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A dual Russian-American citizen has been accused of acting as a spy in the United States, according to court documents saying she ran organizations that “sought to spread Russian propaganda”.

Elena Branson was charged on Tuesday with acting and conspiring to act illegally in the United States as an agent of the Russian government, willfully failing to register under the foreign agents, conspiring to commit visa fraud and making false statements to the FBI, according to a criminal complaint.

The complaint alleges that Branson fled to Russia in 2020.

Since at least 2011, Branson has worked on behalf of the Russian government and Russian officials to advance Russian interests in the United States, the complaint states. Prosecutors allege she coordinated meetings with Russian officials to pressure U.S. politicians and businesspeople, and led organizations to publicly promote Russian government policies.

CNN attempted to contact Branson to comment on the accusations.

The charges come as tensions between the United States and Russia continue to escalate following Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine last month, with the United States at the center of a multinational effort to to punish Russia for its actions.

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Sara Adm

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