokukin has not exactly been secretive about his part in the ongoing cyber warfare. He frequently gives interviews and boasts of his group’s successes online. Other than his hack of the Russian Interior Ministry servers, Dokukin provided RuNet Echo with a list of ongoing operations of the “Ukrainian Cyber Forces,” including the blocking of accounts belonging to pro-Russian separatists on electronic payment systems, such as Yandex Money Wallet, and performing DDoS (distributed-denial-of-service) attacks on pro-separatist websites, such as and

When asked about how he and the Ukrainian Cyber Forces differ from pro-Russian hacking groups, such as CyberBerkut, Dokukin says that the Russian hackers work under the Russian FSB (Federal Security Service), while his group, he claims, acts independently and is conducting a “Cyber ATO” (anti-terrorist operation) against the “terrorist and Russian aggressors” on the Internet. Furthermore, Dokukin sees Ukrainian Cyber Forces’ work as patriotic, as he believes that what they do “protect[s] Ukraine from their [Russia’s] invasion.”

It's cyber war. And we fight against web sites, e-mails, accounts of terrorists in social networks and their videos and channels on YouTube. But some of our operations [are] related to off-line, like those in June-August with SMS-spamming and call-spamming on terrorists’ phones, and especially blocking funding accounts of terrorists, which decrease possibilities of terrorists in real war.

Dokukin and Ukrainian Cyber Forces say that the goal of the Interior Ministry hack was to “find information about [the] Russian war against Ukraine.” Although a wealth of information is now available online for checking and verification, it is unclear how the Ukrainian law enforcement and security services might use this leaked ‘evidence.’ Russian officials, meanwhile, continue to deny the presence of Russian troops in Ukraine or their involvement in the conflict.


  • Мария Голубева

    Another extremely interesting document from the leak is described here:
    It is about a “special mission” of Russian special services in Ukraine

  • more Russian lies

    Russia is a cancer on this planet.

  • Down with neo-stalinist Putins

    Yanu. was not a democratic elected President like Moscow propaganda says he lost his legitimacy on the way…

    In 2008-2009 the global financial crisis, put the final nails in the coffin of the hryvnia, Ukraine’s currency, fell by more than 40%. because of this the nation of Ukraine was in a state of dismay and this gave the Putin boy in the end of 2009, Yanukovych, the chief villain in the Orange Revolution, the option of getting elected President in a fair election. this is the one time he was fairly elected he won with only 51,3 % of the vote…and THIS WAS A FAIRLY DONE !
    If you look away from the fact is was done with 100% backing from Moscow and Russian oligarch money.. But still the vote its self was fairly done on the day of elections..

    It seemed that the Orange Revolution and everything it had achieved had all been for nothing.

    New parliamentary election in 2012-2013: Yanukovych’s Insatiable Power Grab came …

    By 2012 it was time for new parliamentary election in Ukraine and after it was held it was almost universally condemned by international monitors for irregularities and corruption Yanukovych clones stole the election and it gave Yanukovych’s party, the Party of Regions, a firm majority with the help of every dirty trick in the book.

    How did this power grap happen and how did Yanukovych’s party, the Party of Regions, steal the country in the 2012 elections ???

    Well we must go bake to 2009-2011 The new regime at the time (after the first election) stated moving to tighten its grip and started to change out all local governments all over the nation to people more in line with the Party of Regions aka Yanukovych’s party…

    Yanukovych in 2011 clanged the Ukrainian Constitution and in this way install greater powers in the office of the Presidency and Yanukovych him self..

    Yanukovych also ousted a lot of supreem court judges and put new more friendly judges in the supreem court and the lower courts all over the land and removed the ones he looked upon as not so freindly.

    Yulia Tymoshenko, the most significant political figure outside the regime, was jailed on trumped up charges. The same happen to other political figures that was looked upon as a prob. for the Yanukovych regime..

    In 2012 new elections came up in Ukraine and by this time the stage was sett for Yanukovych to put in motion the plan to just grap the power in the land and parliament and take over av Ukraine …

    2012 parliamentary election was almost universally condemned by international monitors (not by PUTINS Russia ) for irregularities. Yanukovych’s Party of Regions, had after this criminal act of swindle now a firm majority parliament and becouse Yanukovych had already be this time control over the supreme-court judges their was no stopping him or any questions about irregularities…

    So by 2013, Viktor Yanukovych had consolidated political power and proved to be a model of avarice and incompetence. Corruption reached new heights (experts estimate that Putins boy Ynukovych and his Russian friendly cronies looted tens of billions of dollars—quite a feat in such a poor country). Scandals, epitomized by the heinous case of Oksana Makar, began to pile up.

