In comments to The Associated Press, unnamed US intelligence officials accused the news site Zero Hedge of “amplifying” Russian propaganda and publishing content by “Moscow-controlled media.”
In response, Zero Hedge strongly denied the accusation and said the site tries “to publish a wide spectrum of views that cover both sides of a given story.” Zero Hedge said it “has never worked, collaborated or cooperated with Russia, nor are there any links to spy agencies.”
Ultimately, the US intelligence officials had no evidence tying Zero Hedge to Russia. The AP report reads: “The officials did not say whether they thought Zero Hedge knew of any links to spy agencies and did not allege direct links between the website and Russia.”
Zero Hedge reprints articles from a variety of other websites (including Antiwar.com). The only contributor to Zero Hedge the US officials mentioned by name was the Strategic Culture Foundation, a website the US has accused of working directly with Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR).
Zero Hedge said it was the first they heard that the Strategic Culture Foundation was linked with “Russian Propaganda” and noted the site was just one of “hundreds of contributors.” The Strategic Culture Foundation has also strongly denied the allegations that it’s affiliated with the SVR and the Russian government.
The claim against Zero Hedge comes against the backdrop of the current tensions between the US and Russia over Ukraine. The AP report says that the website “has published numerous articles that accused the US of fomenting panic about Ukraine.”
Challenging the US narrative around Ukraine is not unique to Zero Hedge. Officials in Ukraine have criticized the US for creating a “panic” by claiming Russia is preparing to invade. The AP’s own Matt Lee recently grilled State Department spokesman Ned Price over the lack of evidence for the claim that Russia might make a “propaganda” video to justify an invasion.
In another blow to the US narrative, Russia announced Tuesday that it was pulling back troops from areas near Ukraine as drills concluded.