Russian Sites Hacked Across Country To Display Their War Dead

Multiple Russian state-run media outlets were hacked across the country to display anti-war messages and Russia's war dead, as President Vladimir Putin continues his full-scale invasion against Ukraine.

A host of Russian media sites, including news agency TASS, Kommersant and Izvestia were targeted by hackers to display messages calling for an end to Putin's invasion of Ukraine.

"Dear citizens. We urge you to stop this madness, do not send your sons and husbands to certain death," the message read on several websites. "Putin is forcing us to lie and is putting us in danger."

Independent Russian news outlet Novaya Gazeta reported that some sites were hacked with messages that said: "Stop the madness and do not send sons and husbands to certain death."

Some sites were replaced with a black "tombstone" stating that 5,300 Russian troops had been killed in four days—since Putin declared a "special military operation" against Ukraine on February 24.

"More deaths than in the First Chechen War 1994-1996," the message read.

"This message will be removed, and some of us will be fired or even imprisoned. But we can no longer tolerate it," one message reportedly said, Novaya Gazeta reported, noting that at the end of the message, the logo of the hacker group Anonymous was published.

"We have been isolated from the whole world, they have stopped buying oil and gas. In a few years we will be living like North Korea," another message said. "What is this for? So that Putin can get into the history books? It's not our war, let's stop him!"

Several Russian media sites reported that Anonymous, the hacking group that first made headlines about a decade ago, was behind the cyber attacks.

"The Anonymous collective is officially in cyber war against the Russian government. #Anonymous #Ukraine," the group tweeted on February 25.

Delegations from Russia and Ukraine engaged in negotiations on the Belarusian border on Monday.

The outcome of the talks isn't yet clear, however, the Ukrainian presidency said negotiations would focus on "an immediate ceasefire and withdrawal of troops from the territory of Ukraine" and that that the talks would be held near the Ukrainian border on the bank of the Pripyat River.

Shortly before talks began, dozens of people were killed in rocket strikes by Russian forces on the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, Ukrainian interior ministry adviser Anton Herashchenko said.

"Kharkiv has just been massively fired upon by grads (rockets). Dozens of dead and hundreds of wounded," he said in a statement on Facebook.

Follow our live blog for updates on the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

Russia's President Vladimir Putin
Russian President Vladimir Putin watches launches of ballistic missiles as part of the Grom-2022 Strategic Deterrence Force exercise, from the situational centre of the Russian Defense Ministry in Moscow on February 19, 2022. Several Russian media sites have been hacked to display anti-war and anti-Putin messages. ALEXEY NIKOLSKY/Sputnik/AFP/Getty Images