“This incident is seen as a brutal attempt by the US authorities to put pressure on a media representative,” sources in the diplomatic mission added. The embassy stressed that it will request explanations from the US State Department regarding what happened.
The United States has already imposed sanctions on three Russians and one Ukrainian on suspicion of meddling in US elections and involvement in cyber attacks. The blacklist included Russian citizens: Anton Andreev, Daria Aslanova and Artiom Lifşiţ, all associated with alleged manipulations, which the “Internet Studies Agency” allegedly committed during the elections. The Americans attribute the agency to businessman Evgheni Prigojin. The US Ministry of Finance claims that Russia uses the services of several people, in “an attempt to sow discord between political parties and to provoke internal dissensions” in democratic countries.
Experts claim that Russia’s involvement in the US elections takes different forms than in 2016. Now it seems that the targets are smaller social networks like Gab and Parler, populated mainly by the far right.
The Internet Research Agency, the organization that coordinated and is coordinating Russia’s interventions, now seems to be focusing on specialized networks, which means that the 2016 plan is no longer working as well. A recent investigation revealed that the fake news introduced into the system originated from a European website called the Press Agency for Citizens in Europe and America.
From the analysis of published texts, most of them focus on racial tensions in America and violence, putting the political left in an unfavorable light.
With this information we entered the Gab and Parler platforms. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn have deleted posts from that source, with links to Russia.
To give credibility to the operation, seemingly legitimate profiles were created on LinkedIn with pictures generated by artificial intelligence. These maneuvers had no audience on traditional platforms, but won 14,000 supporters on Parler and 3,000 on Gab. Investigators believe that this whole Russian organization is also behind a fake “Peace Data” website, which targets the left-wing voters. It has 13 Facebook accounts and two pages with 14,000 subscribers.
Analysts say that this campaign to influence the Russians targets both the left and the right, with specific messages. In both cases, disinformation efforts are now shifting from large social networks to smaller, niche networks used to amplify outbreaks of dissatisfaction in American society, with Vladimir Putin’s goal being to destabilize American society.
An investigation by the British publication “The Times” revealed that Russia is conducting a disinformation campaign about the anti-COVID-19 vaccine developed by Oxford.