We recently profiled Brandon Straka and his #WalkAway campaign, which encourages liberals to abandon the Democrats over their embrace of far left politics and social justice culture. Straka must be having an impact, because far left outlets have begun to target him and the #WalkAway movement.

The left knows that Democrats can’t afford defectors, especially right before the midterms, so the effort to discredit #WalkAway has begun. How are they doing it? By tying the movement to Russia.

Bob Cesca writes at Salon:

Russian bots are back: #WalkAway attack on Democrats is a likely Kremlin operation

A little more than a year ago, I posted and pinned the following predictive tweet: “Get ready. A year from right now we’ll be up to our asses in Russian fake news, malware, hacks, mayhem aimed at the midterms. Pinning this.” Granted, it wasn’t a difficult forecast knowing what we knew at the time…

One of the present-day agitprop campaigns linked to Putin’s hacker squads is the “WalkAway” hashtag.

The Huffington Post reported over the weekend that this troll attack is a counter-measure against the potential “blue wave” coming this fall, with the WalkAway hashtag intended to simulate real-world Democrats who have apparently chosen to leave the party due to its (try not to laugh) alleged intolerance and lack of civility…

To be clear: This isn’t being circulated by earnest yet misguided voters who formerly identified as Democrats. This is clearly being circulated by trolls connected to the Russian influence operations. #WalkAway has obvious roots in the 2016 primaries, when Russian trolls attempted to turn liberal or left-wing voters against casting general election ballots for the eventual Democratic nominee (either Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton), thus diminishing Democratic turnout.

According to David Gilmour of the Daily Dot, these disenfranchised Democrats are merely Russian actors:

Russian trolls on Twitter pose as ex-Democrats for #WalkAway movement

Kremlin-affiliated trolls have subversively co-opted #WalkAway as an influence campaign, data appears to show. The hashtag is boosting visibility for a right-wing-hyped non-movement of disenchanted liberals who are supposedly abandoning the Democratic Party in a bid to breed division.

Data available through Hamilton 68, an analysis project focused on monitoring agitprop and backed by the Alliance for Securing Democracy, shows that swarms of Russian troll accounts made #WalkAway one of the highest ranking hashtags on Twitter in the past 48 hours.

One writer for Arc Digital noticed similar trends and came to the same conclusion…

As the nation prepares for the 2018 midterms elections, and Democrats tout a surge of support coined the “blue wave,” these influence operations are likely to become more and more common.

Mary Papenfuss of the Huffington Post concurs:

Russian Bots Linked To Viral Twitter Attacks On ‘Hateful’ Dems

In what may be an early onslaught of Kremlin-linked Twitter attacks ahead of the U.S. midterm elections, Russia bots appear to be fueling a wave of criticism targeting Democrats over alleged intimidation in political confrontations and a lack of “civility,” according to bot trackers.

Attacks with the hashtag #WalkAway purport to be from a “grassroots” wave of one-time Democrats who have left the party in part because they say they are so incensed by the hateful and divisive behavior of party members. The message is to “walk away” from ugly confrontations, “intolerance” and hate — and from the Democratic Party.

But the hashtag has been connected to Russian bots. It has ranked as the third or fourth most popular Kremlin-linked hashtag for days, according to bot tracking by the Hamilton 68 site run by the bipartisan Alliance for Securing Democracy, which keeps tabs on Russian activity on the American internet.

Brandon Straka has responded to this narrative on Twitter:

You have to give the left credit. They’ve already devised the excuse they’ll advance if Democrats lose the midterms. It’ll be all Russia’s fault. Again.