Russian voters will head to the ballot box on March 18, where they are expected to deliver a decisive re-election victory for Russian President Vladimir Putin. In the run-up to that election, Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said in comments reported by state-run media Monday, the United States has attempted to meddle with the vote.
Ryabkov did not share the evidence he claims Moscow has obtained, but he said that "U.S. attempts to interfere in our internal affairs have been particularly active over the recent years." Also Monday, Kremlin representative Dmitry Peskov said Washington has a "rich tradition" of tampering with other countries' politics.
This is not the first time Russia has made this accusation; Peskov made similar comments in late January.
The United States does indeed have a tradition of election meddling, as The New York Times has detailed. "We've been doing this kind of thing since the CIA was created in 1947," Loch K. Johnson, an intelligence community expert, told the Times. "We've used posters, pamphlets, mailers, banners — you name it. We've planted false information in foreign newspapers. We've used what the British call 'King George’s cavalry': suitcases of cash."