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Three Russians charged in alleged disinformation scheme that targeted U.S. lawmakers

Rogue Valley

Ruscism = Russian fascism
DP Veteran
Apr 18, 2013
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Federal prosecutors have charged a high-ranking Putin-aligned Russian legislator and two of his staff members with operating a foreign influence and disinformation network in the U.S. that included attempts to sway members of Congress. According to an indictment unsealed Thursday in federal court in New York City, Aleksander Babakov, the deputy chairman of the lower house of the Russian Parliament, and two of his aides, Aleksandr Nikolayevich Vorobev and Mikhail Alekseyevich Plisyuk, conspired to violate U.S. sanctions and recruited a New York-based American with experience in international relations and media to act as an unregistered agent of Russia to help them gain access to elected officials and affect U.S. policy toward Russia. U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said the alleged propaganda campaign was pursued “to advance Russia’s malevolent political designs” against Ukraine, the U.S. and other countries.

“Today’s indictment demonstrates that Russia’s illegitimate actions against Ukraine extend beyond the battlefield, as political influencers under Russia’s control allegedly plotted to steer geopolitical change in Russia’s favor through surreptitious and illegal means in the U.S. and elsewhere in the West,” Williams said in a statement. Beginning in 2012, Babakov and his two deputies schemed to erode U.S. partnerships with European allies and promoted Russian efforts to “destroy the sovereignty of Ukraine” through staged events and paid propaganda, according to the indictment. The defendants and the American they are alleged to have recruited are accused of contacting members of Congress from at least 2012 to 2017 and requesting meetings for Babakov to advance Russian interests in the U.S. A federal judge will determine any sentence for Babakov, Vorobev and Plisyuk, who are based in Russia and remain at large, the Justice Department said.

The Putin regime was seeking to undermine Ukraine going back at least to 2012.
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