Russian social media campaign
A Russian politician and a former officer of the KGB who has served as President of Russia since 2012, previously holding the position from 1999 until 2008.
The Internet Research Agency (IRA) carried out the earliest Russian interference operations identified by the investigation a social media campaign designed to provoke and amplify political and social discord in the United States. The IRA was based in St. Petersburg, Russia, and received funding from Russian oligarch Yevgeniy Prigozhin and companies he controlled. Prigozhin is widely reported to have ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin, Harm to Ongoing Matter
Head of Russian companies Concord Catering and Concord Management and Consulting; supported and financed the Internet Research Agency, which engaged in an “active measures” social media campaign to interfere in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
In mid-2014, the IRA sent employees to the United States on an intelligence mission with instructions Harm to Ongoing Matter
The IRA later used social media accounts and interest groups to sow discord in the U.S. political system through what it termed “information warfare.” The campaign evolved from a generalized program designed in 2014 and 2015 to undermine the U.S electoral system, to a targeted operation that by early 2016 favored candidate Trump and disparaged candidate Clinton. The IRA’ s operation also included the purchase of political advertisements on social media in the names of U.S. persons and entities, as well as the staging of political rallies inside the United States. To organize those rallies, IRA employees posed as U.S. grassroots entities and persons and made contact with Trump supporters and Trump Campaign officials in the United States. The investigation did not identify evidence that any U.S. persons conspired or coordinated with the IRA. Section II of this report details the Office’s investigation of the Russian social media campaign.
Clinton campaign chairman whose email account was hacked by the GRU. WikiLeaks released his stolen emails during the 2016 campaign.
Russian Hacking Operations
In March 2016, the GRU began hacking the email accounts of Clinton Campaign volunteers and employees, including campaign chairman John Podesta. In April 2016, the GRU hacked into the computer networks of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the Democratic National Committee (DNC). The GRU stole hundreds of thousands of documents from the compromised email accounts and networks. Around the time that the DNC announced in mid-June 2016 the Russian government's role in hacking its network, the GRU began disseminating stolen materials through the suspicious online personas DCLeaks and Guccifer. The GRU later released additional materials through the organization WikiLeaks.
At the same time that the IRA operation began to focus on supporting candidate Trump in early 2016, the Russian government employed a second form of interference: cyber intrusions (hacking) and releases of hacked materials damaging to the Clinton Campaign. The Russian intelligence service known as the Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Army (GRU) carried out these operations.