“Voice of Europe” relaunched from a hosting in Kazakhstan with suspected links to DDoS attacks

The Voice of Europe website, which was at the center of a scandal over the spread of Russian propaganda in Europe and possible bribery of MEPs, was not closed for long. The resource has resumed its work, probably having found new Internet hosting.

Pro-Russian “Voice of Europe” is now hosted in Kazakhstan

Using IP address detectors and tools for geolocation of identified IP addresses, we found that the pro-Russian website is hosted on IP addresse. 

We identified the geographical location of the equipment as Kazakhstan, in the city of Aktas in the Karaganda region. 

The detected IP has two locations belonging to the same provider, in Karaganda and in the village of Aktas, Karaganda region. Gohost.kz is the website of a Kazakh company that offers hosting services for websites. 

Using the Google map, we determined the exact location (physical) of the equipment with the specified IP address: Aktas village, Karaganda region.

Using open registries, we identified the owner of the equipment with this IP: a citizen of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Fedinyak Sergey Vyacheslavovich. According to publicly available resources, Fedinyak is the head of several IT-related organizations. In particular, he manages gohost.kz, located in the city of Karaganda.

It was not possible to determine who owns the voiceofeurope.com domain itself, as this data is not publicly available. However, we observed that 1api.net, a European registrar, registered this domain (Registrar Abuse Contact Email: [email protected]).

Closer look at new hosting provider

Using the identified IP of the new hosting of the pro-Russian site, we were able to find other sites hosted there. The search engine shows three other websites that are currently down. These are recordinesco.news, provinciplin.pro, and johnstonial.info. 

Perhaps unknown strategists are planning to launch new news websites targeting the European audience before the elections? 

The name of the website, johnstonial.info, indicates that the project could potentially disseminate “information from John Stone.” There are two well-known journalists at well-known publications (NBC and Politico) with a similar name. But we are interested in a third: John Stones from RT (Russia Today), from the United States. However, his LinkedIn profile is empty: https://www.linkedin.com/in/john-stones-b910b9182/. Could this be a bot?

It is worth noting that pro-Russian media networks already have practical experience spreading disinformation from fake news sites disguised as well-known European media platforms with a similar name. European authorities and law enforcement agencies detected the last such Kremlin operation in February. This campaign, dubbed “Doppelganger” by Western officials, included the creation of websites posing as reputable media outlets in Europe.

With a deeper search, we have identified that the gohost.kz hosting provider also owns IP addresses in addition to (where Voice of Europe is now hosted). And there are records on the internet about violations coming from this IP address in Kazakhstan.


47 distinct sources have reported this IP address a total of 162 times. 7.165 was first reported on December 7th, 2020, and the most recent report was 1 week ago. Activities flagged: brute-force attack, port-scanned netdata, DDoS attack, and unauthorized portscan activity.

This hosting provider was also accused of blocking the website of a human rights organization, Kuresker, in Kazakhstan.

“Our website, kuresker.org, is available everywhere except Kazakhstan, and we also received general information about who is blocking access in Kazakhstan and on what equipment.” Fedinyak Sergey Vyacheslavovich was identified himself as the hosting owner. We don’t have information about further developments in this case.

Pro-Russian news broadcasted from Kazakhstan

The Voice of Europe’s articles are focused on negative coverage of Ukraine, the EU, and European leadership. They probably target fueling tensions, unrest in Europe, and anti-EU sentiment.

The website also politely highlights Russia and criticizes the Western sanctions against the Kremlin. Here below, you can see a few of the latest headlines, so you understand better their “editorial” policy.

  • Restrictions are not eternal. The EU lifted sanctions against the founder of Yandex.
  • The unveiling of unfairness: the use of sanctions technology in political pursuits
  • A new party has been created in Poland. Its goal is the country’s exit from the EU.
  • “Boomerang of twisted psychosis.” Macron beefed up security over fear of an assassination attempt.
  • 25 years ago, NATO countries began bombing Yugoslavia. The causes and consequences of the tragedy
  • While Russia was electing Putin, Latvia was glorifying Hitler.
  • Every fifth German is more unhappy than happy. Germany dropped 8 positions in the EU happiness index.
  • Macron increases pressure on allies amid the looming EU election defeat.
  • An EU court advisor criticizes the former European Parliament President for blocking Catalan MEPs.
  • Trump declines the Ukraine visit, citing a lack of official capacity.
  • The Ukrainian parliament passes a controversial conscription law amid struggles in war efforts.
  • Ukraine grapples with ammo shortages amid a looming Russian threat.
  • The US urges Ukraine to cease strikes on Russian energy infrastructure.
  • Századvég poll: majority of Hungarians against military involvement in Ukraine

Sanctions against Voice of Europe and Putin’s ally Medvedchuk

In March, Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala announced the dismantling of a Russian influence network that operated through the news website Voice of Europe, which was headquartered in Prague.

According to Czech investigators, Voice of Europe is run by pro-Russian Ukrainian oligarch Viktor Medvedchuk, a close Putin’s ally who is godfather to his daughter. Medvedchuk now lives in Moscow. He was accused of high treason in Ukraine, but he was handed over to Russia by Ukraine in a PoWs exchange.

As reported by Czech daily Deník N, the Czech government has imposed sanctions on Medvedchuk and Voice of Europe for violating national sovereignty.

According to its online evidence, the now-closed website distributed interviews, analysis, and news-like items with an obvious far-right leaning, as well as disinformation and populist posts. The Czech intelligence believes Kremlin networks utilized this website to transfer thousands of euros to European lawmakers in cash or cryptocurrencies.

European politicians promoted by Voice of Europe

Voice of Europe has hosted debates and conferences, as well as published columns by European politicians and produced interviews with MEPs, targeting European legislators from the far-right parties Alternative for Germany, Marine Le Pen’s National Rally, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s Fidesz party, and the Italian League, among others, in the context of the upcoming elections.

Following the Czech and Belgian authorities statements about Russia’s attempts to bribe MEPs to promote its propaganda through the Voice of Europe website, researchers found which European politicians were promoted by this website.

Anton Shekhovtsov, a visiting professor and researcher at Central European University and at the Research Center for the History of Transformations, published a list of European politicians who were promoted by the Russian agents of influence via its recently disclosed front organization “Voice of Europe” on YouTube, starting in August 2023.

The list includes politicians known for pushing pro-Kremlin agendas and making pro-Russian statements, such as German far-right leader Maximilian Krah, French nationalist Thierry Mariani, Slovak right radical Milan Uhrík, and the radical leader of Republika Srpska, Milorad Dodik.

Russian disinformation campaigns in Europe

The “Voice of Europe” case might be just a tip of an iceberg. In our recent research we have identified a large pro-Russian websites network in Europe spreading narratives that fit the Kremlin agenda.

Based on the website and search analytics revealed that a range of news websites are interconnected not only by similar topics and pro-Russian narratives but also by mutual citations and referral traffic from one site to another, as shown on interactive infographics.

Pro-Russian websites network in Europe that serves Russia’s information warfare

El Pais, a Spanish news outlet, revealed last week that the Kremlin is stepping up its efforts to spread misinformation and disinformation in an attempt to influence the European Parliament elections scheduled for early June. Find out more in the article below:

Disinformation, media networks, and agents of influence: Russia amplifies its activities in the EU
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