The Twitter account of Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev was hacked early on Thursday morning, resulting in a flurry of satirical tweets.
“I am resigning. I am embarrassed by the actions of the government. Forgive me,” said one tweet, posted at about 10:15 a.m.
Several minutes later, another tweet announced Medvedev, who is a keen photographer, was planning to become a freelance photographer.
The Cabinet's press service was quick to deny the tweets' authenticity, telling Interfax news agency that Medvedev's account had been compromised and that the messages were not genuine.
A Tweet reading: "Crimea is not ours, please retweet."
For all of the (now deleted) tweets visit our photo gallery: Medvedev's Hacker's Outrageous Tweets
As the Cabinet was issuing its statement, the fake Medvedev also tweeted an interpretation of the popular hastag “KrymNash,” meaning “Crimea is ours,” tweeting: “Crimea is not ours, please retweet.” Russia annexed the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea from Ukraine in March to widespread international outcry.
The tweets, some of which contained profane language, were live for about 40 minutes before they were taken offline. The Cabinet later issued a statement saying the incident was being investigated.
“The circumstances surrounding the hacking are as yet unknown. All the necessary technical steps have been taken to minimize the consequences of the hacking” the press service was quoted as saying by Interfax.
This is not the first time that Medvedev's account has been hacked.
In December 2011, the Kremlin issued a hasty apology after an obscene tweet appeared on the account of then-President Medvedev.
Following an internal investigation, the mishap was blamed on “interference” by an administration technical employee, state news agency RIA Novosti quoted the Kremlin as saying.