Story of the bogus anonymous report on the war in Ukraine that came to Wired

Story of the bogus anonymous report on the war in Ukraine that came to Wired

A report on WiredLeaks, the whistleblower platform launched by, about the war in Ukraine. However, this turns out to be nothing more than a statement that appeared on the Facebook page of the Russian Federation embassy in Italy. Yes, this also happens around the invasion launched by Moscow on February 24th.

Meanwhile, what is WiredLeaks: it is a platform launched in February last year that allows anyone to send reports to the drafting without having to reveal your identity. A digital solution for the protection of sources, which guarantees full anonymity. Not surprisingly, those wishing to report are asked to use the Tor browser, which bounces the user's connection across different servers so as to make it untraceable.

Suspicious reports The report dates back to last April 20. Or rather, the reports: the first arrived on April 20 at 6:53 pm, with a partial text, however, due to the limit of characters allowed on the platform. The second the following day at 20:18, this time with the text attached and therefore complete.

The editorial staff is suspicious of the content of the report, it is the fact that the whistleblower described it as "A disclosure arrived from the web". It was therefore enough to enter the first lines of the text in a search engine to understand that it was a statement from the Russian embassy in Italy. Among the results, there is also a tweet from the official account that referred to the text published on Facebook. Both accounts have a blue check that identifies them as being managed directly by the diplomatic headquarters located in via Gaeta in Rome.

Twitter content This content can also be viewed on the site it originates from.

The document announced that "in the near future", men of the Ukrainian armed forces would wear Russian army uniforms to execute the inhabitants of Odessa, thus placing the blame on Russia. The near future is not better defined, but evidently more than the two weeks elapsed between the sending of the reports and the publication of this article. Odessa, however, was bombed by Russian missiles, as witnessed by observers and journalists on the ground.

The text then continues with an ultimatum to the forces barricaded inside the Azovstal steel mills, who are promised their safety in the case lay down their weapons. Steel mill where the first civilians were evacuated just a few days ago and where on May 3 the Russian forces launched a new assault.

Protection of sources More than for the content of the report itself, since the Russians are the first to disguise their soldiers in uniforms of armies from other countries, chose to tell this episode to give an account of how Russian propaganda is moving or how those who sympathize with Putin are acting. Obviously, there is no way to know who the person who sent the report to WiredLeaks is or the reasons, but it is clear that he thought that using a whistleblower channel to give credibility to what is nothing but a dezinformatzija operation. in pure Soviet style.

It is not possible to know precisely due to the nature of WiredLeaks: at no time is the reporting person asked to identify himself. He is only asked if he is writing from Italy and how many people are aware of the information he intends to share. This is to allow the editorial staff to assess whether any publication could jeopardize the safety or even just the workplace of this person.

In the specific case, the editorial staff's assessment was to account for of this report precisely to denounce the functioning of disinformation mechanisms. Moreover, in Russia one of the few opposition newspapers, Novaya Gazeta, chose to suspend publication on March 28, after receiving two warnings from Roskomnadzor, the federal communications supervision service, a circumstance that could lead to revocation of the license. In short, the report received seemed to us nothing more than an attempt to create confusion to make the situation opaque. After all, Aeschylus said that in war the truth is the first victim. And this, in Moscow, they know well.

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