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16 Feb, 2018 23:00

#13Russians: Underwhelmed netizens react to US indictment over election meddling

#13Russians: Underwhelmed netizens react to US indictment over election meddling

Reactions from internet users to the underwhelming US indictment over alleged Russian collusion during the 2016 election range from the absurd to the laughable.

Following Friday’s revelation that a US federal grand jury has indicted 13 Russian nationals and three Russian entities for allegedly interfering with the US 2016 election, many thought they would finally get the answers they have been searching for.

However, the indictment from special counsel Robert Mueller includes no allegations that any of the ‘interference’ actually influenced the outcome of the election at all.

READ MORE: US indictment of Russians over election meddling is absurd - FM spokesperson

The indictment does accuse the defendants (now affectionately referred to as the #13Russians) of forming an organization known as the Internet Research Agency. A group which they say "sought, in part, to conduct what it called 'information warfare against the United States of America' through fictitious US personas on social media platforms and other Internet-based media."

The group is accused of "supporting the presidential campaign of then-candidate Donald J. Trump...and disparaging Hillary Clinton." However, the indictment also found the group was established in May 2014, long before President Donald Trump announced his intention to run for office. It also states that after Trump’s inauguration, the group scheduled rallies both for and against the newly elected president.

READ MORE: US indicts 13 Russians for 2016 election meddling, but ‘no allegations’ they influenced outcome

In essence, the highly anticipated evidence of Russian collusion, which has plagued the headlines of every mainstream news organization for more than a year, was underwhelming for several reasons.

1. The entire ‘operation’ consisted of 13 people and some of their alleged activities are, let’s say, humorous.

2. US Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said there are “no allegations” that the suspected activities actually affected the polls.

READ MORE: Russia started 'anti-US campaign long before I announced that would run for President’ – Trump

3. The over-dramatisation of Russian interference in this election cannot be overstated.

Oh, and there’s also this:

Moscow has repeatedly refuted claims of alleged meddling in the 2016 presidential elections. Russian President Vladimir Putin also ridiculed such claims, suggesting that the US was “not a banana republic” to be treated that way.