13 Russians indicted for tampering with the 2016 election: 8 things to know

Special Counsel Robert Mueller released an indictment Friday alleging Russian nationals made a multi-million dollar effort to influence the outcome of the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Here are eight things to know about the indictment.

1. The indictment named 13 Russian nationals as co-conspirators in the interference. They are part of an organization known as the Internet Research Agency, which the indictment alleges was designed with the intent to influence the 2016 presidential election through social media activity and grassroots organizing.

2. The indictment does not accuse President Donald Trump's campaign of colluding with the Russians, and it does not directly link the tampering efforts to the Russian government. However, defendants are accused of posing as American citizens and interacting with unwitting parties associated with the Trump campaign.

3. Yevgeniy Viktorovich Prigozhin, a Russian businessman, was named as the Internet Research Agency's primary funding source. He funneled money into the organization through his companies Concord Consulting and Concord Catering. Mr. Prigozhin is known as a close associate of Russian President Vladimir Putin, according toThe New York Times.

4. The Internet Research Agency allegedly employed hundreds of Russians to create fictitious online personas with the expressed aim of undermining Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign. Early efforts also targeted Republican candidates such as Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., in an effort to promote division among Republican voters.

Through the use of online trolls and bots, they spread messages over social media and even used false identities to communicate with American organizations and organize pro-Trump rallies. They initially supported Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., in his opposition to Ms. Clinton in the primary elections before shifting all their efforts to supporting the Trump campaign and denigrating Ms. Clinton.

5. By September 2016, the organization's monthly budget was $1.25 million. Employees worked in day and night shifts so their social media posts would align withU.S.time zones. They also stole the identities of U.S. citizens to purchase advertisements on social media sites and contact other Americans.

6. "Specialists were instructed to write about topics germane to theUnited Statessuch as U.S. foreign policy and U.S. economic issues. Specialists were directed to create 'political intensity through supporting radical groups, users dissatisfied with [the] social and economic situation and oppositional social movements,'" according to the indictment,

7. Members of the Internet Research Agency traveled to the U.S. under false pretenses to collect information that could be helpful to their efforts while also establishing computer infrastructure based in the U.S., "to hide the Russian origin of their activities and to avoid detection by U.S. regulators and law enforcement," according to the indictment.

8. The defendants are charged with conspiracy to defraud theU.S.and conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud.

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