A Russian national has been charged with allegedly participating in a conspiracy that used thousands of social media and email accounts to produce distrust in U.S. candidates and the whole U.S. political system ahead of the 2016 and 2018 elections, an effort backed by a Russian oligarch.

The Justice Department claims that Elena Alekseevna Khusyaynova of St. Petersburg, Russia, was involved in a conspiracy to create “information warfare against the United States,” as it was referred to internally. The effort was designed to produce distrust both in U.S. candidates running for political office and the U.S. political system altogether. Additionally, it sought to defraud the U.S. by “impeding the lawful functions of government agencies in administering relevant federal requirements,” according to the DOJ.

According to a criminal complaint unsealed Friday, the alleged conspirators used the thousands of accounts to pose as regular political activists in the U.S. They employed virtual private networks and other mechanisms to conceal their Russian identity as they discussed gun control and the Second Amendment, the Confederate flag, race relations, LGBT issues, the Women’s March, and the NFL national anthem debate.

A variety of viewpoints were presented on those issues in an effort to establish "political intensity through supporting radical groups" and to "aggravate the conflict between minorities and the rest of the population," per the DOJ. Messaging documents and playbooks were composed to shed light on various tactics, such as timing and framing of divisive messages, so that the actors could pinpoint certain groups.

Khusyaynova was a chief accountant for Project Lakhta, funded by Yevgeniy Viktorovich Prigozhin and companies that he oversees, Concord Management and Consulting LLC and Concord Catering.

Project Lakhta has several divisions, and targets both domestic and foreign audiences, including those in the U.S. Khusyaynova allegedly handled Project Lakhta’s finance operations that dealt with foreign influence activities in the U.S., including money for activities in the U.S., activists, and social media advertising, among other things.

“This case serves as a stark reminder to all Americans: Our foreign adversaries continue their efforts to interfere in our democracy by creating social and political division, spreading distrust in our political system, and advocating for the support or defeat of particular political candidates,” FBI Director Chris Wray said in a statement. “We take all threats to our democracy very seriously, and we’re committed to working with our partners to identify and stop these unlawful influence operations. Together, we must remain diligent and determined to protect our democratic institutions and maintain trust in our electoral process.”

The complaint does not claim that Khusyaynova and the conspiracy had any impact on election results, and it does not assert if any Americans knowingly participated in the effort.

Kyusyaynova's charges were not affiliated with special counsel Robert Mueller's probe into Russian activities targeting U.S. elections. Mueller is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election and whether the Trump campaign colluded with the Kremlin. He has charged multiple Russian nationals and entities for interfering in the 2016 election.