EXECUTIVE SUMMARY TO VOLUME I RUSSIAN SOCIAL MEDIA CAMPAIGN The Internet Research Agency (IRA) carried out the earliest Russian interference operations identiﬁed by the investigation-ma social media campaign designed to provoke and amplify political and social discord in the United States. The IRA was based in St. Petersburg, Russia, and received funding from Russian oligarch Yevgeniy Prigozhin and companies he controlled. Pri ozhin is widel resorted to have ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin Harm to Ongoing Matter In mid-2014, the IRA sent emalo ees to the United States on an intelli mission with instructions Harm to Ongomg Matter _ence- ; atherin ; The IRA later used social media accounts and interest groups to sow discord in the US. ’3 political system through what it termed “information warfare. The campaign evolved from a generalized program designed in 2014 and 2015 to undermine the US. electoral system, to a targeted operation that by early 2016 favored candidate Trump and disparaged candidate Clinton. The IRA’s operation also included the purchase of political advertisements on social media in the names of US persons and entities, as well as the staging of political rallies inside the United States. To organize those rallies, IRA employees posed as US. grassroots entities and persons and made contact with Trump supporters and Trump Campaign ofﬁcials in the United States. The investigation did not identify evidence that any US. persons conspired or coordinated with the IRA. Section II of this report details the Office’s investigation of the Russian social media campaign. RUSSIAN HACKING OPERATIONS At the same time that the IRA operation began to focus on supporting candidate Trump in early 2016, the Russian government employed a second form of interference: cyber intrusions (hacking) and releases of hacked materials damaging to the Clinton Campaign. The Russian intelligence service known as the Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Army (GRU) carried out these operations. In March 2016, the GRU began hacking the email accounts of Clinton Campaign volunteers and employees, including campaign chairman John Podesta. In April 2016, the GRU hacked into the computer networks of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) and the Democratic National Committee (DNC). The GRU stole hundreds of thousands of documents from the compromised email accounts and networks. Around the time that the DNC announced in mid-June 2016 the Russian government’s role in hacking its network, the GRU began disseminating stolen materials through the ﬁctitious online personas “DCLeaks” and “Guccifer 2.0.” The GRU later released additional materials through the organization WikiLeaks.
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