WASHINGTON - The elaborate detail in a 37-page indictment by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) of Russian individuals and organisations accused of an elaborate, long-running, well-funded operation to disrupt and distort America's election process, has stunned Washington's political circles.
The indictment brings home the reality - until now challenged and dismissed by US President Donald Trump as a hoax perpetuated by the Democratic Party - of the sophistication of the Russian establishment's attempts to erode the credibility of America's democratic system.
The operation involving 13 Russians, several Russian organisations, shell companies, money transfers and stolen and invented identities, spanned the online social media ecosystem as well as ground operations including mobilising Americans for protests. The tactical target was, among others, Mr Trump's challenger Hillary Clinton.
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