Russians linked to 2016 election interference floated the idea of establishing a “Pan-African State” within the U.S. to further exacerbate American racial and political tensions, NBC News reports. The documents, obtained by the U.K.-based Russian opposition-funded Dossier Center, showed communications discussing how to “manipulate and radicalize African-Americans” between associates of Kremlin-linked oligarch Yevgeny Prigozhin—the man dubbed “Putin’s chef,” who was also indicted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. The communications outlined a blueprint titled “Development Strategy of a Pan-African State on U.S. Territory,” which described recruiting poor, disenfranchised black Americans who have organized-crime experience or associations with the “radical black movement.” The plan contained proposals to send the recruits to African camps “for combat prep and training in sabotage” before being sent back to the U.S. to establish a pan-African state across Southern states like South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana.
Some of the documents were reportedly sent by Dzheykhun “Jay” Aslanov, an employee of the Internet Research Agency—the troll farm that successfully infiltrated U.S. social media during the 2016 election. However, there was no indication that the plan—which aimed to “destabilize the internal situation in the U.S.”—was ever put into action.