On Friday, Russia slammed the controversial US daily New York Times for peddling fake news against the country after a report by the publication had claimed that Moscow had offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants to kill troops of the US-led coalition in Afghanistan.
The Russian embassy in Washington DC released a statement lashing out the New York Times, calling the accusations against its government as “baseless”.
The “baseless and anonymous accusations,” published by the newspaper, had “already led to direct threats to the life of employees of the Russian Embassies in Washington D.C. and London,” the Russian Embassy in Washington wrote on Twitter. They demanded that US authorities should take effective measures to fulfil their obligations under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961.
Stop producing #fakenews that provoke life threats, @nytimes.— Russia in USA 🇷🇺 (@RusEmbUSA) June 27, 2020
We demand the relevant #US authorities take effective measures to ensure the fulfillment of their international obligations under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961. @StateDept @FBI @DHSgov ⬇️ https://t.co/Ows7srg3IH
New York Times’ report on Russian bounties in Afghanistan
On Friday, the New York Times had come up with a report claiming that the American intelligence officials had concluded that a Russian military intelligence unit secretly offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants for killing coalition forces in Afghanistan, including targeting American troops.
The report said, the United States concluded months ago that the Russian unit, which has been linked to assassination attempts and other covert operations in Europe intended to destabilize the West or take revenge on turncoats, had covertly offered rewards for successful attacks last year.
“Islamist militants, or armed criminal elements closely associated with them, are believed to have collected some bounty money, the officials said. Twenty Americans were killed in combat in Afghanistan in 2019, but it was not clear which killings were under suspicion,” the New York Times report said.
Russian Foreign Ministry takes dig at USA
The Russian Foreign Ministry responded to the New York Times report to refer it to as ‘fake news’. Taking a dig at the United States of America, the Russian Foreign Ministry also said that what else could be expected from the intelligence agency that has failed in Afghanistan for over 20 years.
“We have paid attention to another piece of fake news, launched in the media space by the American intelligence community, about the alleged involvement of Russia’s military intelligence unit in contract killings of US troops in Afghanistan. That unpretentious fake clearly demonstrates low intellectual abilities of US intelligence propagandists who have to invent such nonsense instead of devising something more credible. Nevertheless, what else could be expected from the intelligence agency that has failed miserably in the 20-year-long war in Afghanistan,” the Russian foreign ministry noted.
The Russian Foreign Ministry pointed to US intelligence agencies’ involvement in Afghan drug trafficking.
The Russian Foreign Ministry also said that ‘those actions might stem from the fact that the US intelligence agencies do not like that our and their diplomats have teamed up’ to facilitate the start of peace talks between Kabul and the Taliban.
Russian embassy in India says Indian media shared fake news
The Russian embassy in India also called out media reports in India which had shared the similar news reports that had suggested that Russian spies had offered bounties for Taliban-backed terrorists to killed US troops in Afghanistan.
“The NYTimes article insouciantly shared by some Indian media about Russia allegedly offering bounties to Afghan militants for killing coalition forces is a fake demonstrating low intellectual abilities of US intelligence propagandists,” said Russian Embassy in India.
The @nytimes article insouciantly shared by some Indian media about Russia allegedly offering bounties to Afghan militants for killing coalition forces is a #fake demonstrating low intellectual abilities of US intelligence propagandists – @mfa_russiahttps://t.co/gwYfUiJzQW pic.twitter.com/boC6Pnp9KA— Russia in India (@RusEmbIndia) June 28, 2020