American media outlets are trying to make Russians rebel at Washington’s behest, the Foreign Intelligence Service has claimed © Getty Images / Kiyoshi Tanno

US authorities are urging the country’s media outlets to propagate falsehoods about Russia in a bid to undermine its stability amid the ongoing stand-off between Moscow and the West, the Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) has claimed.

In a statement on Monday, the agency quoted its director, Sergey Naryshkin, as saying that “the US State Department … basically dictates to the American media what exactly they should write and say,” adding that it “has finally turned into the ‘Ministry of Truth’.”

The comment was an apparent reference to the fictional ministry tasked with falsifying historical events from George Orwell’s world-renowned dystopian novel ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four’.

The SVR, citing intelligence data, claimed that last month the department sent instructions to several major media holdings, including AT&T, Comcast Corporation, Graham Media Group, Nash Holdings, Newsweek Publishing and The New York Times Company, telling them to “reflect events in and around Russia in a distorted manner.”

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According to the agency, these outlets were tasked with convincing Russian citizens that there was a need for a “forceful struggle against the authorities, up to an armed rebellion.”

They also wanted to “involve the population in protest actions” by “actively circulating falsehoods” about Russia’s purported weakness and its “inevitable defeat in the stand-off with the West,” the statement read.

To achieve this goal, Washington has told media organizations to focus on packaging certain narratives to young Russians, as well as hailing Russian opposition figures and other nationals engaged “in sabotage and terrorist actions” against Moscow as heroes, the agency claimed.

“There is nothing new in freedom of speech being trampled on in the West. It is unfortunate that the State Department, which used to be a sober-minded and rational agency … has turned into a stinking landfill of informational garbage,” the SVR added.

The statement comes after Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov predicted in April that the level of “external interference” into Russia’s domestic affairs would only grow amid the Ukraine conflict. He also suggested that the West would be interested in derailing Russia’s presidential elections, which are scheduled for March 2024. (RT)