Moscow: A pro-Kremlin Russian website on Friday
printed e-mails it said were between independent election
monitors Golos and the US government in the latest attack on
the group that exposed abuses in the polls.
The report on Life News tabloid website highlighted US
funding for Golos after Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on
Thursday accused the United States of provoking election
"Before it was just talk that the Golos association is
sponsored from across the ocean, now we have real proof," the
It alleged that the documents proved "financing of
activity aimed at discrediting the elections in Russia."
Golos responded by saying it had made no secret of its US
funding but that it would take legal action if it found that
its e-mail had been illegally accessed.
"It`s stupid because we have never hidden this financing.
We are already tired of talking about it," deputy executive
director Grigory Melkonyants said.
He said he had not yet read the e-mails, but that the
association would be investigating and would take legal action
if their e-mail had been illegally published.
"This is a criminal offence. I hope they will be brought
to justice," he said.
The website did not say in its report how it acquired the
The Golos association`s website was targeted in a hacker
attack on Sunday with staff unable to access e-mail.
In the run-up to the elections, the monitoring group was
summoned to court and fined for publishing data in violation
of election laws. It was also targeted in a smear television
documentary on its US funding.
The group created a Map of Violations website reporting
thousands of instances of election rigging and coercion of
Melkonyants linked the latest publication to the
authorities` previous attacks.
"This shows their fear of the truth, their fear of
Golos," he said.
The tabloid published an e-mail written in Russian
apparently from a USAID staff member dated 2007 asking for
Golos`s financial and administrative details.
It also published an e-mail forwarding a White House
statement on December 2 condemning the harassment of Golos.