Amid Russia-Ukraine tension, US intelligence officials Tuesday accused a financial news website, Zero Hedge, of spreading Russian propaganda.

The officials said that Zero Hedge, which has a significant American readership, published articles created by Moscow-controlled media. Those were then shared by outlets and people who were not aware of their nexus to Russian intelligence, reported the Associated Press. The officials, who were not named, did not say whether they thought the financial website knew of any links to spy agencies. They also did not allege direct links between Russia and Zero Hedge.

In the last few months, Zero Hedge has published several articles that accused America of fomenting panic about Ukraine. The country now faces the possibility of an invasion by more than 130,000 Russian soldiers who are massed on its borders. Some of those articles are written by people who are affiliated with the Strategic Culture Foundation.

Last year the foundation was sanctioned by the Biden administration for allegedly taking part in Russia’s interference in the 2020 US election. US intelligence officials alleged that leaders of the foundation actually take directions from the SVR, which is the Russian foreign intelligence service.

The website denied the claims and said that it tries to “publish a wide spectrum of views that cover both sides of a given story.” In response to the allegation, the website said that it “has never worked, collaborated or cooperated with Russia, nor are there any links to spy agencies.” The response by Zero Hedge founder Daniel Ivandjiiski, who goes by the name Tyler Durden on the website, said that what the outlet has cared about "since our first day, is to provide a platform, a voice to anyone who has a unique, a different, perspective from the one pushed by the mainstream media."

According to Forbes, American officials have faced occasional criticism for releasing Russia-related allegations with not much evidence.

US officials also alleged that officers of FSB, Russia’s federal security service, had directed Konstantin Knyrik, the head of NewsFront, to write stories that were specifically damaging to Ukraine’s image. An official said that the editor of PolitNavigator sent reports of published articles to the FSB. Also, the managing editor of Antifashist allegedly was directed at least once by the FSB to delete material from the website.

US President Joe Biden speaks to the press about Russia and Ukraine
US President Joe Biden speaks to the press about Russia and Ukraine Getty Images | SAUL LOEB / AFP

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