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Russian documents reveal a desire to sow racial discrepancies and violence in the US

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9, 22:54 UTC

By Richard Engel, Kate Benyon-Tinker, and Kennett Werner

LONDON – Russians in connection with US intervention in the US elections in 2016 discussed ambitious plans as early as 2018 Plans to trigger riots and even violence in the US.

The documents – Communications between Yevgeny Prigoshin's collaborators, a Kremlin-affiliated oligarch accused of special adviser Robert Mueller for earlier interference in the US, presented a new conspiracy to manipulate and radicalize African Americans. The plans show that Prigozhin's circle has attempted to exploit racial tensions that go far beyond Russia's efforts on social media and misinformation related to the 2016 elections.

The documents were obtained from the Dossier Center, a London-based research project funded by the Russian opposition figure Mikhail, Khodorkovsky. NBC News did not independently verify the materials, but the dossier center's forensic analysis seemed to support communications.

A document states that the election of President Donald Trump "exacerbates conflicts in American society" and suggests the influence, if successful, The project would "undermine the country's territorial integrity and military and economic potential" ,

The revelations come as US intelligence has warned against Russia's likely interference in the 2020 election.

The documents included proposals for various ways to further exacerbate racial disunity, including the proposal to recruit African Americans and transport them to African camps "to prepare for battle and practice sabotage". These recruits would then be sent back to America to incite violence and commit themselves to building a Pan-African state in the southern United States, including South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana] There is no indication that the plan – itself limited to details – ever put into action, but it offers a new example of Russia's attitude to the pursuit of discord in the US.

The draft titled "A Pan-African State Development Strategy on US Territory" was the idea to recruit poor, formerly detained African-Americans "with experience in organized crime groups" as well as members of "radical black movements to participate in civil disobedience actions" ,

] The goal was to "destabilize the internal situation in the US"

Frank Figliuzzi, former deputy director of counterintelligence at the FBI and contributor to NBC News, who reviewed the documents, said that they would give the US a Warn [19659006] "Regardless of whether or not these plans are an amateurish thought experiment, the fact that these people talk about it should disturb Americans of all kinds," Figliuzzi 59006 said. "The unfortunate reality is that we see an adversary who takes virtually everything into consideration to get what he wants, and if it means violence or splits America along the racial frontiers or undermines our trust in institutions, they will do it. "

Some of the documents were apparently sent by Dzheykhun "Jay" Aslanov, an employee of the Internet Research Agency, the St. Petersburg-based troll farm, which played a key role in the 2016 Russian meddling campaign. Aslanov was one of 13 Russians Mueller accused in February 2018 of his role in the IRA.

According to NBC News, the plan was shared with Mikhail Potepkin, a Russian businessman, who then redistributed him. [19659006] Both Aslanov and Potepkin have been linked to Prigozhin, a Russian catering magnate often referred to as "Putin's Cook." Prigozhin was also charged by Müller for funding the IRA. Widely perceived as a Kremlin agent, he has been linked, according to US military officials, to a shadowed mercenary group, the Wagner Group, whose lending arms were said to have been involved in Russian military operations in Syria and eastern Ukraine.

The Muller Report revealed how Russian trolls employed by Prigozhin employees deliberately triggered racial tensions by spreading false and incendiary stories to African Americans through social media. Among other things, turnout in the US in 2016 should be suppressed.

Another newly-obtained document is a map of the US that contains information on African-American populations in seven southern states. Also included is the number of subscribers to websites and social media accounts set up by Russian trolls at the IRA to spread racial lure rhetoric, the latter later being removed by the social media companies.

A map of The US was overlaid with information on African American populations in seven southern states that were part of a cache of documents found in communications from Russians associated with US electoral fraud. The Dossier Center

Rep. Val Demings, D-Fla., Who was briefed on the documents, said they highlight how persistent racial issues in the US can be exploited for misinformation voting, "said Demings, who is a member of the House Intelligence Committee. "And because we have not effectively addressed ourselves to racism as a country, I think we've made ourselves vulnerable to foreign powers like Russia in order to continue trying to undermine." African continent and gain business there, from arms sales to mining orders. They outline propaganda efforts against Africans and raise negative opinions about Europe and the US.

According to Andrei Soldatov, an expert on Russian intelligence and author of "The Red Web," A Book on the Russian Information War.

"This is typical of the work of Prigozhin and his team," Soldatov said Pitches, some of which are very ambitious, discuss many possible ideas and then send the pitches to the Kremlin for approval or rejection. "

The idea of ​​Afro-American statehood has an intellectual precedent in Russia In the early 20th century, communists in America suggested establishing a "black belt nation" in the south, with some party members traveling to training in the Soviet Union.

"Even if such Russian initiatives are not new to us, it is new, how fast They spread this message in social media and can satisfy the American consumer with such thought n, "said Figliuzzi, the former FBI official. "This sets in motion the Russian initiative against steroids and should scare us all."

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