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The Real Russiagate: How Russian Spies Targeted And Fomented Black Nationalist Groups

According to a report from FrontPage Mag, what could be construed as the real Russiagate had nothing to do with former President Donald Trump and/or the 2016 election, but rather how Russian spies specifically targeted U.S.-based black nationalist groups [1] in order to sow discord within the country [2].

It was actually back in 2019 when a Senate Intelligence report [3] revealed that when it came to the Russian Internet Research Agency (IRA), the group’s work in the realm of fomenting fake Facebook groups and social media accounts was less focused on election meddling and more geared toward pushing “hot-button, societal divisions in the United States as fodder for the content they published,” online.

Among some of the videos and topics pushed by the Russian troll farm included issues related to “race, immigration, and Second Amendment rights,” in order to stoke division among Americans – but per the Senate Intelligence report, “no single group of Americans was targeted by the IRA information operatives more than African-Americans.”

When it came to a majority of the videos put online by the IRA, they often, “pertained to police brutality and the activist efforts of the Black Lives Matter organization,” yet the Senate Intelligence report merely scratched the surface on how deep the Russians were targeting black Americans.

The depth of this Russian agitprop campaign meant to enrage and embolden black nationalist groups surfaced with the late-July indictment of Aleksandr Viktorovich Ionov, who was charged with allegedly “conspiring to have U.S. citizens act as illegal agents of the Russian government,” per a report from Law & Crime [4].

One of the black nationalist groups Ionov is accused of recruiting and providing financial support for is the Black Hammer Party, whose leader Gazi Kodzo [5] has been described over the years as “Black Hitler.” Kodzo was also arrested this past July [6] under charges of aggravated sodomy, conspiracy to commit a felony, false imprisonment, kidnapping, aggravated assault and criminal street gang activity.

During Kodzo’s extremist political efforts, he’d often lead marches throughout Atlanta, shouting slogans like, “Kill the police! To get free, you’ve got to kill the pigs.”

Another group mentioned in Ionov’s indictment is the Uhuru Movement, which is another black nationalist group that was instrumental in the race riots that shook St. Petersburg, Florida, back in 1996 [7].

In more recent endeavors, the Uhuru Movement would often show up at Black Lives Matter marches and protests. In early July when a Uhuru Movement flag was set ablaze by someone toting a flamethrower, media outlets began peddling the narrative [8] of it being a potential “hate crime.”

Yet, that narrative came to a crumble [9] when police arrested a black 19-year-old suspect for the crime who reportedly told investigators after his arrest that he torched the flag because he hated socialists and grew tired of seeing the “ugly flag” while driving to and from work.

The Uhuru Movement also attempted to dabble in politics, bolstering candidates from within their inner circles to try and get elected to local offices in St. Petersburg, Florida – with said candidates appearing to have backing by Russian agents.

Following the raid of the Uhuru Movement’s headquarters in the wake of the FBI indictment of Ionov [10], Eritha “Akile” Cainion – who ran for mayor of St. Petersburg in 2017 – led a press conference defending their work with Russian agents.

“The history of the African People’s Socialist Party is to unite with any forces that unite with the anti-colonial struggle. And we feel that is a just struggle. What this is a propaganda campaign against Russia. We can have relationships with whoever we want.”