A Russian man accused by the US with directing a multi-year attempt to foment division, spread misinformation, and influence in US elections said the claims were politically driven rubbish.
According to the US, Alexander Ionov was charged with plotting to have US individuals operate as unauthorized agents of the Russian government. He risks up to five years in jail if convicted. He was also punished.
The U.S. Justice Department said he had acted on behalf of the FSB to financially support political groups in Florida, Georgia and California, get them to publish pro-Russian propaganda and further Russian interests.
Ionov said he had a lawyer in the United States but that given the sanctions he was unable to pay U.S. lawyers so his right to defence had been effectively removed by the United States.
According to the US Treasury, Ionov’s Anti-Globalization Movement of Russia got financing from Russia’s National Charity Fund.
Ionov stated that his organization received state funding only twice, for a total of $60,000 to $80,000, about 8 years ago, and used it to hold international conferences.