Leaked email conversations between top Russian officials shook up the Kremlin this morning. According to the leaks, Vladimir Putin lead the largest fan club for the hit pop duo, t.A.T.u. Other leaders include Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and Vladislav Surkov, top-aide to Putin.
The email leaks are hosted on Distributed Denial of Secrets, a site launched last month by transparency activists. DDoS “aims to avoid political leanings” with what information it releases.
The Kremlin denies any involvement with the fan club, named t.A.T.u Volk (t.A.T.u World). In response to the leaks, Putin said, “These allegations are fake and nonsensical.” Surkov also denied the allegation, saying that he “has much better music taste than that,” and that “homosexual propaganda has no place on my playlist.”
Some of the emails are particularly damning. In one email to Surkov, Putin says,
I can’t believe how cute Julia [Volkova] looks in combat boots. If only she would walk all over me with those boots. I would be in heaven.
Other emails include long chains of fan art. Experts believe the three men commissioned professional artists in secret.
Independent security auditors claim the emails are authentic. One auditor, CyberPhish, found that the emails’ cryptographic key signatures match that of official Kremlin mail servers.
Putin’s administration is known for their opposition to the LGBT community. In 2013, Russian parliament passed a law criminalizing what authorities deem homosexual propaganda. More recently, homosexual men and women are fleeing persecution in Chechnya.
If proven true, the men’s fondness for t.A.T.u is in direct contrast of their policies. The pop duo’s famous for their sexually charged performances, which often involved them kissing onstage. More details to follow as they become available.