Special counsel Robert Mueller has indicted 13 Russian individuals and agencies on conspiracy charges for meddling with the 2016 presidential election. He has NOT indicted any Americans. Hmm… The 13 Russian individuals and agencies are as follows:
The Internet Research Agency, LLC, aka Mediasintez LLC, aka Glavset LLC, aka MIXINFO LLC, asa AZIMUT LLC, aka NovInfo LLC,
Concord Management and Consulting LLC, (listed in Hospitality Online, see for yourself.)
Concord Catering (Hmm… must have put conspiracy in the food, right?)
Yegveniy Viktorovich Prigozhin,
Mikhail Ivanovich Bystrov
Mikhail Leonidovich Burchick (aka Mikhail Abramov)
Aleksandra Yuryevna Krylova
Anna Vladislavovna Bogacheva
Sergey Pavlovich Polozov
Maria Anatolyevna Bovda, (aka Maria Anatolyevna Belyaeva)
Robert Sergeyevivh Bovda
Dzheykhun Nasimi Ogly Aslanov, (aka Jayhoon Aslanov, aka Jay Aslanov)
Vadim Vladimirovich Podkopaev
Gleb Igorevich Vasilchenko
Irina Viktorovna Kaverzina and
A quick check of these names against the recently released “Kremlin List” reveals: no matches. So, who are these people?
So far, the people named appear to have no significance unless they work for either of the Concord companies or the Internet Research Agency (IRA), so, perhaps they consist of the people feeding the people at IRA?
Well, the Internet Research Agency / Glavset et al, is a St Petersburg-based company that engages in online influence operations on behalf of the Russian government, according to Wikipedia.org, at least, as Wikipedia reads now after the indictments (who knows what it said yesterday?). Now, according to a piece on meduza.io, a former employee of this group, codenamed “Max”, describes his work:
According to Max, the IRA’s “foreign desk” had open orders to “influence opinions” and change the direction of online discussions. He says this department within the agency considered itself above the “Russian desk,” which he claims is generally “bots and trolls.” The foreign desk was supposedly more sophisticated. “It’s not just writing ‘Obama is a monkey’ and ‘Putin is great.’ They’ll even fine you for that kind of [primitive] stuff,” Max told Dozhd. People in his department, he says, were even trained and educated to know the nuances of American social polemics on tax issues, LGBT rights, the gun debate, and more.
Max says that IRA staff were tasked with monitoring tens of thousands of comments on major U.S. media outlets, in order to grasp the general trends of American Internet users. Once employees got a sense of what Americans naturally discussed in comment forums and on social media, their job was to incite them further and try to “rock the boat.”
According to Max, the Internet Research Agency’s foreign desk was prohibited from promoting anything about Russia or Putin. One thing the staff learned quickly was that Americans don’t normally talk about Russia: “They don’t really care about it,” Max told Dozhd. “Our goal wasn’t to turn the Americans toward Russia,” he claims. “Our task was to set Americans against their own government: to provoke unrest and discontent, and to lower Obama’s support ratings.”
Apparently IRA is responsible for about US $100,000 of ad spending between June 2015 to May 2017, enough to run about 3,000 ads on Facebook. Just for reference, the total ad spending for the presidential election only from all parties amounted to $2.65 billion. So IRA must have spent its money very well indeed for a 0.0038% of the whole expenditures to swing the election to Donald Trump!
This is one of a number of problems with this “bombshell” announcement. Another is this: Dozhd is basically tabloid TV from St Petersburg, which is Russia’s analogue to San Francisco. Ksenia Sobchak, one of the candidates for president this year, is an anchor for Dozhd. On New Year’s Eve she was dancing drunk in front of an Orthodox Church saying that Pussy Riot basically had nothing on what she was doing. This attests to her own character and while she carries popularity among some, most Russians do not take kindly to disrespect being shown to the Russian Orthodox Church, in respect at least to the suffering the Church experienced under Communism.
The city is rather liberal compared to conservative Moscow, or even the rest of the country, and Dozhd runs programs that are often seen as very unfavorable. In fact, late January 2014, the largest Russian TV providers disconnected this channel. The offices for Dozhd were forced to move to a private apartment in October of that year. The website does some live broadcasts and archived broadcasts. It was also forced to stop broadcasting in Ukraine because the broadcasters considered Crimea as part of Russia, and Ukrainians didn’t like that. While this is the appropriate point of view from the Russian perspective, Dozhd has not got a great reputation in Russia.
The second problem is that anyone can write anything about anyone, and America’s press is free, and that means by extension that anyone writing opinion on American politics from outside the USA is free to do so, and just as American media carries its own bias, any international agency can and does have a right to express its own point of view. It would probably be real news if Mueller indicted Russia Today, which is a reputable network in the United States and which also provides news from a distinctly pro-Russian perspective. Add to that of course, The Duran, right here, or our sister sites RussiaFeed or Red Pill Times, or Hellenic Insider. We also report from an alternative point of view compared to the American mass media.
So the question really comes down to, what is this? Robert Mueller making a big optical illusion to make it look like his investigation came up with something?
Because so far, this seems like a massive nothing burger, with extra cheesiness.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.