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Really, ‘Izvestia’? US Embassy exposes fake document in Russian newspaper report about Washington's efforts to ‘out’ top officials

Meduza
16:50, 18 november 2015

The US Embassy in Russia has responded to a report in the newspaper Izvestia claiming that the American government is paying a Russian activist to leak information saying top Russian officials are gay. Citing a document allegedly written by the US State Department to Russian gay rights activist Nikolai Alexeyev, Izvestia claimed that the United States offered to fund the publication of discrediting information about Kremlin aide Vyacheslav Volodin, Sberbank head German Gref, and the head of Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport, Mikhail Vasilenko—all of whom Alexeyev says are homosexuals.

Izvestia cites a letter supposedly written by a US official that was published online by hackers in May 2015. While Izvestia doesn't link directly to the hacked materials, the newspaper seems to be referring to a PDF posted on Cyberguerrila.org.

US Embassy officials discovered 22 spelling, grammatical, and punctuation errors in the letter, ranging from missing articles to incorrect titles and acronyms. And then there is the fact that the letter offers a Gmail address for Jeffrey Sexton, the US Embassy's Minister Counselor for Public Affairs in Moscow, rather than an address using the State Department's official domain, State.gov.

Dearest Izvestia, next time you're going to use phony letters, send them to us first, and we'd be happy to help correct all the mistakes. Sincerely yours, the US State Dept.