Russia’s shadow reappears in the US election campaign

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It never quite disappeared and in the last days has resurfaced, although its real impact. After the experience of the 2016 US elections, in which Russia carried out an intense campaign of interference with the aim of “supporting the candidate republicano Trump and deningrar to Hillary Clinton“According to the statement of accusations presented in 2018 by the US Department of Justice, Moscow has once again been implicated in interference operations before the November 3 elections. On this occasion, its name appears next to that of Iran, a country supposedly interested also in influencing the electoral result Y that he would be mimicking the tactics employed by the Kremlin hackers ago four years.

Both states are accused of seizing voter registration data, in the Iranian case to send false threatening e-mails to voters demanding that they vote for Trump, they have assured John Ratcliff, American director of national intelligence, and Christopher Wray, in front of the FBI. The goal: to provoke the outrage of the progressive voters and favor Joe Biden, more prone to understanding with Tehran, which has already announced that if it reaches the White House it will reverse the withdrawal of the US from the pact on the Iranian nuclear program. In the Russian case, there is currently no evidence that the information has been used.

Bret Schafer, an expert in foreign disinformation from the Alliance to Underpin Democracy, has admitted to ‘Time’ magazine that Russian interference attempts are “weaker that in 2016 “and they are having”less success“In the first place, because Facebook and the other networks are systematically closing the fake accounts that Russia used ago four years “to spread disinformation among voters.” And secondly, because the electoral debate in cyberspace “is so toxic, polarized and full of wild conspiracy theories that it is unnecessary for Russia to do much more than amplify what already exists, “Schafer argues.

The main threat

The Kremlin, for its part, is issuing appeasing signs, and seems to be preparing for the eventuality that Biden, belonging to a party, the Democrat, who could seek revenge for what happened with Clinton in 2016, governs the country the next four years. Last month, in an unusual written statement, the president Vladimir Putin offered to the US a kind of truce in cyberspace, although without admitting any responsibility in past destabilization operations.

Still, according to ‘The New York Times’, the intelligence services continue to consider Russia as “the main threat”. In fact, many experts believe that the recent indictment of six Russian agents, accused of carrying out some of the top global hacking operations in recent years, including a power outage Ukraine power grid, a computer sabotage during the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in South Korea in 2018 and a interference campaign in the 2017 French presidential elections, it constitutes a full-blown warning to Moscow.

Giuliani, in the pillory

Beyond the possible performance of hackers, Russian interference in these elections has materialized in the person of Rudy Giuliani, personal attorney of Donald Trump, as can be deduced from the latest actions of the US Government. The former mayor of New York traveled to Kiev in 2019 to collect compromising information about Hunter Biden, the son of Joe Biden, who during five years was a member of the board of directors of Burisma Holdings, one of the main gas supplier companies in Ukraine.

One of the interlocutors of the Republican in the Slavic country, Andriy Derkach, a Ukrainian MP linked to the pro-Russian Party of Regions, has been sanctioned by the Treasury Department after being listed as “a Russian agent“that during” at least 10 years” it has maintained “close relations with the Russian intelligence services.” “Derkach has been an accessory to foreign interference in an attempt to influence the next presidential election,” he justifies. the official statement. According to ‘The Washington Post’, the US intelligence services even informed Trump at the time that Giuliani was being used by the Russian espionage to transfer you disinformation, to which the president shrugged his shoulders and replied: “That’s Rudy.”



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