A US federal grand jury has indicted 13 Russian nationals and three Russian entities accused of interfering with US elections and political processes, according to the Special Counsel’s office.
The indictment accuses the defendants of “supporting the presidential campaign of then-candidate Donald J. Trump…and disparaging Hillary Clinton.” The indictment also claims the defendants staged political rallies and bought political advertising while posing as grassroots entities.
It says the organization known as the Internet Research Agency “sought, in part, to conduct what it called ‘information warfare against the United States of America’ through fictitious US personas on social media platforms and other Internet-based media.”
Special Counsel’s Indictment of 13 Russian nationals by RT America on Scribd
“By in or around May 2014, the organization’s strategy included interfering with the 2016 US presidential election, with the stated goal of “spread[ing] distrust towards the candidates and the political system in general,” the indictment says, referring to the Internet Research Agency.
The defendants, according to the indictment, were advised to “focus their activities on ‘purple states like Colorado, Virginia, and Florida.” US Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said the defendants engaged in “information warfare.”
US Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said the defendants engaged in “information warfare against the US, with the stated goal of spreading distrust towards the candidates and the political system in general.”
It is alleged that the two traveled to the US in 2014 to collect intelligence for their operations. They also reportedly purchased space on US servers to establish a virtual private network (VPN) and made hundreds of accounts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. They “posed as politically and socially active Americans, advocating for and against particular candidates,” Rosenstein said during a press conference.
Spokesman for the Kremlin says he is not yet familiar with the indictments.