A Russian husband and wife “troll team” was indicted by U.S. authorities on Friday for their involvement in an online effort to influence the 2016 presidential election.
Husband and wife team Robert and Maria Bovda were indicted on Friday as a part of the FBI’s investigation into Russia’s attempts to subvert the 2016 election. According to the indictment, Maria served as head of the project, which utilized social media to influence the 2016 presidential election in the United States.
Both Robert and Maria are accused of “creating false US personas” and utilizing fake accounts that had large U.S. audiences. The Bovdas were two of the 13 Russians that were indicted in Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.
According to the indictment, Robert and Maria worked specifically on spreading propaganda to “the U.S. population.” Additionally, they “conducted operations on social media platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.”
As a part of the investigation’s findings, Mueller cited an account a Russian-controlled Instagram account called “Woke Blacks.”
“[A] particular hype and hatred for Trump is misleading the people and forcing Blacks to vote Killary,” a post on the page read. “We cannot resort to the lesser of two devils. Then we’d surely be better off without voting AT ALL.”
Another post from a Russian account targeted Muslim voters on the day before the election.
“American Muslims [are] boycotting elections today, most of the American Muslim voters refuse to vote for Hillary Clinton because she wants to continue the war on Muslims in the middle east and voted yes for invading Iraq,” the post read.
Despite the indictments, foreign minister Sergey Lavrov brushed off allegations of Russian mingling in the 2016 elections.
‘I have no response. You can publish anything, and we see those indictments multiplying, the statements multiplying,’ Lavrov said. ‘Until we see the facts, everything else is just blabber.’