Uhuru leaders in St. Pete condemn FBI raid related to Russian agent's indictment

Leaders of the Uhuru movement in St. Petersburg are condemning last week's FBI raid on their properties. They took video of those raids at a number of location in St. Pete and St. Louis. 

They were connected to an ongoing federal investigation related to alleged political collusion with Russia. 

Akile Anie, who is with the Uhuru movement, showed off the damage that she said was caused by the FBI agents when they raided the Uhuru House. Agents seized computers, phones, financial records and other materials as part of a federal investigation into the group's alleged ties to Russian Aleksander Ionov. 

Ionov was indicted by a federal grand jury for running an influence campaign, using US citizens as secret agents of Russia. 

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"Their explanation for this attack is this absurd fabrication of our party and leaders being some puppet for the Russian government, but we know this isn’t true," Anie said. 

The indictment alleges the group took money from Ionov and parroted Russian talking points during political campaigns in 2017 and 2019.  So far no Uhuru members have been charged.

"The US government has never been in… was not founded in the interest of black people, so therefore, it would be absurd for us to unite with that government," Anie said. 

Nicole Ford, a political science professor at the University of Tampa and expert on Russia, said their interest with the Uhuru's likely had nothing to do with the group's actual goals. 

"Russia has a history of using Black Americans throughout history for this type of propaganda without forwarding their agendas," Ford said. 

The FBI investigation is ongoing.