Authorities say Ionov worked with a group in St. Petersburg, Florida, and allegedly sent the unidentified group’s leader to Russia – once for a conference sponsored by the organization Ionov founded, the Anti-Globalization Movement of Russia.
The Tampa Bay Times reported that the Florida-based group may be the Uhuru Movement, a socialist and African internationalist group. Federal authorities have served a search warrant at a location linked to the group, the publication reported.
Ionov is also accused in 2016 of funding the Florida group’s multi-city protest “in support of a ‘petition on the crime of genocide against Africans in the United States,'” and supported two of the leaders’ political campaigns. .
In California, Ionov allegedly funded efforts by an unidentified organization in 2018 to protest the California Capitol building in Sacramento, where he attempted to order one of the group’s leaders to “physically enter the governor’s office. The Department of Justice said the California-based group aimed to succeed from the United States
Ionov also financially supported a group in Atlanta to travel to San Francisco and protest the headquarters of an unidentified social media company that imposed restrictions on content supporting Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“The impact of Russia’s malign foreign influence cannot be overstated,” Deputy Director Luis Quesada of the FBI’s Criminal Investigations Division said in a press release. “The FBI will aggressively pursue any foreign government that attempts to divide American citizens and poison our democratic process.”