From Russia with disinformation? Election interference plot by Putin's man uncovered – reports

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- news24.com | 2 months ago

An alleged plot to interfere in the South African elections by a Russian businessman with close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin, in order to give the ANC a boost at the polls, has been exposed.

Daily Maverick reported on Tuesday that an NGO named the Association for Free Research and International Cooperation (Afric), together with political technologist Peter Bychkov – who works for Yevgeny Prigozhin – were involved in a scheme to create a disinformation campaign that would create and distribute propaganda against the DA and the EFF, the two largest opposition parties in the country. Prigozhin’s employee Yulia Afanasyeva  was the author of a series of documents seen by Daily Maverick and obtained by the Dossier Centre, an investigative unit based in London that is funded by former Russian oligarch turned rights-activist Mikhail Khodorkovsky.

DM reported that the documents showed that Bychkov had dispatched political analysts to South Africa in February 2019, under the wing of Afric and the International Anti-Crisis Centre (IAC), which the publication described as a "geopolitical research centre whose work aligns with Russian geopolitical strategy, both of which are used as a cover for Prigozhin’s activities in South Africa".

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