More than half of all Instagram accounts used by the U.S. government to post videos have been set up by Russian spies, according to a new report.
The report from The Intercept, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalism organization, said that, between July and November 2016, more than 600 Russian-made accounts and videos were used to post more than 4 million posts, and more than 300,000 posts were linked to Russian actors and accounts.
The accounts were all operated from servers in Romania and Ukraine, which were not subject to U.N. sanctions.
According to the report, the use of Russian actors was widespread and pervasive.
Russian state-owned media outlet RT regularly promoted U.K. and European intelligence agencies, including the British Security Service (MI6), the Dutch National Intelligence Service, and the Belgian DGSI.
The accounts also used fake Instagram accounts and paid users to advertise their posts.
“Many of these accounts appear to be bots, designed to trick people into clicking on fake ads, with the expectation that these will lead them to click on the actual Instagram content, and thus the Russian propaganda,” the report said.
“While many fake accounts are created to fool the masses, the Russians also created many accounts that were designed to fool U. S. intelligence officials, who would then use the fake accounts to disseminate false information about the United States and its allies.”
The Intercept report said Russian operatives were also able to obtain access to Facebook and other social media platforms via their compromised social media accounts.
The U.A.E. was the first nation to enact a U. N. Security Council resolution in November 2017 calling on member states to impose “strong measures” against the Russian Federation and the other members of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO).
and U. K. have all passed similar measures, which have been adopted by the General Assembly.
The U. A.E.’s resolution came in response to a July 26 Russian military incursion into Ukraine’s Crimea region, which the U,A.
Es resolution referred to as “a threat to international peace and security.”
The UA.ES also condemned the use by Russia of “the Internet to further destabilize the political and economic order in Ukraine and to spread pro-Russian propaganda.”
In March 2018, the U A.
Es council adopted a resolution to adopt sanctions against Russia for its military intervention in Ukraine.
The council then voted in July to sanction Russia for another military incursions in Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.
The United States, France, Italy, Spain, Greece, Belgium, Sweden, Ukraine, and Denmark adopted similar resolutions in November.
The European Union adopted a similar resolution in January 2019, with a similar mission to support the adoption of the United Nations Security Council resolutions.
Earlier this year, the United Kingdom and Germany joined the UAEC in imposing sanctions on Russia for the annexation of Crimea.
The sanctions included asset freezes and travel bans, while the US. adopted the first permanent ban on sales of Russian arms and munitions in December 2018.