U.S. News State Dept. offers $10M reward for information on Russian...

State Dept. offers $10M reward for information on Russian interference in U.S. elections

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The U.S. State Department on Thursday offered a $10 million reward for information about Russian oligarch Yevgeny Prigozhin who was been accused of interfering with U.S. elections. File Photo by Sergei Ilnitsky/EPA

July 29 (BP) — The Biden administration has announced a reward for up to $10 million for information concerning Russian interference in U.S. elections.

The State Department unveiled the reward Thursday in a statement, saying it is specifically looking for information concerning sanctioned Russian Yevgeniy Viktorovich Prigozhin, his Internet Research Agency LLC and linked Russian entities and associates.

Prigozhin, who is known as “Putin’s Chef” over his catering contacts with the Kremlin, and his companies have repeatedly been the target of sanctions by the United States, Britain and the European Union on accusations of spreading disinformation.

The State Department previously designed the oligarch and his companies, including the Internet Research Agency, over allegations of attempting to interfere in both the 2016 general election and the 2018 midterm elections on behalf of the Russian government and the Wagner Group, for which he is a manager and financier.

“Beginning as early as 2014, IRA began operations to interfere with the U.S. political system, including the 2016 U.S. presidential election, with a strategic goal to sow discord,” the State Department said.

In May, Britain publicly named Prigozhin as a suspect behind large-scale disinformation campaigns that uses social media to target world leaders and Kremlin critics.

Later that same month, the State Department warned the public about the Wagner Group’s attempt to exploit vulnerabilities in Africa to gain influence and accused it of being implicated in atrocities in Mali.

The State Department also said they are seeking information on a slew of people connected to the Internet Research Agency, accusing them of having been behind the the agency’s interference operations targeting the United States.

“They knowingly and intentionally conspired to defraud the United States by impairing, obstructing and defeating the lawful functions of the government through fraud and deceit for the purpose of interfering with the U.S. political and electoral processes, including the presidential election of 2016,” it said.

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