Washington, DC—The International Republican Institute (IRI) released the following statement in response to revelations by Microsoft concerning its discovery of an apparent attempt by a Russian state-sponsored group to mimic an IRI website:

“IRI actively maintains heightened levels of cybersecurity protection, engages with private security professionals to protect the Institute, and in this case, has proactively interacted with Microsoft.  IRI has been targeted in the past and has taken proactive steps to defend ourselves from these types of cybersecurity threats.”  

“Cyber attacks have become one of the preferred tools of authoritarians around the world to harass and undermine independent organizations and democratic governments,” said IRI President Daniel Twining. “This latest attempt is consistent with the campaign of meddling that the Kremlin has waged against organizations that support democracy and human rights. It is clearly designed to sow confusion, conflict and fear among those who criticize Mr. Putin’s authoritarian regime.

“For more than thirty years, IRI has worked with civil society organizations, ordinary citizens and political parties from across the political spectrum to strengthen representative governance and encourage democratic practices. The fact that the Kremlin finds this so threatening tells you everything you need to know about its priorities.”

IRI works to strengthen democracies and combat threats to democratic processes, including through our Beacon Project, which focuses on countering Kremlin disinformation in Europe. IRI is a nonpartisan nonprofit dedicated to advancing democracy worldwide, and works in more than 80 countries worldwide. Please direct all press queries to Julia Sibley, jsibley@iri.org.

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