Hackers claiming to be members of the Syrian opposition attacked the website of the Kremlin's envoy to the Far East and urged "all Russian people" to halt weapon deliveries to their war-torn country.
The hackers replaced the website's front page with a message in Arabic and English urging Russia to halt weapon deliveries to President Bashar Assad's forces. Otherwise, the message's authors threatened, Russia would not get any preference in the "new Syria."
The message, signed by the "S.R.E.S (Syrian Revolution Electronic Suite)" group, contained an apology at the end: "We apologize to all kind Russians for hacking this website. But Assad is murdering our children and destroying our cities."
The message was on the webpage for several hours late Sunday. By Monday afternoon, the website was fully restored.
The hacking occurred a day after Assad asked the BRICS group of countries, which includes Russia, to intervene in the conflict in order to stop violence in Syria.
Russia has been a key player in international efforts to stop the violence in Syria, where the almost two-year-old conflict between Sunni-dominated rebels and Assad's predominantly Shiite forces has claimed over 70,000 lives, according to UN estimates.