U.S. prosecutors have charged a Russian woman who works for an oligarch close to Russian President Vladimir Putin with attempting to meddle in the 2018 midterm elections, NBC News reported.
The charges, filed Friday in the Eastern District of Virginia, accuse Elena A. Khusyaynova of St. Petersburg with using social media platforms to create thousands of social media and e-mail accounts — appearing to be from U.S. persons — to "create and amplify divisive social media and political content."
The content touched on divisive topics like gun control and the NFL anthem debate as well as events like the Las Vegas shooting. The posts adopted several viewpoints, according to the documents, and attacked politicians of both major political parties, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and former President Barack Obama.
The case is being brought separately from special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, which brought charges against Russians for attempting to influence the 2016 presidential election.
Prosecutors said Khusyaynova is the chief accountant for a Russian umbrella effort called Project Lakhta, funded by a Russian oligarch whose Concord companies were named in the July indictment brought by Mueller involving attempted meddling in the 2016 election. Concord Management is owned by Yevgeny Viktorovich Prigozhin, also known as "Putin's chef," who is closely linked to the Russian president. It provides food services at the Kremlin.