RIA Novosti news agency, citing a “military-diplomatic source,” on Saturday stated that the US and British intelligence agencies “are preparing disinformation about the background of Russian President Vladimir Putin and the leadership of the Ministry of Defence.” This information is going to be used to justify new sanctions against Russia.
According to the agency’s source, specialists from the US and British intelligence agencies “fabricate fake information about the Russian leadership” akin to the so-called “Panamagate”, the publication of materials by the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca in 2016.
A source at RIA Novosti claims that this “fake information” might be thrown into the information space through the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) of the financiers George Soros and William Browder, and also Liberty Radio and the Present Time TV Channel. He does not give any evidence of his statements. According to RIA, possible future publications about Putin’s background are called as interference into the internal affairs of Russia.
In March 2016, the press secretary of the Russian president, Dmitry Peskov, announced the preparation of “custom-made” materials in foreign media about Putin’s background. A few days after his statement, “Panamanian papers” about offshore companies were published, in which a number of people that surround the Russian president was mentioned, including, a cellist Sergey Roldugin. Peskov’s warnings were linked to the fact that they appealed to the Kremlin with questions and requests for comment before publication. It is unclear whether the current statement by RIA Novosti is connected with the current journalistic requests to the Kremlin.
Natalia Veselnitskaya — official website