US Gives $3 Million to Russian NGOs on the Eve of State Duma Elections

Translated by Ollie Richardson


The “undesirable” in Russia United States Agency for International Development (USAID), recognized as a foreign agent and officially stopped work in the Russian Federation 4 years ago, received $3 million to distribute among Russian NGOs in the run-up to State Duma elections. The data published the other day on the American government site of disclosure of information on the executed state contracts testifies to it (documents are at the disposal of RT).

According to data of the website, Russian NGOs in 2016 were allocated $3 million “for activity in the Russian Federation”. The actions, the details of which were not disclosed, have to be fulfilled before 2017. It is noteworthy that since 2012, it currently operates on a contract by which the US government annually sends money to the foundation, and that, in turn, distributes the funds according to their own plan of financing programs.


According to the political scientist Nikolay Shlyamin, Americans can interpret “activity in the Russian Federation” as the organization of protests, creation of news stories that can undermine integrity of the country  — all this is applicable in the run-up to State Duma elections on September 18th. It isn’t excluded that money was allocated for such activities.


“It is quite possible that many statements from representatives of NGOs and experts will be made, which will claim that parliamentary elections are illegitimate, and that the new representatives don’t reflect interests of the people and so on. Thus, the presidential elections in 2018 can be a main goal of Americans, and voting in September 2016 is only preparation,” Shlyamin declared.

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We will note that, according to the official information published on the website of USAID, since 2012 the agency had to stop their activities in the territory of the Russian Federation as it was recognized as “undesirable”. However, the data published on the website of one of structures of the State Department says that the organization continues to work in Russia, financing NGOs.

According to the United States Director of Research Foundation of the Franklin D. Roosevelt State University Yury Rogulev, similar organizations work first of all with young Russian leaders, journalists, politicians, and public figures.

“It can be implemented in the following way: for example, the US Embassy declares the creation of a new program, brings together participants, and then will organize trips to the States at the expense of the budget. Participants are told how the political system of America functions, they will organize excursions in the congress and in other public authorities for them, and also meetings with politicians, members of the media, the academic environment. When participants come back to Russia, communities of graduates are created. In the future, Americans can exploit these people if necessary,” he said.

Professor of National Research University Higher School of Economics Oleg Matveychev considers that this money could be allocated to non-profit organizations to make sure that they are engaged in supervising elections.

“For example, on carrying out the corresponding sociological polls, the organization of press conferences and information campaigns, creation of Internet websites and so on. Perhaps, this money was allocated also for support of the opposition. It is impossible to prevent the work of such organizations, until they do something illegal,” the expert said.

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