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Pro-Kremlin Activist Admits to Coordinating Estonian Attacks

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Back in 2007, Estonian business and government Internet sites endured weeks of hammering in a coordinated series of denial-of-service attacks. The incidents made international news and were cited as an example of possible “cyber warfare” or “cyber terrorism,” and Estonia’s prime minister directly accused Russia of being behind the attacks, saying most of the attacks were coming from servers being hosted by the Russian government. Russia denied any involvement.

Now, Konstantin Goloskokov, an activist with the Russian youth group Nashi and an aide to a pro-Kremlin member of Russia’s parliament has claimed to have been behind the attacks. Goloskokov claims to have organized a group of sympathizers to protest Estonia’s dismantling of a Soviet-era monument in the center of Tallinn, Estonia’s capital city. The monument memorialized Red Army soldiers killed during World War II; the issue had always been a sore point for Estonia, which saw itself has having been illegally occupied by the Soviet Union for more than 50 years. When Estonia—now independent—took down the monument, the result was two days of rioting from Russian-speaking protesters.

According to a phone interview with Reuters, Goloskokov characterizes his actions as a legal act of civil disobedience, not any kind of assault or cyber-attack. “Its aim was to express our protest against the policy of soft apartheid which has been conducted by the leadership of Estonia for many years and the climax of which was the dismantling of the [..] soldiers’ (monument) in Tallinn.”

Goloskokov says he received no assistance in his action from Russian officials or the Nashi group.

[Thumbnail image by Petri Krohn via a Creative Commons license.]