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Russian social media giant VK allegedly hacked

VKontakte (VK) has been allegedly hacked to fight Russian propaganda by informing its users about the impact of Russia's war against Ukraine.

Ukrainian media and independent Russian publications like Meduza have reported that VK users have received messages from what appears to be the official VK account about Russia's war on Ukraine.

"Today is the 25th day of Putin's war against Ukraine. During this time, the Russian army has turned many peaceful cities into ruins, destroying over 3500 civilian infrastructure facilities. Tens of thousands of people were injured, over 5000 people, including 100 children - died," the message reads.

Screenshots supporting the claim of a hack have been circulating on social media.

VK screenshots
Source: Meduza Telegram channel

The message further states that all personal data was shared with competent authorities, including posts and private messages. Posts supporting Russian occupiers and an avatar containing the letter Z might be interpreted as crimes without a statute of limitations.

"Z" is a pro-war symbol that, according to one of the hypotheses, is an abbreviation of the phrase means "за победу" [for victory]. The Russian military has started painting "Z" on its vehicles departing from Ukraine, but now it has become a symbol widely used by Putin's war supporters.

VK, often dubbed Russian Facebook, has over 100 million users. In 2017, Ukraine banned VK and another popular platform, Odnoklassniki, to fight Russian propaganda. VK and Odnoklassniki remain the most popular choices for Russians [who do not use VPNs] because the Russian state communications watchdog has banned Western platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

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