The recently released intelligence suggests that Russia’s attempts to discredit and harm democratic elections are rapidly growing, fueled by their belief in their success in disrupting the previous two U.S. presidential elections.
The United States’ intelligence report, which was sent to over 100 countries and obtained by VOA, reveals that between January 2020 and December 2022, Russia carried out information operations to deliberately erode trust in at least 11 elections across nine democratic nations.
Additionally, the investigation revealed that the cable noted a reduced amount of Russian messaging and social media efforts, which were aimed at 17 other democratic nations.
“The statistics provided serve as a glimpse into Russian actions,” the cable cautioned. “It is probable that Russia has attempted to erode trust in democratic elections in other instances that have not been discovered.”
According to our data, high-ranking officials in the Russian government, including those in the Kremlin, view this type of operation as valuable and believe it to be successful.
On Saturday, the Russian ambassador to the United States rejected the accusations.
According to Anatoly Antonov, the embassy’s Telegram channel reported that this piece is most likely a collection of unfounded opinions, rumors, and anti-Russian outbursts, as it is commonly referred to in the Western world. These statements stem from the administration’s uncertainties about the effectiveness and appropriateness of their approaches to addressing domestic and international issues.
In November of last year, Yevgeny Prigozhin, the leader of the Wagner mercenary group, acknowledged responsibility for interfering in American elections through a post on social media. Prigozhin was also linked to Russia’s Internet Research Agency, known for their involvement in the infamous Russian troll farms. According to Russian officials, Prigozhin passed away in a plane accident at the end of August.
“We have intervened, we are intervening, and we will continue to intervene,” stated Prigozhin.
American authorities believe that Russia’s perceived success in creating uncertainty about the 2016 and 2020 U.S. presidential elections has motivated them to launch new campaigns targeting countries in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and South America.
The objective, according to reports, is to undermine the trust in election outcomes and discredit the newly elected administrations by utilizing online manipulators, influential figures on social media, proxy sites connected to Russian intelligence, and state-controlled Russian media outlets such as RT and Sputnik.
Although Russia’s resources have been stretched thin by its invasion of Ukraine, their attempts to interfere in elections in Moscow do not appear to be decreasing.
According to a senior U.S. intelligence official, who requested anonymity in order to discuss the intelligence report, this is a relatively inexpensive and easy operation to join.
According to an official, often these individuals are simply reinforcing already existing domestic stories that cast doubt on the integrity of elections. This is a highly effective way to utilize resources as they are only amplifying accusations of unfairness, malfunction, or disorder.
American authorities have initiated providing in-depth and private briefings to specific nations that are being singled out by Russia. According to them, some of these countries have also pledged to exchange intelligence collected from their own inquiries.
Furthermore, the wire proposes a set of suggestions to combat the danger posed by Russian disinformation campaigns. These include urging countries to reveal, penalize, and potentially remove any Russian officials who participate in disseminating false or misleading information.
The cable also urges democratic nations to conduct information campaigns to disseminate accurate information about their elections and seek the evaluation and confirmation of independent election observers to ensure the legitimacy of their elections.