Moscow Trying to Pin Biden to Terror Attack Reveals Shameless Campaign

Emily Hudson By Emily Hudson Jun19,2024

Earlier this month, Russia’s top investigative body accused Ukrainian energy company Burisma Holdings of being financially responsible for the deadliest terrorist attack in Russia in decades. In U.S. media, Burisma has become inextricably linked to President Biden and his son Hunter, along with a range of associated allegations and conspiracy theories, driven largely by Russian propagandists and internet trolls. 

By shifting blame to Burisma, Moscow appears to be drumming up disinformation aimed at the U.S. as election season gets into full swing. 

Claims of Burisma’s involvement in U.S. politics ring an all too familiar bell. After all, the first impeachment inquiry into former President Trump alleged that he sought to withhold aid to Ukraine in exchange for a commitment that Ukraine would openly investigate the Biden-Burisma connection ahead of the 2020 presidential election. 

As the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine remains a key issue in the upcoming U.S. elections, there will likely be more questionable claims from Russian entities seeking to dissuade the American public from continuing to support Ukraine — a notable stance of the Biden administration. 

The Evolution of the Claims

The tragic terrorist attack at the Crocus City Hall in Moscow killed over 140 and left dozens more with serious injuries. Despite ISIS-K claiming responsibility, as well as warnings from both the U.S. and Iran of potential terrorist actions on Russian soil, Moscow continues to point the finger at others. Some Russian officials have stated that the U.S. did not provide specific enough intelligence concerning the anticipated attack; others have said the intelligence was never transmitted in the first place. 

Others have suggested that the United States and the broader West are somehow responsible. 

Alexander Bortnikov, head of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB), believes that Western spy agencies potentially played a role in the attack. Bortnikov claimed that the terrorist action was “prepared by both the Islamist radicals themselves and was facilitated by Western special services.” Bortnikov and the FSB provided no evidence to support these claims. 

Additionally, Nikolai Patrushev, the head of Russia’s Security Counsel, said that the terrorist attack can be traced to the “Ukrainian special services.” He went a step further by saying that “everyone knows that the Kyiv regime is not independent and is completely controlled by the United States.”

Russian state media published footage of interrogations of the four suspects behind the attack. In the footage, the suspects provided what appear to be rehearsed responses, in which they said they planned to flee to Kyiv afterward for payment, and that each of their phones oddly had Ukrainian flags on them.

Why does the narrative change so frequently? Why are multiple Russian officials saying so many conflicting things regarding the terrorist attack? 

This is a signature example from the Russian disinformation playbook: Flood the information space with many competing theories behind an event to drown out the truth. This tactic can be described as a “firehose of falsehood” in which Russian disinformation is disseminated through a high number of channels, with a willingness to share only partial truths or outright lies. And this firehose becomes a dangerous weapon, especially when unleashed ahead of major geopolitical events, like the upcoming U.S. elections. 

Why Burisma Now? 

After the terrorist attack, Moscow and its associated propagandists levied accusations against multiple entities: Western spy agencies, the Ukrainian government and now Burisma. Accusing the West allows Putin to continue stoking the flames of an “us vs. them” mentality, preying on the fears of Russian citizens and keeping his domestic support strong. Accusing Ukraine gives Putin further justification to continue his invasion of the sovereign country. 

Why is Burisma the latest in this string of incredibly unlikely masterminds and financiers of the terrorist attacks? 

One possibility: It is part of Russia’s campaign to interfere in U.S. elections. With elections a little over six months away, America’s competitors and adversaries will likely begin ramping up efforts to influence the results. What better way to play to the American voters’ pathos than evoking controversial stories involving the president, his family, Burisma and Ukraine — stories that have been in U.S. news cycles for years? 

Burisma remains a part of political debate as a key part of House Republicans’ Biden impeachment inquiry this latest thread of Russian disinformation could help keep it there. 

With the U.S. elections drawing nearer, careful attention should be paid to attempts by foreign actors to influence American voters. By accusing Burisma of sponsoring terrorist attacks in Russia and making loose insinuations that President Biden and U.S./Western intelligence agencies are somehow connected as well, Russian disinformation campaigns are actively working to undermine and influence the 2024 U.S. presidential election.

Hunter Stoll is a defense analyst at RAND and a captain in the Army Reserve. The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own.

Emily Hudson

By Emily Hudson

Emily is a talented author who has published several bestselling novels in the mystery genre. With a knack for creating gripping plotlines and intriguing characters, Emily's works have captivated readers worldwide.

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2 thoughts on “Moscow Trying to Pin Biden to Terror Attack Reveals Shameless Campaign”
  1. It is evident that Moscow is trying to manipulate public opinion by shifting blame to Burisma and linking it to Biden. This shameful campaign of disinformation is clearly aimed at disrupting the U.S. election process. As a journalist, it is crucial to remain vigilant against such propaganda tactics.

  2. It seems like Moscow is desperate to deflect attention from their own wrongdoing by pointing fingers at Burisma. The tactics of blame-shifting and disinformation are all too familiar, especially in the context of U.S. politics. It’s crucial for the American public to remain vigilant against such manipulative campaigns.

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