A Russian woman has been charged by the Justice Department for her role in a continued effort to interfere in the U.S. political system. According to a Justice Department press release, an unsealed criminal complaint accuses 44-year-old Elena Alekseevna Khusyaynova of serving as a “chief accountant” on “Project Lakhta,” a project with an operating budget of over $35 million. Project Lakhta allegedly aimed to conduct “information warfare against the United States” by leveraging domestic topics to create “political intensity through supporting radical groups” and to “aggravate the conflict between minorities and the rest of the population.” Prokect Lakhta allegedly wanted to sow distrust towards U.S. political candidates, and discussed topics like the “Second Amendment, the Confederate flag, race relations, LGBT issues, the Women’s March, and the NFL national anthem debate.” The project also allegedly created “playbooks and strategic messaging documents” offering guidance on how to target specific social groups and how to craft divisive messages. In addition, prosecutors accused Project Lakhta of targeting audiences in Russia, the European Union, and Ukraine.
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