Elena Khusyaynova, Russian Woman Working For Putin Ally, Charged For Attempted Meddling In Midterms
A Russian woman who works for a close friend of President Vladimir Putin was charged by U.S. federal prosecutors on Friday for attempting to interfere in next month’s midterm elections.
The 44-year-old woman, Elena Khusyaynova of St. Petersburg, reportedly works for a Russian oligarch who has already been indicted by special counsel Robert Mueller‘s team.
Khusyaynova reportedly used multiple social media websites to create thousands of fake online accounts that at first seemed to belong to Americans in order to “sow division and discord” in the American political landscape, court filing stated.
This comes after Mueller’s team indicted 12 Russians in July for meddling in the 2016 U.S. election.
The issues the woman posted fake information about included LGBT rights, gun reform, the NFL national anthem controversy and the women’s marches. Other more specific occurrences, like the alt-right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia last year and the October 2017 shooting in Las Vegas, were also mentioned in the social media posts. Court documents also revealed many different types of opinions on these issues or events were shared, not simply one in each case.
Khusyaynova also specifically went after Mueller. She published an article from conservative website WorldNetDaily called The 8 Dirtiest Scandals of Robert Mueller No One Is Talking About. She also targeted several prominent U.S. politicians like Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, Marco Rubio, the late Sen. John McCain and Barack Obama.
Some of the online posts from Khusyaynova were also racist and derogatory toward gay and lesbian Americans.
“colored L.G.B.T. are less sophisticated than white; therefore, complicated phrases and messages do not work,” read one post.
The other posts consisted of memes and other photos that made wild, false assertions, like one that claimed Obama had ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.
According to prosecutors, Khusyaynova works as the top accountant for a Russian plot called Project Lakhta, which is funded by a Russian oligarch who was part of the group Mueller indicted this summer.
Mueller reportedly will deliver more key findings on the Russia probe after the midterm elections.