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WikiLeaks ready to drop a bombshell on Russia. But will Russians get to read about it?

WikiLeaks is about to release documents on Russia, but the tightly-controlled Russian media is unlikely to report them the way Western media attacked the documents about Afghanistan and Iraq

By Correspondent / October 26, 2010

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange arrives for a press conference Oct. 23 at the Park Plaza hotel in central London to release previously secret files on the Iraq war. Mr. Assange said WikiLeaks will release information on Russia soon.

Leon Neal/AFP Photo/Newscom



The Kremlin had better brace itself for a coming wave of WikiLeaks disclosures about Russia, the website's founder, Julian Assange, told a leading Moscow newspaper Tuesday.

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"We have [compromising materials] about Russia, about your government and businessmen," Mr. Assange told the pro-government daily Izvestia. "But not as much as we'd like... We will publish these materials soon."

He then dropped a hint that's likely to be nervously parsed in Russia's corridors of power: "We are helped by the Americans, who pass on a lot of material about Russia," to WikiLeaks, he said.

FIVE BOMBSHELLS from WikiLeaks' Iraq war documents

Russian security experts say there probably won't be anything comparable to the huge archives of US military secrets from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq that the website has recently published.

'A lot of interesting facts' about Russia

Assange and another WikiLeaks spokesperson, Kristinn Hrafnsson, who talked to the daily Kommersant Tuesday, refused to provide details. "Russians are going to find out a lot of interesting facts about their country," Mr. Hrafnsson told Kommersant, adding that WikiLeaks would soon be targeting "despotic regimes in China, Russia, and Central Asia" in a series of fresh document dumps.

"If they are going to disclose details of secret bank accounts and offshore businesses of the Russian elite, then the effect will be shocking," says Stanislav Belkovsky, president of the Kremlin-connected Institute of National Strategy. "Most Russians believe that political leaders and others have siphoned off billions of dollars into foreign accounts, but proof of something like that would be dynamite."

Will Russia see it in the media?