    But yes despite the regime’s criminal activity and dominance, Ukraine was still mostly and largely at this time a some what free country, with a vibrant press, competent reporters and an active civil society. So now, having seized a firm hold on the organs of government, Yanukovych moved to squelch dissent by taking control of the press. a massive witch hunt started on the free press and with that massive takeovers of private owned and state owned business in a scale never before seen…

    As 2013 was drew to a close, Viktor Yanukovych was, for all intents and purposes, the supreme ruler of Ukraine. However, trouble lurked beneath the surface. Due to the endemic corruption and incompetence of his regime, the country was in dire financial straits. Further, his government had made two commitments that would lead to his downfall.

    The first was a trade agreement with the EU, which Yanukovych had pledged to pursue during the 2009 Presidential campaign that brought him to power. The second was the Eurasian Economic Union that Vladimir Putin was creating to reunite former Soviet states.

    On November 28th, President Yanukovych attended the EU summit in Vilnius where the EU Association Agreement was to be signed. Under heavy Russian pressure, he balked, sending shock-waves throughout Ukrainian society.

    It is one thing to steal, to make a mockery of the rule of law and to run the country far below any reasonable standard of competence, but the prospect of EU integration had come to symbolize inclusion into the community of nations and a chance to live a normal life. This final insult, as it turned out, was more than the nation could bear.

    That night, a young journalist and activist named Mustafa Nayem, was moved to post this on Facebook:

    Mustafa Nayem wrote: Okay guys, let’s get serious. Who’s ready to go to the Maidan today at midnight? “Likes” will not counted. Only comments under this post with the words “I’m ready.” Once there are more than a thousand, we will organize it.

    In the space of an hour, there were more than 600 comments and Nayem posted once again that they would meet at 10:30. Within hours, more than a thousand people showed up to protest. The Euromaidan revolution had begun. In the ensuing days. the crowds swelled further. First 10,000, then 50,000 and before long, the protesters had set up camps. They were in it for the long haul.

    The regime fought back, but to little avail. Riot police attacked, yet more people came to the Maidan. Yanukovych passed a law outlawing the protests and even more came. Things escalated and soon there were Molotov cocktails, helmets, and improvised shields. Then Yanukovych (Some say on Putins advice ) Yanukovych orderd
    snipers too open fire and the shooting started and nearly 100 ++ where killed.

    We can only imagine what was going through Vladimir Putin’s head as he watched these events. He had also faced protests after his return to the presidency. Now Putin’s protege
    in Kyiv had not only fallen, but had become a fugitive from justice. Was this what the future had in store for him as well?

    Within days, Putin’s clandestine forces—nicknamed “little green men” by the Ukrainians— seized power in Crimea. The next month, a sham referendum was held that allowed Putin to annex the Ukrainian province, violating the 1994 Budapest Memorandum in which Russia pledged to respect Ukraine’s sovereignty in return for its abandonment of nuclear weapons.

    Next, he moved forces into Eastern Ukraine, hoping to sow discontent and seize territory reaching across the country to Transnistria, a Russian controlled enclave in Moldova. If he could not expand Russian influence by subterfuge, he would do it by force.

    As it turned out, he didn’t get very far. Anti-maidan protests in key cities like Kharkiv, Dnipropetrovsk, Zaporizhia and Odessa—where much of Ukraine’s high value industry is located—never gained traction. Yet in Donbass, a region of made up largely of basic industry and poorly educated coal miners, the Russian backed insurgency made significant gains.

    That brings us to now. To date, over 5000 people have been killed in the conflict in Eastern Ukraine, with many more wounded and more than half a million displaced. The Russian economy is in shambles, crippled by western sanctions and a precipitous drop in the price of oil, its main source of hard currency. The ruble has lost nearly half its value, more than at any time since the 1998 crisis.

    Yet still Putin remains defiant, giving jingoistic speeches, launching clandestine political operations in Europe and unleashing an army of Internet trolls on western media outlets. His approval ratings among the Russian public hover over 80%….

    Everyday, old Soviets die and new Ukrainians are born: While Putin is unlikely to be deterred, neither will the Ukrainian populace. During the Orange Revolution in 2004, people in their twenties had no memory of, nor nostalgia for, the Soviet Union. Now, it’s people in their 30’s. The trend is clear. As time passes Ukraine becomes more European and less Russian.

    Ukrainians are highly educated and highly skilled—Elance ranks Ukraine third in the world for high-tech outsourcing. They are also well travelled and politically active, staging protests against their own government at the first signs of backsliding. The loss of Russian-leaning Crimea and the population displacements in the east accelerate these trends further.

    There is a new feeling of national unity and independence in Ukraine that is not likely to reverse itself.

    So the result is that the Ukrainians people will win in the end … And Yanukovych undemocratic power grab in 2012 parliamentary election that was almost universally condemned by international monitors for irregularities and corruption was a waste of time for Ukraine the Ukrainian pep ole for Putin’s boy Yanukovych that now is hiding out inn Russia with his partner in crime Putin…

    Now the price for Russian oil has dropped to the low $60 range, more than a 40% decline since the summer. That combined with western sanctions, will deliver a crushing blow against Russia. The country has roughly $700 billion in external debt—over $100 billion of which becomes due in the next year—and no way to effectively refinance it.

