HomeNewsWho is Elena Branson? US-Russia Citizen Charged as Secret Russian Spy Agent

Who is Elena Branson? US-Russia Citizen Charged as Secret Russian Spy Agent

Elena Branson, a dual Russian-American citizen, has been charged on 8th March for illegally acting as a Russian government spy while she was doing business in the United States for more than a decade now.

61-Year-Old Elena Branson ran the Russian Center New York. She founded the center in the year 2012 and received a huge amount of donations from the Russian government. She got a total of $173,000 for her work in 6 years from 2013 to 2019.

US attorney for the Southern District of New York, Damian Williams said, “All the while, Branson knew she was supposed to register as an agent of the Russian government but chose not to do so and, instead, instructed others regarding how to illegally avoid the same”.

Elena Branson accused of acting as illegal Russian agent in the US

Damian Williams, Michael J. Driscoll, the Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Matthew G. Olsen, the Assistant Attorney General for National Security informed about the charges levied against her in a press release.

Williams added, “Particularly given current global events, the need to detect and hinder attempts at foreign influence is of critical importance, and the southern district of New York is proud to do its part in the fight against tyranny”.

The center coordinated activities like “I love Russia” campaign with an aim to promote Russian history and culture among young Americans. As per the complaint filed against her, she coordinated meetings between US and Russian political leaders or businessmen.

Who is Elena Branson?

Elena Branson who is also known as Elena Chernykh was born in the year 1961 in then-Soviet Union. She migrated to the US in the year 1991 and obtained United States citizenship in 1999.

The Russian Community Council of the United States has appointed her as the chairperson which was later stopped in 2021 after an FBI investigation.

According to prosecutors, Branson has been working to promote Russian interests in the US at the behest of the Russian government since 2011. Also, she has allegedly been in charge of organizations to promote the policies set by the Russian government.

Six years back, Branson reportedly sent a draft letter to the then-Republican presidential candidate, Donald Trump. She invited Trump for a meeting in New York at the Russia Forum however there is no confirmation that the former president attended the meeting.

During her interview with the FBI in 2020, Branson incorrectly claimed that no Russian official has asked her to coordinate meetings with US business leaders or politicians. It was alleged that she fled to Moscow 30 days after the FBI carried out search operations at her organization’s offices in the year 2020.

As per reports published in media, 34 electronic devices, that included 11 mobile phones, were seized from the Russian Center New York office in Manhattan.

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Archana Kabra
Archana Kabra is a Freelance Writer and has been extensively writing stuff related to Entertainment, Lifestyle, and Technology. She is also an ardent music lover. Twitter handle: @archana153sarda
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