Publication of the Panama Papers in April 2016 acted as the trigger for the chain of events now known as the Russian hacking scandal, according to two leading Russian investigative journalists.
The Panama Papers, a trove of leaked documents detailing offshore money movements, named Sergei Rodulgin, a close friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin, as being involved in a string of murky financial transactions involving hundreds of millions of dollars. Rodulgin’s alleged involvement in the transactions heightened speculation that Putin was stashing billions of dollars in illicitly obtained funds in offshore accounts.
Based on painstaking research and extensive interviews, the two investigative reporters, Andrei Soldatov and Irina Borogan, contend that Putin saw the Panama Papers’ release as a direct attack on his leadership, and part of a conspiracy to destroy him involving Hillary Clinton, the financial firm Goldman Sachs and a consortium of investigative journalists.
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