The website of the investigative outlet Proekt has been subjected to DDoS attacks for the past two days, its editor-in-chief Roman Badanin told Meduza on Friday, April 9.
Badanin felt confident that the attacks are linked to the recent publication of an investigation into real estate belonging to the “two wives” of Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov. However, he noted that Proekt’s editorial office has no direct evidence of this.
“We’re linking [the attacks to the investigation], because simultaneously, for the second day in a row, there are colossal attempts to block the video on YouTube and TikTok. Complaints about this content are pouring in from anonymous, physical users. YouTube reports that they are trying to get the video blocked constantly. On this basis, we assume the DDoS attacks are linked to this investigation. But it’s impossible to find out for sure, no one is leaving any traces. The video wasn’t blocked in the end, everything is on YouTube’s part and this is its decision. And there are no legal grounds for the block.”
Badnin noted that Proekt’s website has been subjected to DDoS attacks in the past but, “in terms of scale and duration this is the first such [attack].” “Before, it was a small spike, it ended quickly and didn’t lead to significant problems. But now, in the morning, [our site] was unavailable for some time, during the afternoon too, though we put a lot of effort into fighting back,” the editor-in-chief said.
Proekt published its investigation into the assets held by Kadyrov’s spouses on April 7 (it’s available in English here). According to the report, the Chechen leader has at least two wives and the total value of their real estate is estimated at nearly 800 million rubles (about $10 million by today’s exchange rate).
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