Russia's Foreign Intelligence Service Alleges US Is Plotting to Interfere in Presidential Election

Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) alleges that the US is plotting to interfere in its upcoming presidential election scheduled this month. According to SVR, US nation-state actors plan to launch cyber attacks against Russian voting systems to disrupt operations and interfere with the vote-counting process, as reported by Reuters. “According to information received by the Foreign Intelligence Service of the Russian Federation, the administration of J. Biden is setting a task for American NGOs to achieve a decrease in turnout,” reads a statement issued by the SVR and reported by Reuters. “With the participation of leading American IT specialists, it is planned to carry out cyber attacks on the remote electronic voting system, which will make it impossible to count the votes of a significant proportion of Russian voters.” Moscow warned that any foreign interference in the election would be viewed as an act of aggression against Russia. Western intelligence considers Putin as a war criminal and a dictator and believes he will win the election. On the other side, the Russian government denied any interference with the upcoming U.S. Presidential election in November. “We never interfered in elections in the United States,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in a lecture to students on stereotypes about Russia, occasionally slipping into English. “And this time, we do not intend to interfere… We do not dictate to anyone how to live – but we don’t want others to dictate to us,” Peskov said. The Kremlin has also denied its interference in the 2016 US Presidential election.

Security Officer Comments:
In this age of technology that we currently live in, new methods have arisen regarding how to influence a foreign country’s politics. Most first-world countries have state-sponsored hacking groups that are often used to disrupt the critical infrastructure of another country. In a war between two different political ideologies, influencing another country’s critical election is an effective way to advance one’s political agenda. Since the 2016 election, Russia and the US have been on high alert for voter fraud and the spreading of misinformation. Due to Vladimir Putin's unfavorable reputation in the eyes of Americans, and the opinion that Putin will again win another election, we can likely conclude that the US will attempt to negatively influence Putin’s chances in the upcoming election. If the US can decrease voter turnout in the Russian presidential election, causing Putin to receive less than half of the votes, it would push the election to the second round and increase the chances of another candidate emerging victorious. Utilizing the independence of NGOs, the US can affect Russian politics without being considered directly involved. However, Russia’s warning that any foreign interference will be considered an act of aggression hints that these alleged attempts may have negative consequences for the US.