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27th of May 2017

International



Putin’s party accuses U.S. media of interfering in Russian election

Fresh allegations of election meddling involving Moscow and Washington emerged Friday with the publication of a new report prepared by President Vladimir Putin’s ruling party, United Russia, turning the tables on accusations of interference.

American media outlets allegedly participated in a “large-scale system” last year intended “to influence domestic politics in Russia,” Leonid Levin, the head of the Duma committee on Information Policy, Information Technology and Communications, said in summarizing the new report’s findings, The Moscow Times reported Friday.

“During the parliamentary election campaign last year, radio stations funded from the U.S. state budget carried out propaganda and distorted the election process in Russia,” Mr. Levin told reporters, as quoted by the state-run TASS news agency.

The report alleges three outlets in particular — CNN, Voice of America and Radio Svoboda, the Russian service of Radio Free Europe — purposely produced content intended to influence the results of Russia’s State Duma election in September.

“Only two percent of the articles [painted 2016 Duma elections] in a positive light. Forty-three percent were openly negative, and 55 percent were neutral,” Mr. Levin said, The Moscow Times reported.

Those reports, according to the lawmakers, favorably covered only Russia’s liberal and opposition parties, according to Mr. Levin, “which led to providing only one point of view.”

Neither CNN nor the U.S. State Department, which funds Voice of America and Radio Svoboda, immediately responded to requests for comment Friday.

United Russia, the party of both Mr. Putin and Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev, ultimately won 54 percent of the vote last fall.

The U.S. intelligence community maintains the Putin regime ordered a campaign of its own last year in order to sway the most recent White House race in favor of its eventual winner, President Trump, aided by state-sponsored hackers and Russia’s own government-funded propaganda apparatus.

Russia’s purported role in the 2016 U.S. presidential race — as well as possible collusion involving Moscow and Mr. Trump’s campaign — are currently the subject of separate probes being undertake in the House, Senate and Justice Department. The White House and Kremlin have repeatedly denied colluding.

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