Elena Khusyaynova, 44, is accused of attempting to “sow discord”
Friday, a Russian woman was charged for allegedly interfering in US elections, including the 2018 midterms. The Department of Justice indicated that the criminal charges are not indicative of interference to the degree that electoral outcomes were swayed.
Elena Khusyaynova, 44, is accused of attempting to “sow discord”, “as part of a conspiracy that exploited thousands of social media accounts and emails that claimed to be owned by U.S. residents, authorities said,” reports CNBC.
CNBC has more:
A Russian woman has been charged with trying to interfere and “sow discord” in the American political system, including in the 2018 midterm elections as part of a conspiracy that exploited thousands of social media accounts and emails that claimed to be owned by U.S. residents, authorities said.
Elena Khusyaynova of St. Petersburg, Russia, is accused of participating in a conspiracy engaged in “information warfare against the United States” that aimed “create and amplify divisive social media and political content.”
The case against the 44-year-old Khusyaynova, which does not allege involvement by any Americans, is the first to involve alleged interference in next month’s Congressional elections.
But the Justice Department said, “The criminal complaint does not include any allegation that Khusyaynova or the broader conspiracy had any effect on the outcome of an election.” The department said it received “exceptional cooperation” in its probe from Facebook, Twitter and other “private sector companies.”
Prosecutors claim Khusyaynova, who is not in custody, is the chief accountant for a Russian entity dubbed Project Lakhta, and managed the group’s financing.
That group is backed by a Russian oligarch Yevgeniy Viktorovich Prigozhin, and two companies that he controls, Concord Management and Consulting LLC, and Concord Catering, according to prosecutors. The Concord firms were named in a criminal indictment brought by special counsel Robert Mueller that alleged attempted interference in the 2016 presidential election.
Prigozhin has been called “Putin’s chef,” a reference to Russian leader Vladimir Putin.
The case against Khusyaynova is not being brought by Mueller. Instead, she is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia.
…Perosecutors [sic] noted that the conspirators’ activities “did not exclusively adopt one ideological view; they wrote on topics from varied and sometimes opposing perspectives.”
“Members of the conspiracy were directed, among other things, to create ‘political intensity through supporting radical groups” and to ‘aggravate the conflict between minorities and the rest of the population,’ ” the Justice Department said.
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