The charges, formulated by a federal judicial court in the US state of Florida, refer to the collaboration of four American citizens and three Russian citizens with government agencies in Russia, through the Federal Security Service (FSB), to carry out “a campaign of negative influence lasting several years in the United States”. The American authorities detected recruitment and financing actions addressed to political groups in the USA for the purpose of spreading Russian propaganda. Another Russian national was separately indicted in Washington DC for collaborating with the FSB.
“The Russian Foreign Intelligence Service has weaponized our First Amendment rights, rights that Russia does not grant to Russian citizens, in order to divide Americans and launch interference in United States elections. The Department of Justice will not hesitate to expose them and to prosecute all those who sow dissent and affect US elections in the service of hostile foreign interests, whether the perpetrators are US citizens or foreigners,” said Matthew G. Olsen, US Assistant Attorney General for Homeland Security, according to a statement posted on the website of the US Department of Justice and viewed by the MEDIAFAX agency.
“Efforts by Russian government agencies to covertly influence the United States election will not be tolerated. As demonstrated by today’s announcement, the Anti-Crime Division remains committed to eliminating negative foreign influences on the U.S. political system and helping to ensure the integrity to the electoral process,” said Kenneth A. Polite, Assistant US Attorney General in charge of the Department of Justice’s Anti-Crime Division.
“Today’s announcement paints a painful picture of the actions of Russian government agencies and the extent of efforts by the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) to interfere in our election process, sow discord in our nation, and recruit American citizens in these efforts. All Americans should be deeply concerned about the tactics used by the FSB and remain vigilant to any attempts to undermine our democracy.The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) remains committed to confronting this dangerous behavior and countering adversaries and those who acting on their behalf,” said Kurt Ronnow, deputy director of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division.
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