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A Russian foreign agent working on behalf of Moscow was indicted by a federal grand jury in Florida for running an “influence campaign” aimed at fomenting political dissent in the United States, officials said.

From 2014 to July 2022, Alexander Ainov of Russia’s Federal Security Service, or FSB, operated his base of operations in St. Petersburg, Florida. He allegedly campaigned to sow discord and influence politics in US elections and spread pro-Kremlin propaganda, the Justice Department said.

“The impact of Russian malign foreign influence cannot be overstated,” said Luis Quesada, assistant director of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division.

Ionov recruited and provided financial support to various political groups in various states on behalf of the FSB and directed them to disseminate pro-Russian talking points.

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The US Department of Justice appears on June 11, 2021 in Washington, DC.  A Russian national allegedly worked with US-based political groups to sow political discord for seven years, authorities said Friday.

The US Department of Justice appears on June 11, 2021 in Washington, DC. A Russian national allegedly worked with US-based political groups to sow political discord for seven years, authorities said Friday.
(Kevin Dietz/Getty Images)

He targeted a group in Florida and paid for its leader to visit Russia to “discuss future cooperation.” In seven years he controlled the senior members of the organization.

Among the charges in the indictment is that Ionov filed a petition with the United Nations accusing the United States of genocide against Africans, held meetings with Russian FSB operatives and traveled across the country from Tampa to meetings, and relayed his advances to the FSB and the Russians. officer

Other allegations include sending messages to the 2016 Russian Olympic team, after it was revealed the athletes had taken part in a government doping campaign.

At a press conference, Ionov, the leader of a Florida-based political group working with the St. Pete Uhuru Group, defended Russia.

“The African People’s Socialist Party has a history of aligning itself with any forces that align with the anti-colonial struggle,” said Aretha ‘Akile’ Kenyon, Fox 29 reported. “And we think it’s a just conflict. It’s a propaganda campaign against Russia. We can associate with whoever we want.”

Saint Pete Uhuru Group leader Aretha Akile Kanyon held a press conference where she defended the Russian after the arrest of a Russian foreign agent.

Saint Pete Uhuru group leader Aretha Akile Kanyon held a press conference where she defended the Russian language after the arrest of a Russian foreign agent.
(WTVT)

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