The Kremlin on Monday alleged that the investigative journalists who worked on the leaked Panama Papers are former US officials and secret service operatives.
“We know this so-called journalist community,” Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told journalists in a briefing, apparently referring to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalism.
“There are a lot of journalists whose main profession is unlikely to be journalism — a lot of former officials from the (US) Department of State, the CIA and other special services.”
Media reports alleging links between Russian President Vladimir Putin and offshore transactions worth billions of dollars aim to discredit the Kremlin leader ahead of Russia’s upcoming elections, the spokesperson said.
“The main target of this disinformation is our President, especially in the context of the upcoming parliamentary elections and in the context of a longer-term perspective – I mean presidential elections in two years,” Dmitry Peskov told a conference call with journalists.
“This Putinophobia abroad has reached such a point that it is in fact taboo to say something good about Russia, or about any actions by Russia or any Russian achievements. But it’s a must to say bad things, a lot of bad things, and when there’s nothing to say, it must be concocted. This is evident to us.”
Peskov said the publications contained “nothing concrete and nothing new” about Putin.