A new website claiming to be Russia's answer to WikiLeaks launched this week with the publication of pictures purported to be a mansion linked to Vladimir Putin, the Russian prime minister.

 

The site, “RUleaks” http://ruleaks.net/1901 , claims the $1bn house on Russia's Black Sea coast was built for Putin's private use.

 

The site warned that more leaks are on the way after online traffic soared to around 80,000 hits a day.

 

The team responsible for the website claims to be anonymous but mainly consists of members of the Pirate Party of Russia http://pirate-party.ru/, an organisation that opposes copyright laws.

 

Despite the site's immediate success, few expect it to be up and running for long.

 

In the meantime, the original WikiLeaks is forging closer ties with Moscow.  It has joined forces with Russia's Reporter magazine and Novaya Gazeta, the newspaper that employed murdered journalists and Putin critic Anna Politikovsksya.

 

While Putin has spoken in support of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, his press office has issued no comments about the palace pictures post.