Russian lawmaker and staff carry out U.S. influence campaign

A Russian lawmaker and two members of his staff from 2012 to 2017 attempted to influence U.S. foreign policy by recruiting an American citizen to help get them access to members of Congress, by staging events, and by spreading propaganda through a nonprofit organization, according to charges laid out by the U.S. Department of Justice. Aleksandr Mikhaylovich Babakov, a member of the Russian Duma aligned with President Vladimir Putin, and two individuals working for him recruited at least one American to help Babakov connect with U.S. Members of Congress, including by having the American recruit offer an “all-expense paid” trip to a conference in part of Russia-controlled Crimea, where the Member of Congress was told they would receive an award. Babakov and his staff organized the event in Crimea, including by inviting Americans to attend and present at the conference. Those Americans were offered funding from a committee developed to support the Russian-backed government in Crimea. The Member of Congress declined the offer. Babakov and his staff also used a nonprofit organization based in Russia, called the Institute for International Integration Studies, as a front to push content aimed at weakening transatlantic unity, undermining Western sanctions on Russia, and eroding the sovereignty of Ukraine. 

About This Incident

Incident Metadata

Date: Jan 2012 - June 2017
Country: United States
Source: Source Source 2