ArchivedSeptember 17 2022, 12:32 pm

US Intelligence Says Russia Spent $300 Million Since 2014 on Foreign Influence Operations

US media is report­ing that accord­ing to a US intel­li­gence review, Rus­sia has engaged in a $300 mil­lion effort to influ­ence polit­i­cal events in more than two dozen coun­tries since 2014. Accord­ing to the Wash­ing­ton Post:

Rus­sia has secret­ly fun­neled at least $300 mil­lion to for­eign polit­i­cal par­ties and can­di­dates in more than two dozen coun­tries since 2014 in an attempt to shape polit­i­cal events beyond its bor­ders, accord­ing to a new U. S. intel­li­gence review. Moscow planned to spend hun­dreds of mil­lions of dol­lars more as part of its covert cam­paign to weak­en demo­c­ra­t­ic sys­tems and pro­mote glob­al polit­i­cal forces seen as aligned with Krem­lin inter­ests, accord­ing to the review, which the Biden admin­is­tra­tion com­mis­sioned this sum­mer. A senior U. S. offi­cial, who like oth­er offi­cials spoke to reporters Tues­day on the con­di­tion of anonymi­ty to dis­cuss intel­li­gence find­ings, said the admin­is­tra­tion decid­ed to declas­si­fy some of the review’s find­ings in an attempt to counter Russia’s abil­i­ty to sway polit­i­cal sys­tems in coun­tries in Europe, Africa and else­where. “By shin­ing this light on Russ­ian covert polit­i­cal financ­ing and Russ­ian attempts to under­mine demo­c­ra­t­ic process­es, we’re putting these for­eign par­ties and can­di­dates on notice that if they accept Russ­ian mon­ey secret­ly we can and we will expose it,” the offi­cial said. Coun­tries where such activ­i­ties were iden­ti­fied includ­ed Alba­nia, Mon­tene­gro, Mada­gas­car and, poten­tial­ly, Ecuador, accord­ing to an admin­is­tra­tion source famil­iar with the mat­ter. Offi­cials point­ed to one Asian coun­try, which they declined to name, where they said the Russ­ian ambas­sador gave mil­lions of dol­lars in cash to a pres­i­den­tial can­di­date. They said that Krem­lin-linked forces have also used shell com­pa­nies, think tanks and oth­er means to influ­ence polit­i­cal events, some­times to the ben­e­fit of far-right groups. The senior offi­cial said the U. S. gov­ern­ment detect­ed an uptick in Russ­ian covert polit­i­cal financ­ing in 2014. The review did not address Russ­ian activ­i­ties with­in the Unit­ed States. Assess­ments by both U. S. spy agen­cies and a bipar­ti­san Sen­ate inves­ti­ga­tion con­clud­ed that Rus­sia under Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin launched a cam­paign to inter­fere in the 2016 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion to assist then-can­di­date Don­ald Trump.

Read the rest here.

The Glob­al Influ­ence Oper­a­tions Report (GIOR) exten­sive­ly cov­ers all aspects of Russ­ian influ­ence operations.


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