Russian man who tried disrupting US elections got a $10m bounty on his head

The US offered a $10 million reward for info on Russian national Aleksandr Viktorovich Ionov, who worked with the Kremlin to influence the US election process.

US feds claim that Ionov, founder of the Moscow-based Kremlin-funded organization Anti-Globalization Movement of Russia (AGMR), had connections with anti-establishment groups in the US and organized protests to protest US policy.

“[Ionov] engaged in a years-long foreign malign influence campaign targeting the United States. Ionov uses his positions and various companies to promulgate the Kremlin’s disinformation and malign influence agenda,” US authorities said.

According to the US State Department, Ionov’s activities were funded by trusts set up by Russia’s President Vladimir Putin. The Russian national is also said to have been cooperating with a fund established by Yevgeniy Prigozhi, one of Putin’s henchmen leading the mercenary group Wagner.

Ionov is said to have coordinated his activities with the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), aiming to identify fractures in the US society and exploiting them to advance Moscow’s interests. Ionov used Russian money to financially support organizations that he and the FSB believed would “create socio-political disturbances” in the US.

“In the summer of 2021, Ionov informed the FSB about a known US person’s political ambitions; the FSB subsequently expressed an interest in this person,” the State Department said.

It’s not the first time Ionov has received attention from the US authorities, as back in July 2022, he was charged with conspiring to have US citizens act as illegal agents of the Russian government.