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US citizens backing Russia – Zelensky 

Moscow’s lobby has pierced American politics, the Ukrainian president has claimed 

Russian influence has penetrated the US political system and warped the information field around the world, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky claimed in an interview with Politico on Tuesday. 

Zelensky was asked to comment on recent statements made by two Republican lawmakers: Mike Turner of Ohio and Mike McCaul of Texas. They claimed that “pro-Russian” propaganda has filtered into the minds of some of the members of Congress, which has failed to greenlight the $60 billion aid package for Kiev.

The Ukrainian leader stated that Russia has succeeded in distorting “the information field of the world.”

“They have their lobbies everywhere: in the United States, in the EU countries, in Britain, in Latin America, in Africa,” he said. “When we talk about the Congress — do you notice how they work with society in the United States?” he noted, adding that the scale of Russian influence in the US has been underestimated.

He claimed that US citizens were helping Russia by spreading its ideas in the American media. 

“They pump their narratives through the media,” Zelensky said. “These are not Russian citizens or natives of Russia, no. They are representatives of certain media groups, citizens of the United States.” 

According to Zelensky, these people work in the US media and deliver the appropriate messages, which are sometimes “very pro-Russian.” He hasn’t mentioned any names though.

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FILE PHOTO: EU's top diplomat, Josep Borrell
EU media should learn from RT – Borrell

Following the start of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine in 2022, Western governments launched a large censorship campaign against Russian media they deem to be ‘state-controlled’. Multiple Russian TV stations and media outlets, including RT, have been either blocked or prevented from operating in the US and some other Western countries.

RT, having been the first international news channel to reach one billion views on YouTube, was banned from the platform and those owned by the US-based tech giant Meta, including Facebook and Instagram, in the spring of 2022.

According to the Foreign Ministry in Moscow, Russian journalists working in the US have been facing difficulties, including over visa renewals; they’ve had their bank accounts blocked and in some cases been hounded by US intelligence agencies.

Last year, James Rubin, the special envoy and coordinator of the US State Department’s Center for Global Engagement admitted that Washington wanted to shut down Russian media around the world.

Commenting on his remarks, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said that by taking such steps, Washington, which positions itself as a stronghold of human rights, demonstrated a deep disregard for media freedom.

April 11, 2024 at 07:25PM

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