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Experts find traces of US intervention in Russia’s 2016 elections

April 18, 17:41 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The problem is far bigger than attempts at meddling in the 2016 election process, experts warn

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© Vladimir Lamzin/TASS

MOSCOW, April 18. /TASS/. General Director of Russia’s Political Information Center, Aleksei Mukhin, has said that his center has identified direct evidence of US intervention in Russia’s 2016 elections.

"As my colleagues have pointed out quite fairly, the problem is far bigger than attempts at meddling in the 2016 election process. My center has identified direct traces of such interference and very serious and deep ones," Mukhin said at a meeting of the State Duma’s information policies committee. Legislators and experts are focused on whether the offices of the Voice of America and Radio Liberty radio stations, as well as the US television network CNN operating in Russia observe Russian legislation, and if they caused influence on Russia’s elections.

"As soon as Russia took the trouble of looking into the activity of some non-governmental organizations in its territory and adopted laws restricting that activity [it happened during preparations for the 2016 State Duma elections] it became clear that the United States had taken measures to create special units, including those within its armed forces, secret services, government agencies and also non-governmental organizations, for direct information confrontation with Russia," Mukhin said.

In particular, he said, "the number of centers producing anti-Russian content, addressed mostly to the Russian-speaking audience, was increased." Russia in fact became a direct target of such technologies.

"At the legislative level [in the United States] strategies of causing resistance to Russian information policies have been enhanced at the legal level," Mukhin said. "Their implementation is a sure way towards intervention in Russia’s internal affairs."

In March, the first deputy chairman of the State Duma’s committee for CIS affairs, Eurasian integration and relations with compatriots, Konstantin Zatulin (of the United Russia Faction), came out with a proposal for scrutinizing the activity of US mass media in Russia. He explained it would be a response to US Democrat Senator Jeanne Shaheen’s demand for investigating the Russian television broadcaster RT. She argued that Russia’s multilingual channel telecasting its programs worldwide, including the United States, was in breach of US legislation on the registration of foreign agents.

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