According to the finest minds of Western media and political life, “The Russians” have been responsible for everything from sowing discord with sex toys to weaponizing humor, sexual assault allegations, and “black America’s experiences.”
Editor’s note: A friend of the site has been keeping tabs on everything that Russia, “The Russians,” and Vladimir Putin have been blamed for in the past two years or so. We thought this list was a perfect window into the hysteria of Russiagate and published it with a few additions of our own.
Forcing Donald Trump to hire Rex Tillerson (Laurence Tribe, Harvard Law professor).
Forcing Donald Trump to fire Rex Tillerson (Laurence Tribe, Harvard Law professor, eight days later).
Forcing Donald Trump to give concessions to North Korea (Rachel Maddow, MSNBC anchor).
Meddling in the 2018 Italian parliamentary election (George Soros, billionaire; Anders Fogh Rasmussen, former president of Denmark, former secretary general of NATO; and Michael Chertoff, former U.S. secretary of homeland security).
No, really, hacking the 2017 French presidential election (Jamie Raskin, U.S. congressman, after French government denied Russian involvement, stating the hack was “so simple it could have practically been anyone”).
Brexit (New York Times, numerous other outlets).
Helping rise of far-right AfD party in the 2017 German election (Time).
Causing the 2019 U.S. government shutdown (Haaretz).
Making the New York Times editorial board criticize Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko (Petro Poroshenko, president of Ukraine).
Weaponizing sexual assault accusations in order to attack Kremlin critics (George Takei, Kremlin critic accused of sexual assault).
Weaponizing information (Theresa May, UK prime minister).
Weaponizing misinformation (NPR).
Weaponizing “black America’s experiences” (Slate).
Using the popular cartoon Masha and the Bear as “soft propaganda” to indoctrinate British children (The Times of London).
“Promoting sex toys on Instagram to sow discord in the US” (Quartz).
Influencing the Standing Rock movement (Buzzfeed).
Making “‘useful idiots’ of unwitting environmental groups and activists” (U.S. House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology).
Targeting the U.S. embassy in Cuba with “some kind of microwave weapon, that is so sophisticated, that the Americans don’t even fully understand it” (Ken Dilanian, MSNBC reporter) [The microwave weapon turned out to be crickets. As in actual insects].
“Infiltrating” America’s Christian conservative homeschooling movement (Casey Michel, Think Progress).
Inflaming “race wars” across America with Facebook ads (Julia Ioffe, The Atlantic).
Assassinating self-exiled Russian journalist Sergei Babchenko (Ukrainian government) [Babchenko turned up alive the following day and revealed that he had faked his death in cooperation with Ukraine’s security services].
Whatever the hell Jonathan Chait was trying to explain with a Glenn Becksian diagram – “a plausible theory of mind-boggling collusion” (Jonathan Chait, New York Magazine).
Arming the Taliban (John Nicholson, commander of US forces in Afghanistan; Nick Patton Walsh, CNN) [Nicholson’s claim was debunked by a two star US general speaking under oath. The report by Patton Walsh was thoroughly demolished by Task and Purpose].
Employing U.S. senator Rand Paul (John McCain, U.S. senator).
Interfering in the Catalan referendum (US Congressional Democrats).
Planning to interfere in Israel’s 2019 elections (Israeli Shin Bet General Security Service).
Recruiting Princeton/NYU professor emeritus Stephen F. Cohen to influence U.S. policy (Bill Browder, CEO Hermitage Capital) [Browder’s tweet was deleted after people pointed out that casually calling for Americans to be investigated by the FBI is not a good idea].
Funding The Intercept (Howard Dean, former Vermont governor and DNC head).
Spreading disinformation about Ukrainian neo-Nazis carrying out Roma pogroms (Howard Dean, former Vermont governor and DNC head).
Inflaming the NFL kneeling controversy “to make a big issue seem like an even bigger issue” (James Lankford, U.S. senator).
Inflaming ICE detaining immigrant children in cages controversy – “using the current family separation & immigration debate to sow discord among Americans” (James Lankford, U.S. senator).
Orchestrating the mailing of pipe bombs to Democratic lawmakers and liberal figures (Chuck Todd, MSNBC anchor).
Tricking Guardian journalist Luke Harding into writing a questionable, thinly-sourced story in order to make it look like Harding is an untrustworthy journalist (“Alex Finley”, ex-CIA officer writing under fake name).
Using “Soviet-era tricks to evoke racist white fears” (Terrell Starr, Washington Post).
Harvesting “American rage to reshape U.S. politics” (New York Times).
Dividing America (New York Times).
Using “vaccine debate to sow discord” (New York Times).
Sowing discord in the 2018 elections (Dan Coats, director of national intelligence).
Targeting African-Americans to suppress 2016 election turnout (New York Times).
Amplifying “existing divisions in American society” (USA Today).
Hacking “the mindset of the American people” (Malcolm Nance, MSNBC contributor and grown man).
Tricking Americans into thinking Jesus hates Hillary Clinton (New York Times).
Tricking Americans into voting for Bernie Sanders, via Facebook ads featuring drawing of buff Bernie Sanders (New York Times).
Turning Jill Stein into a Russian agent (Zac Petkanas, Democratic strategist, former Hillary Clinton campaign director of rapid response).
Is Putin using his influence to support/oppose [insert whatever you want here]? You’re probably right! For more information, please contact the appropriate Putin disinformation warriors:
- Anything that can be sprinkled with meaningless terms like “active measures,” “useful idiot,” and “kompromat” and repackaged as expert analysis – Atlantic Council’s Disinfo Portal.
- Things even the Atlantic Council won’t touch – Louise Mensch.
- Game Theory – Eric Garland.
The Grayzone is an online news website dedicated to original investigative journalism, news, and analysis, edited by award-winning journalist Max Blumenthal.