- A news ticker was hacked in Siberia to insult Vladimir Putin, reports said.
- Putin is a “thief’, said the hijacked news ticker in Siberian oil town Surgut.
- It came after the value of the ruble plunged against the dollar.
A news ticker in a Siberian oil town was rewired to display insults branding Russia’s President Vladimir Putin a “thief” after the value of the ruble plunged to its lowest point since the early weeks of the Ukraine war.
“Putin is a dickhead and a thief. 100 rubles to the dollar – you’ve lost your fucking mind,” read the news ticker in Surgut, an oil town in Siberia, reported Max Seddon, the Financial Times’ Moscow bureau chief.
—max seddon (@maxseddon) August 14, 2023
According to Russian independent outlet The Insider, the news ticker was run by the Russian news agency SIA-Press. (Insider and The Insider are separate publications.)
SIA-Press founder Taras Samborsky, in a post on Russian social media site VK, said that the hack was an act of “planned provocation.” He said it was timed to coincide with a local festival when people returning home would see the insulting message on the building.
Analysts have linked the low value of the ruble to Russia’s increased defense spending amid the war in Ukraine, and reduced exports of oil and gas, which have been sanctioned by Western countries allied with Ukraine.