US President Joe Biden instructed intelligence to examine stories related to “Russian hackers”, blogger Alexei Navalny and alleged awards for the murder of American soldiers in Afghanistan. This was announced on January 21 by the press secretary of the head of state Jen Psaki.
“President Biden has instructed the intelligence community to conduct a full analysis of the cyberattack on (company) Solar Wind, Russia’s interference in the 2020 elections, the use of chemical weapons against opposition leader Alexei Navalny, and the alleged reward for (killing) American soldiers,” she told RIA News”.
Psaki added that despite US intentions to work with Russia to advance its own interests, Washington will hold Moscow accountable for actions it deems inappropriate.
At the end of December 2020, it became known that Biden’s advisers were discussing the possibility of imposing sanctions against Russia in connection with a cyberattack against American government agencies, in which Moscow is attributed to Washington.
On December 14, The Washington Post reported that a group of hackers, backed by a foreign government, managed to gain access to the system of the US Treasury and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration and steal their data. The publication accused Russia of involvement in the hacking.
On the same day, the press secretary of the President of the Russian Federation Dmitry Peskov said that Russia had nothing to do with hacker attacks on American state institutions. The Kremlin spokesman called for an end to unfounded accusations against the Russian Federation.
On August 19, former US Secretary of State John Kerry said that Donald Trump – then the US President – could not resist Russian “intervention”. As an example, he cited fake media statements about Moscow’s “conspiracy” with the Taliban (the Taliban movement is banned in Russia) with the aim of killing the American military in Afghanistan.
Similar information appeared in several American newspapers, notably The New York Times, in July. The articles claimed that the Russian Federation allegedly offered a reward to the Taliban for the murder of the US military.
Moscow categorically rejected unsubstantiated accusations and accused the media of spreading fakes. The reports were also denied by American intelligence and the Taliban themselves.
On August 20, blogger Alexei Navalny fell ill during the flight from Tomsk to Moscow, the plane was urgently landed in Omsk, and Navalny himself was hospitalized. After the Russian doctors stabilized the Russian’s condition, he was transferred to Germany for treatment.
In the Berlin clinic “Charite”, where Navalny was taken, they told about the discovery of signs of intoxication in the blogger with a substance from the group of cholinesterase inhibitors, without providing any evidence. Tests taken in Omsk showed the absence of such substances in the blogger’s body.
In December, it was reported that the US authorities had developed a package of sanctions against Russia due to the incident with Navalny, but refused to impose them in the absence of any evidence of the involvement of Russians in the alleged poisoning.