    Today, Russia is on the brink of its own crisis. and thank god for that !!!! Inflation and capital flight are endemic, its oil fields are drying up and, because of the sanctions, it cannot easily develop new ones. And for what one Russian called Putin’s and his own idea about his self- importance…

    • huy

      Well done.
      you may grab your meal for today.

      • Trueteller

        Can you tell me how much costs 1kg of Russian girls now? Ukrainian girls are much more expensive now because of Ukrainian access to civilized world,but Russian sites with girls for rent and sale are expanding.Who says all aspects of Russian economy is in recession? Export of brains of Russian intellectuals and Russian girls and women grows sharply! Their price is on record low-level.

    • Arctic_Slicer

      “this is the one time he was fairly elected he won with only 51,3 % of the vote”

      Viktor Yanukovych,actually only won with 48.95% of the popular vote in the final runoff on February 14th, 2010.

      Fact: Yanukovych only had support from a plurality and never a true majority.

      Yanukovych further eroded this support from his very undemocratic and dictatorial practices mentioned in your post above.

  • Down with neo-stalinist Putins

    Dont ask for evidance ot proff that Russia is in Ukriane as we know that they are …

    Lets take a look at how Ukraine’s arsenal matches up against the Russian-backed separatists’

    When Russian soldiers helicoptered into Crimea in February, they wore new camouflage uniforms and carried modern black polymer AK-74M rifles. These guns are virtually exclusive to Russia. (Azerbaijan and Cyprus use them as well.) These green-clad gunmen were immediately marked as Russian troops.

    Looking for evidence of Russian-supplied guns in eastern Ukraine isn’t as easy as it was in Crimea. As the Ukrainian army advanced toward separatist-controlled cities, however, the rebels began fielding sophisticated weapons used only by the Russian armed forces and a few other select countries. But not Ukraine.

    These weapons include VSS sniper rifles and PKP machine guns, which the Ukrainian army does not have. The separatists also carried ASVK recoilless rifles, designed to fire heavy slugs at tanks and buildings. The Russian army began using these in 2012. It is the only army known to use this weapon, with the apparent exception being the separatists.

    The rebels also have dozens of tanks. It’s unknown exactly how many. But the bulk appear to be captured T-64s, with several dozen T-72B3 tanks that Russia produced but never exported — until now. These tanks date to 2013 and have modern thermal sights and fire-control computers. The Ukrainians do have several hundred older T-72s in storage, but they are not likely serviceable.

    ukraine_pic_6Ukraine, however, has been the heavier tank user in the conflict, according to ARES. The problem is that the Ukrainian advantage in armor — mostly T-64 tanks — is negligible considering the amount of light antitank weapons the militants possess.

    In addition to captured antitank missiles, the separatists now have modern 9K135 Kornet missiles. These Russian-made missiles are among the world’s deadliest antitank weapons. They are a recurring sight in Middle East conflicts. Ukraine, however, does not possess them.

    The separatists also have large numbers of shoulder-fired antitank rockets. They are more advanced than the Soviet-made rockets usually seen in the Middle East. The separatists’ arsenal includes the RPG-18 – another weapon that Ukrainian forces do not possess. They also have RPO-A and MRO-A thermobaric launchers, similarly absent from Ukrainian stockpiles. These propel a fuel-air explosive warhead designed to destroy buildings, bunkers and lightly armored vehicles.

  • Sergey Tokarev

    Ukrs are still making laughingstocks of themselves. (Yawn).

    • Mykola Banderachuk

      got a picture of you sergay

    • Trueteller

      I see you are using photo-shop to cover your missing teeth or you got reward in dental facility of Supreme Leader Young Komsomol for your first 100 thousands comments at different sites?

      • Sergey Tokarev

        Are you asking why liars like you use such misleading nicks like yours? Browse ‘psychological projection’. (Yawn).

        • Trueteller

          Hahaha…Hey troll-comrade,you are so busy with trolling that you are asking me the same question FOURTH time,hahaha. But it”s OK,I understand you,you must work a lot because for 5$ you need few thousand Rubles now and ideas are drying,drying,drying…Like Russian retirement fund,health fund and economy. Go on comrade! BTW we are always here to send you humanitarian help. Do you know what is sharing for Dollar,Ruble and kilogram? For kilogram of Rubles you can get a Dollar.

  • Trueteller

    Haha,it”s always interesting to see comments around this hour. Russian hungry vatniki crawls from their holes to earn few cents for their poor blinki and borsch…Hunger is coming in the Lenin-lovers land…They will work harder and harder and world will laugh and despise them more and more. But they care only for love of Supreme Soviet and Supreme Leader! And for visa of some Western country…

    • Guest

      WTI Crude closed at 57.81 last week, the 60$ support seems to be broken. Oil price would keep dropping, taking the ruble with it; therefore, Pukin’s trolls should work harder and harder to earn their cents.

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