Russian legal foundation linked to Kremlin activities in Europe

Russian legal foundation linked to Kremlin activities in Europe

The Guardian reports:

Leaked internal documents have exposed the activities of a Russian state-backed legal defence foundation that European intelligence agencies and analysts say is in fact a Kremlin influence operation active in 48 countries across Europe and around the world.

Internal documents from the Fund for Support and Protection of the Rights of Compatriots Living Abroad (Pravfond) indicate that the foundation finances propaganda websites targeted at Europeans, helped pay for the legal defence of the convicted arms trafficker Viktor Bout and the assassin Vadim Krasikov, and has employed a number of former intelligence officers as the directors of its operations in European countries.

The documents show that the group has spent millions of euros to finance propaganda and legal campaigns. Public data also shows that Pravfond’s local partners have received millions in state subsidies from a number of the European states where the foundation operates local branches, raising questions about the use of public funds and national security concerns just days before elections to the European parliament.

More than 40 Pravfond documents, obtained by the Danish public broadcaster DR from a European intelligence source and shared with a consortium of European journalists including the Guardian, show that the organisation has had a number of documented former intelligence agents among its leadership. They include Vladimir Pozdorovkin, who has been identified by European intelligence sources as an agent for the SVR, Russia’s foreign intelligence service, and in public records as Pravfond’s curator for its operations in the Nordic and Baltic countries; and Anatoly Sorokin, who the documents show is a member of the SVR and curates Pravfond’s Middle East, Moldova, and Transnistria division. [Continue reading…]

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