"The gathering of kompromat is the hallmark of Russian intelligence. It has worked for them for years, so why would they invent something new? Opposition politicians have repeatedly been tape recorded. On several occasions, actors would play those being targeted. The event doesn’t need to be real, so long as the film can be leaked in order to discredit them. A good example of this happened in 1999, after Russia’s chief prosecutor Yuri Skuratov threatened to go after members of Boris Yeltsin’s family. Photographs surfaced of him fooling around in bed with two prostitutes. He was fired after the director of the FSB vouched for their authenticity. Who was head of the security service at the time? Vladimir Putin. What was the practise in 1999 remains alive and well today."