The United Russia ruling party presented a report on Friday about U.S. media's alleged attempt to influence Russia’s domestic affairs, including the
2016 State Duma elections.
According to Leonid Levin, chair of the State Duma’s committee
on information technologies who presented the report to lawmakers, there is
a “large-scale system the U.S. [use] to influence domestic politics in Russia,”
and media outlets like Voice of America, Radio Svoboda and the CNN TV channel are
part of it.
“During the parliamentary election campaign last year, radio stations funded from the U.S. state budget carried out
propaganda and distorted the election process in Russia,” Levin was quoted by the state-run TASS news
agency as saying.
These media outlets, the lawmaker said, questioned the “democratic nature” of the election system in Russia, and talked about election
results being predetermined.
“Only two percent of the articles [painted 2016 Duma
elections] in a positive light. Forty-three percent were openly negative, and 55
percent were neutral,” Levin was quoted as saying. “Only two parties –
[liberal] Yabloko and [the opposition party] PARNAS – were covered positively.
Sources of information included mostly opposition politicians and experts who
saw the election process negatively, which led to providing only one point of
Commenting on the report, leader of the LDPR nationalist party
Vladimir Zhirinovsky suggested discussing the findings with Alexander
Bortnikov, director of the Federal Security Service (FSB). “They have more
materials and know better,” Zhirinovsky was quoted as saying by TASS.
lawmakers announced working on the report in March 2017, following U.S. Senator
Jeanne Shaheen calling for a probe into Russia’s state-run propaganda TV
channel RT. “We have good reason to believe that
RT News is coordinating with the Russian government to spread misinformation
and undermine our democratic process,” Shaheen had said.