Indicted Russian’s Response to My Recent Lawfare Article

“[Y]OU CALL ME FOREST GUMP hinting at amateurism on my part. Here I want to answer you, Forest, although he was a simple man […] conquered the hearts of Americans and became a hero” — Last month, freelance Aussie journalist Elise Thomas and I wrote an article for Lawfare about Russian businessman Alexander Ionov, who has been indicted by the US Department of Justice for allegedly interfering in US politics. Below is an email I received from Ionov last week in response to our article (click here to read).

Alexander Ionov (source)

Hi, Dean! I recently read your article and it raised a lot of questions for me. Of course, I cannot influence in any way what you wrote there, although many things do not correspond to reality and the conclusions drawn in the article are formed on the basis of a superficial study of individual materials on the Internet. Any article remains on the conscience of its author.

As for my accusation.

I have been leading the Anti-Globalization Movement in Russia for ten years, and during this time I have made many friends in different countries of the world. Our relations with activists and organizations have always been based on the principles of partnership. My colleagues and I have never forced other organizations to do something in favor of Russia. All the actions of the organization were carried out by themselves and independently. The accusation is based on ridiculous facts concerning the financing of three different organizations, and these organizations are not the largest of those with which we have worked. I want to remind you that our movement has relations with several dozen organizations and parties in the United States, why didn’t they write about them? The answer is obvious, it was necessary to marginalize me and my movement. Even in your last article, you call me Forest Gump, hinting at amateurism on my part. Here I want to answer you, Forest, although he was a simple man, but he conquered the hearts of Americans and became a hero.

Getting back to business. It is completely political and is aimed at intimidating movements that have at least some kind of pro-Russian agenda. My lawyers are very surprised by many formulations, and some sound just absurd. The prosecution does not disclose the names of the FSB officers with whom I allegedly communicated, does not indicate my motive, that is, why should I work for the government if I am a self-sufficient person. Even Medusa admitted that I run a clean business and earn money. By the way, this destroys your argument that they give me tiny amounts, and I’m trying to organize something with their help. The answer here lies on the surface, when the special operation began, many in the world were sitting and waiting for how the situation would develop, even in Russia there were no actions in support. Everyone was trying to figure out what was going on. So those few actions in support of Russia are the will of those people who carried them out. Even the opinion of one person should be taken into account, this is how democracy works. As for funding, I have not seen any problems with participating in crowdfunding and transferring small own funds to various useful purposes, such as charity, this is not prohibited. It’s funny to read that for $500 I wanted to break up the USA. If California secedes from the United States, it will be the residents’ decision, not my $500 contribution.

We have been engaged and are engaged in ordinary political activities and give organizations the opportunity to present their demands or ideas at our conferences, which are covered by the media. They don’t have such stands in their homeland. Why does the West allow those who left Russia to speak, but we can’t do it? I am accused of sponsoring tens of thousands of dollars, while the State Department spends tens of millions of taxpayers’ money on the Russian opposition and journalists, and, as you can see, they are recognized as foreign agents, but they do not initiate criminal cases.

Unfortunately, a war has begun between the West and Russia. Everyone will suffer, and the sooner Biden and his colleagues stop interfering in the affairs of other countries, the sooner the process will be completed. Ten years of deception and manipulation by European and American officials have led to this crisis. If they wanted peace, there would be. And now we are facing worse times than the Cold War. Soon everyone will realize that bomb shelters are relevant again…. My case is just part of the madness that the Biden administration has staged. The desire to win the elections made the Democrats the craziest people in the world who set Ukraine and Taiwan on fire.

Yours faithfully,

Alexander Ionov


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