Russian spy charged with spreading division in US

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has charged a Russian national with sowing discord and spreading propaganda in the US while attempting to disrupt elections.

From late 2014 to early 2022, Aleksandr Viktorovich Ionov took part in a “campaign against malicious foreign influences”. He is the founder and President of the Kremlin-funded Anti-Globalization Movement of Russia (AGMR). With his influence, he recruited political groups from Florida, Georgia and California and swayed them in favor of Russia.

“Ionov allegedly orchestrated a brazen influence campaign that turned US political groups and US citizens into instruments of the Russian government,” Assistant Attorney General Matthew Olsen said.

However, the relationship was not all one-sided. Ionov helped fund the groups and directed them to promote Russian propaganda. For example, Ionov funded a four-city protest tour in support of the “Petition on Crime of Genocide against African People in the United States,” a petition submitted to the United Nations on Ionov’s direction.

Ionov also used his influence in US political groups to promote Russian disinformation. In particular, groups invited him to video conferences where he compared support for Ukraine to support for Nazism and white supremacy.

“Ionov is accused of using US citizens as illegal agents of the Russian government. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison,” according to the DOJ.

The US government has come under close scrutiny for Russian efforts to spread propaganda and disinformation, particularly after the 2016 election that brought former President Donald Trump to power.

“Clandestine efforts by foreign governments to influence American elections and political groups threaten our democracy by spreading misinformation, distrust and chaos,” Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Polite said.

More recently, the Russians have also announced their intention to influence the 2024 presidential election and possibly the midterms.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he had a
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he had a “frank” phone conversation with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov
Photo: POOL via AFP / TOM BRENNER Russian spy charged with spreading division in US

Fry Electronics Team

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