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The Associated Press (AP) relies on anonymous senior US diplomat to say that the Russian intelligence operatives are using a trio of English-language websites to spread disinformation about the coronavirus pandemic, seeking to exploit a crisis that America is struggling to contain ahead of the presidential election in November.

Key quotes

Two Russians who have held senior roles in Moscow’s military intelligence service known as the GRU have been identified as responsible for a disinformation effort directed at American and Western audiences.

They spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.

The information had previously been classified, but officials said it had been downgraded so they could more freely discuss it. Officials said they were doing so now to sound the alarm about the particular websites and to expose a connection between the sites and Russian intelligence.

Officials described the disinformation as part of an ongoing and persistent Russian effort to cause confusion. 

US officials on Tuesday singled out a news agency,, that operates a trio of websites, and — that they say have leveraged the pandemic to promote anti-Western objectives and to spread disinformation.

Market implications

Amid a plethora of market pessimism, Russian attempt to denigrate the ruling Republicans ahead of the November month’s US elections could offer another catalyst worth watching for the risk-off sentiment. Although the same couldn’t offer any meaningful direction to the traders as of now, the news becomes the key to watch.