Russia’s foreign intelligence service has denied the allegations in a statement issued Friday stating “Similar, baseless allegations concerning Russia’s foreign intelligence service have been made more than once.
Sergei Naryshkin, head of the Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), said the United States was encouraging the spread of false information on the popular Telegram messaging service in a bid to “discredit” and oust Russia’s political and military leadership. of the people “.
“Their actions have much in common with the habits of the Ministry of Public Education and Propaganda of the Third Reich and its leader Joseph Goebbels,” Naryshkin said in a statement posted on the SVR website.
Naryshkin did not provide evidence to support the allegations in a US-backed information campaign. Russia has regularly accused the West of funding and supporting anti-Kremlin movements and has branded dozens of independent human rights groups and media outlets in Russia “foreign agents” in recent years.
State Department officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Since the start of the invasion of Ukraine on February 24, Russia has stepped up its campaign to stifle opposition voices inside the country. Journalists and others face up to 15 years in prison for publishing what Russia considers “fake news” about its “military campaign.”