Enjoying ad-free content?
Since July 1, 2024, we have disabled all ads to improve your reading experience.
This commitment costs us $10,000 a month. Your support can help us fill the gap.
Support us
Our journalism is banned in Russia. We need your help to keep providing you with the truth.

Russia Reacts to Charges of Election Meddling in Mueller Investigation

The U.S. Department of Justice T.J. Kirkpatrick / Bloomberg

Russian officials have collectively mocked the first indictments issued by a U.S. special investigation into Russian election meddling. 

Special Counsel Robert Mueller charged 13 Russians and three companies on Friday for involvement in a sophisticated, years-long conspiracy to meddle in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Yevgeny Prigozhin, the alleged financier of the infamous St. Petersburg-based “troll farm” named in the indictment, exuded confidence when dismissing the charges. 

“The Americans are really impressionable people, they see what they want to see. I greatly respect them. I am not at all disappointed to be on this list. If they want to see the devil — let them see one,” he told the state-run RIA Novosti news agency on Friday. 

Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova seized on the influence campaign’s efficiency when dismissing the indictments as "absurd." 

"Thirteen people intervened in the elections in the U.S.?! Thirteen against the special services’ billion-dollar budgets? Against intelligence and counterintelligence, against the latest developments and technologies?... Absurd? Yes. But this is modern American political reality,” she wrote in a Facebook post on Friday.   

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov dismissed the charges as “empty talk” not backed by evidence. 

“Until we see facts, everything else is just empty talk. Excuse me for a not very diplomatic expression,” Lavrov said Friday at the Munich Security Conference, hours after the Mueller indictments were unveiled. 

Andrei Kislyak, Russia’s Ambassador to the U.S. during the 2016 influence campaign, questioned American law enforcement “as a reliable source of information about Russia’s actions.” 

“We as a government did not interfere in the political life of the U.S., I never did anything of the sort and neither did my embassy. Whatever accusations are made against us are pure fantasy with inner political connotations,” RIA Novosti cited him as saying at the security conference.

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more