0455 GMT January 19, 2019
The US government on Friday charged Russian national Elena Khusyaynova with playing a key financial role in a Kremlin-backed plan to conduct “information warfare” against the United States, including ongoing attempts to influence next month’s congressional elections, Reuters reported.
Russia called the allegations an attempt by the United States to fabricate a pretext to impose sanctions as part of a “disgraceful slander campaign” against Moscow.
“Have been spreading impudent lies about the mythical ‘hand of Moscow’ for more than two years – since the previous presidential election – Washington is now trying to play the same card,” Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said in a statement on Saturday.
“The United States clearly overestimates its own capabilities. By demonstrating hostility toward Russia and a contemptuous attitude toward the whole world, it will only be getting an increasingly strong pushback,” he added.
Elena Alekseevna Khusyaynova, 44, became the first person charged with a crime for attempting to interfere in the 2018 US midterm elections, according to a government official with knowledge of the investigation.