Valdai Paper #72: ‘Russian Hackers’ in the US Election: Myths and Reality

07.08.2017

It makes sense to examine if any Russian “interference” in the US elections in November 2016 ever took place, and how this topic has been developing so that to result in a new anti-Russian law. What evidence proving the involvement of Russian special services does Washington have?

The US presidential election in November 2016 became a milestone event in the Russian-American relations. Having lost the vote, the Democratic Party blamed Moscow for being defeated as well as for the hack of its National Committee’s email server, an information war against Hillary Clinton, and even a plot with representatives of the Trump circle in order to discredit its candidate. However, no evidence has been provided. An intensive propaganda campaign against Russia, unprecedented since the Cold War years, was launched. One of its elements is a new anti-Russia law adopted by the Congress in late July and signed by President Trump in early August 2017.

Since “Russian trail” and “Russian hackers” are topical issues in relations between Russia, the US, and European states, and also one of the reasons for the qualitative degradation of Russian-American relations, it makes sense to examine if Russian “interference” in the US elections in November 2016 ever took place, and how this topic has been developing so that to result in a new anti-Russian law. What evidence proving the involvement of Russian special services does Washington have? Are the new anti-Russia measures justified? What can be said about the nature of the ongoing US investigations of the “Russian trail”? Is the anti-Russia campaign a defense of the Democrats or their attempt to justify themselves for the defeat in 2016?

About the author:

Pavel Sharikov, Ph.D. in Political Science, Research fellow at the Institute for US and Canadian Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Associate Professor, Faculty of World Politics, Moscow State University


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