It has long been known that Russians interfere in foreign elections. Often talked about, but usually in the crosshairs of the news are “trolls”, which are huge groups of accounts that spread on the Internet (especially on social networks) news and indiscretions that are ingeniously created to divert the interests of the public’s opinion.
But this time, it’s not an abstract entity or an entire nation that ends up under the magnifying glass of the US Department of Justice, but a single individual: Alexander Viktorovich Ionov.
He is said to be working with Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) and has been accused of orchestrating a “year-long campaign of foreign malicious influence to sow discord, spread pro-Russian propaganda, and interfere in US elections”.
eight years. This is the period of time during which Viktorovich, according to the indictment, was able to recruit several American political groups and exercise their leadership or control over the Federal Security Service. How? Measures to finance these movements within the federal territory were aimed at serving and directing Russian interests to disseminate pro-Kremlin propaganda and coordinate coverage of these activities with the Moscow media.
Specifically, the allegations against Ionov include exercising “direction and control” of a California-based political group “whose primary purpose was to promote California’s secession from the United States.” The task of “brainwashing” may amount to trying to persuade a platoon of men to storm the governor’s office during a 2018 protest, when Democrat Jerry Brown was still sitting in the Capitol.
In subsequent communications, which discussed media coverage of the protest, Ionov boasted that he had caused “destruction” as requested by an FSB agent. irrefutable evidence of his involvement in Putin’s spying devices.
The investigation then moves to March 2020, when Ionov allegedly paid members of another political initiative to travel from Atlanta to San Francisco and “in protest against the headquarters of a social media company that imposed content restrictions on posts that supported Russia’s invasion of Ukraine”.
It would eventually take control of a third Florida-based organization, and fund a “four-city protest tour” aimed at “fueling discord within the United States.” The group, whose name has not been known, was alleged to have petitioned to demand justice for the “crime of genocide against the African people in the United States”.
For the Treasury, the picture is very clear. Ionov is collaborating, or at least collaborating, with the “Lakhta Project,” a Russian-influenced operation led by “Putin’s Chef” Yevgeny Prigozhin, a restaurant entrepreneur who started from a sausage stand and later opened a chain of fine restaurants.
According to what was reconstructed in the experience of 2018, the Lakhta project is nothing more than a highly organized influence and pressure campaign that “participates in political and electoral interference processes targeting the population of the Russian Federation,” Europe, the United States and other countries. Ukraine. The goal in the United States was to “spread distrust of candidates for political office and of the political system in general”.
A mysterious system that seems to have endured a lot over time. Maria Butina, a citizen imprisoned for working as an unregistered Russian agent and infiltrating right-wing groups like the NRA, an organization that works for American firearms bearers, knows this all too well.
Thanks to Ionov’s fundraising campaign, she was able to pay legal fees of about 30 thousand dollars. The United States fears that there may be many stories similar to yours that may not have stood out at all.
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