Tuesday, September 27, 2022

US: Russia Funneling Political Donations Worldwide Through Think Tanks

Here is more from the New York Times:

Russia has covertly given at least $300 million to political parties, officials and politicians in more than two dozen countries since 2014, and plans to transfer hundreds of millions more, with the goal of exerting political influence and swaying elections, according to a State Department summary of a recent U.S. intelligence review.

The Russians pay in cash, cryptocurrency, electronic funds transfers and lavish gifts, the document said. They move the money through a wide range of institutions to shield the origins of the financing, a practice called using cutouts. Those institutions include foundations, think tanks, organized crime groups, political consultancies, shell companies and Russian state-owned enterprises.

As of last year, the document said, a Russian business figure was trying to use pro-Russian think tanks in Europe to support far-right nationalist parties.


In related news, Russia sanctioned 25 US citizens, including think tank analysts.  One of those on the new list is Daniel Vajdich, a Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council.  

Victoria Clement, a former Wilson Center scholar, was also sanctioned.