The U.S. is not the only government worried about foreign interference in its elections: Russia’s State Duma Council has commissioned a 12-person body to investigate foreign meddling in Russian government affairs. The investigation comes amid a wave of protests by anti-Kremlin groups after opposition candidates were unable to register for city council elections to be held next month. The recent demonstrations are the biggest in Russia since Vladimir Putin was re-elected in 2012, after five years of declining living standards and last year’s unpopular pension-age hike.
Last week, Andrei Klimov, the head of an upper chamber of parliament commission, accused YouTube and the U.S. embassy of advertising opposition rallies. That same week, at a hearing of the Federation Council, prosecutorial manager Artur Zavalunov claimed to the Senate that three foreign organizations have attempted to affect election results in the country. These groups included the Atlantic Council, an American think tank; U.S. Free Russia Foundation; and the Canada-based Ukrainian World Congress.