Gorbachev Website Hacked: Let the Online Cold War Begin!

Dennis Faas's picture

Hackers recently accessed and attacked the website of a foundation lead by former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. The intentions of the hackers were to publicly accuse the former leader of brutally suppressing a pro-independence demonstration in Soviet-controlled Azerbaijan back in 1990.

Those responsible for the hacking posted a series of photographs on the website, taken from the suppressed rally and also posted an open letter to Gorbachev, blaming him for the deaths of more than 130 people. In Azerbaijan, the suppressed rally continues to be referred to as "Black January".

Fueled by the conflict over the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, battle ensued against Armenians in Azerbaijan's capital Baku in January 1990, forcing Soviet troops to intervene and evacuate many Armenian civilians. (Source: boston.com)

Those that rallied in Baku were demanding the removal of communist officials and expressed their desire for independence from the Soviet Union. This caused much disturbance within the Soviet Empire, and soon communist troops invaded Baku on Jan. 19, 1990.

The shootings and violent clashes lasted several days, leaving 134 people dead and more than 770 wounded. At the time, International organizations vocalized their anger towards these attacks, saying that the force used against the demonstrators was excessive and disproportionate. (Source: wtop.com)

Azerbaijan eventually gained their independence in 1991, following the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Representatives from Gorbachev's foundation were not available for comment following the hacking incident.

The website was quickly shut down the following day, but it still remains unclear whether members of Gorbachev's organization manually disabled the site, or if the shut down was another hacker intervention.

After being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1990, Mikhail Gorbachev maintains an active public life running the Gorbachev Foundation. The organization deals with international issues including globalization, security, weapons of mass destruction, environmental and natural resources and poverty. (Source: boston.com)

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