It’s no longer just a claim by intelligence agencies based on classified data: Russia has interfered in U.S. elections and continues to do so with the aim of affecting Ukraine policy


Fig. 1. “Destroyed Russian military vehicles located on the main street Khreshchatyk are seen as part of the celebration of the Independence Day of Ukraine in Kyiv, August 24.” Photograph by Gleb Garanich for Reuters, August 24, 2022,[1] fair use.

I think y’all know I reject “classified” information as evidence. I have to be able to see evidence to evaluate how well or how poorly it supports an argument. Without being able to see it, it does not and cannot count. And so it was with an intelligence community consensus that Russia had interfered with U.S. elections.

This situation improved considerably when Robert Mueller filed charges, which filled in a lot of detail and assembled a case.[2] But the accused, not having been extradited to the U.S., have not had their day in court.

Now we have an utterly voluntary confession:

Russian businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin said on Monday he had interfered in U.S. elections and would continue doing so in future, the first such admission from a figure implicated by Washington in efforts to influence American politics. . . .

Prigozhin, who is often referred to as “Putin’s chef” because his catering company operates Kremlin contracts, has been formally accused of sponsoring Russia-based “troll farms” that seek to influence U.S. politics. . . .

In October, after Ukraine’s successful counteroffensive in the Kharkiv region, Prigozhin issued a statement calling for Russia’s military commanders to be stripped of their medals and “sent with assault weapons barefoot to the front”.

In September, he admitted to founding the Kremlin-aligned Wagner Group mercenary firm, which is active in Syria, Africa and Ukraine. Prigozhin had previously sued journalists for reporting that he was linked to Wagner.

Last Friday Wagner opened a defence technology centre in St Petersburg, a further step by Prigozhin to highlight his military credentials.[3]

The Reuters article does not make clear what his previous goals have been in interfering with U.S. elections but he now intends to influence Ukraine policy.[4]

Reuters, “Russia’s Prigozhin admits interfering in U.S. elections,” November 7, 2022,

Ishaan Tharoor, “A Republican winter may be coming for Ukraine,” Washington Post, November 7, 2022,


Competitive authoritarian regime project

Fig. 1. President Lyndon B. Johnson, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Clarence Mitchell during signing ceremony of the voting rights act. Yoichi Okamoto, August 6, 1965, via Wikimedia Commons, public domain.

Reuters, “Russia’s Prigozhin admits interfering in U.S. elections,” November 7, 2022,

Donald Trump

Coup attempt

Fig. 1. Department of Justice photograph of seized materials, reportedly partially redacted, via the Washington Post, August 31, 2022,[5] public domain.

Reuters, “Russia’s Prigozhin admits interfering in U.S. elections,” November 7, 2022,

  1. [1]Reuters, “Ukraine puts destroyed Russian tanks on display in Kyiv,” August 25, 2022,
  2. [2]Morgan Chalfant and Olivia Beavers, “Five things to know about the Russian indictments,” Hill, February 16, 2018,; David A. Graham, “What Mueller’s Indictment Reveals,” Atlantic, February 16, 2018,; Hill, “Mueller indicts 13 Russians for interfering in US election,” February 16, 2018,; David Remnick, “Mueller’s Indictment Ends Trump’s Myth of the Russia ‘Hoax,’” New Yorker, February 16, 2018,; Todd Ruger, “Revealing Tales from the Election Interference Indictment,”Congressional Quarterly Roll Call, February 17, 2018,; Del Quentin Wilber and Aruna Viswanatha, “Russians Charged With Interfering in U.S. Election,” Wall Street Journal, February 16, 2018,
  3. [3]Reuters, “Russia’s Prigozhin admits interfering in U.S. elections,” November 7, 2022,
  4. [4]Reuters, “Russia’s Prigozhin admits interfering in U.S. elections,” November 7, 2022,
  5. [5]Devlin Barrett, “Justice Dept. says Trump team may have hidden, moved classified papers,” Washington Post, August 31, 2022,

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