Media

US accuses Zero Hedge of spreading Kremlin propaganda

U.S. intelligence officials are accusing the conservative financial news website Zero Hedge of spreading Russian propaganda. 

The officials, who spoke to The Associated Press, pointed to a number of stories published by Zero Hedge that accused the U.S. government of raising exaggerated alarms about the prospects of a Russian invasion of Ukraine. They said the stories originated with Kremlin-controlled media.

Some of those stories were written by people affiliated with the Strategic Culture Foundation, an organization sanctioned by the Biden administration for allegedly contributing to Russia’s interference in the 2020 election, according to the AP.

Zero Hedge has denied any wrongdoing and said it publishes a variety of opinions on its site. 

Zero Hedge told the AP there “is no relationship between Strategic Cultural Foundation (or the SVR) and Zero Hedge, and furthermore this is the first time we hear someone allege that the Foundation is linked to Russian propaganda.”

“They are one of our hundreds of contributors — unlike Mainstream Media, we try to publish a wide spectrum of views that cover both sides of a given story,” the outlet added. 

Some of the stories published by the organization on the website include “NATO Sliding Towards War Against Russia In Ukraine,” “Americans Need A Conspiracy Theory They Can All Agree On” and “Theater Of Absurd… Pentagon Demands Russia Explain Troops On Russian Soil,” according to the AP. 

Zero Hedge on Tuesday published an article in which it said the AP’s story was based on a “false allegation.”

“Of course, there is no actual accusation that Zero Hedge works directly with anyone tied to Russia or its intelligence apparatus – as the AP admits,” the outlet wrote. 

The outlet also addressed allegations of the Strategic Cultural Foundation’s connections to Russia, saying the outlet has never worked with Russia and is not sure if the organization has any ties to the country. 

“Perhaps. We don’t know. What we do know is that Alastair Crooke, one of the most prolific writers on SCF website is a former high ranking MI6 figure and UK diplomat, i.e., a former British spook. Perhaps he is now a double agent working for Putin after spending decades spying for the UK?” the outlet wrote. 

The officials also named three websites are allegedly connected to Russia’s federal security service (FSB) and two others they said were taking orders from the Strategic Cultural Foundation, according to the AP. 

“These sites enable the Russian government to secure support among the Russian and Ukrainian populations,” one official told the AP. “This is the primary vector for how the Russian government will bolster support domestically for an invasion into Ukraine.”

The accusations come at a time when western countries have said Russia could be invading Ukraine at any moment with more than 100,000 troops at Ukraine’s border.

Updated at 11:52 a.m.

Tags Federal Security Service Foreign Intelligence Service RT

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