Man accused of being Russian spy indicted for alleged ‘brazen influence campaign’ in America

A man believed to be a Russian spy was indicted by the U.S. Justice Department Friday after allegedly conspiring to use U.S. citizens for some of the “most egregious and blatant” attempts to destabilize American society.

Aleksandr Viktorovich Ionov, a 32-year-old resident of Moscow, Russia, was indicted Friday in the U.S. District Court Middle District of Florida in a 24-page court filing from the DOJ that asserted he “allegedly orchestrated a brazen influence campaign, turning U.S. political groups and U.S. citizens into instruments of the Russian government.” These campaigns went as far as to accuse the United States of committing “Genocide against African people,” according to the indictment.

Ionov took to Facebook to confirm the indictment stating, “The United States Attorney General filed a criminal case against me,” before later providing his own opinion of the allegations.

“I have never met such nonsense and deception,” he wrote. “There are no specific names of officials, there is no evidence of funding and there are no intelligible arguments. I am also credited with using a special technique!”

“I am shocked by this attitude! The Ukrainian crisis has driven American officials crazy!” Ionov went on. “Comrades, now you see what kind of ‘democracy’ exists in the USA! according to the FBI, I was not an ideological person for ten years, I was not a member of various leftist organizations in Russia, but immediately appeared as a project! It’s insulting!”

Despite the Russian citizen’s protestations, FBI Special Agent in Charge David Walker in Tampa, Fla., told a press conference, according to The Washington Post that these were “some of the most egregious and blatant violations we’ve seen.”

The indictment alleged that Ionov had worked for the Anti-Globalization Movement of Russia (AGMR), an organization that recruited U.S. political groups for the furtherance of Russian state interests, as an agent for the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), and that he controlled unnamed political groups in Florida, Georgia and California.

In particular, the west coast groups were said to have been working toward California secession, and Ionov was alleged to have provided financial support for protests at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif. The political influences were also reported to have been in the Sunshine State where, in 2017 and 2019, he allegedly supported the campaigns of two unnamed politicians running for office in Florida.

“The Russian intelligence threat is continuous and unrelenting. Today’s actions should serve as a deterrent,” Walker noted of the Treasury Department sanctions that were imposed on Ionov and the FBI raid that was conducted on the headquarters of the African People’s Socialist Party in St. Petersburg, Fla..

Prosecutors allege Ionov instructed the group to write a petition in 2015 titled “Petition to the United Nations on Crime of Genocide against African People in the United States” which asserted the U.S. government still fails “to protect our health and well-being as expected under full citizenship” and inflicts “state or state-supported violence and terror on us.”

“The U.S. government is responsible for mass murders, mass and discriminatory imprisonment, and oppressive conditions in nearly every aspect of life,” the petition went on, “including state-sanctioned violence and murders, education, family life, reproduction, employment, healthcare and freedom of political assembly for African people in the U.S.”

Akile Anai, director of the African People’s Socialist Party, claimed that her organization had never received any funding from Ionov or any members of Russian intelligence service. We are being attacked because of our relationship with forces internationally who support the anti-colonial struggle.”

She went on to defend Ionov and said, “What they are saying about Alex and this relationship with the Russian government — this is all the U.S. government’s attempt to use us as pawns in a propaganda war against Russia.”

Ionav faces a maximum of five years in jail if found guilty and, according to the BBC, despite living in Moscow he will likely be tried in absentia by the Justice Department.


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