|Literal meaning||compromising materials|
Kompromat (Russian: компромат, short for компрометирующий материал) is the Russian term for compromising materials about a politician or other public figure. Such materials can be used to create negative publicity, for blackmail, or for ensuring loyalty. Kompromat can be acquired from various security services, or outright forged, and then publicized by paying off a journalist. Widespread use of kompromat has been one of the characteristic features of politics in Russia and other post-Soviet states.
One recent development has been the creation of specialized kompromat websites, most famously the Russian Компромат.Ru (compromat.ru), that will, for a fee of several hundred dollars, publish any piece of kompromat on anyone. Consequently, such websites are occasionally temporarily blocked by Russian ISPs and their owners harassed by government agencies.
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