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Puigdemont brands reports linking Catalonia’s separatists to Russia ‘fake news’

Reports on alleged links between Catalonia’s representatives and Moscow are unsubstantiated, Carles Puigdemont said on Wednesday. The former Catalan leader made the statement at a news conference in Berlin, TASS reports. “There were a lot of fake news reports on the issue,” Puigdemont said. “However, we should only pay attention to hard evidence and facts. There are no specific facts indicating that this could be true.” Internet bots were behind the dissemination of these rumors, the politician said. Spanish El Pais daily wrote in November 2017 that Russia-based hackers allegedly helped Catalonia’s authorities maintain a website on the independence referendum held on October 1, 2017.