Mr. Cheong, for instance, does not appear to be in any way complicit. He regularly tweets multiple videos a night from the protests and, he said, “It definitely wasn’t my intention to drive just the one story.”

But the Bible video fit his politics, and his tweet about it caught fire.

Most of the Russian efforts garner far less notice, and unfold on far less well known websites. American officials late last month identified one of those websites as Inforos, an outlet that they said is controlled by Russia’s military intelligence service, the GRU, and used to test out various disinformation themes that target Americans, Canadians and Europeans. Covid-19 disinformation, for instance, has spread with the pandemic, and stories about dangers posed by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization have by now become an old standard.

“Russian intelligence has grown more sophisticated and more highly resourced in their use of online disinformation,”…

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