The US is concerned about the campaigns "to undermine confidence in democratic institutions and influence public sentiment and government policies", the officials said in a joint statement. The ODNI and hand-selected representatives from numerous same agencies accused RT and Sputnik of seeking to sow radical discontent in January 2017.
Friday's complaint accuses Russian oligarch Evgeny Viktorovich Prigozhin, and two companies he controls, of funding Project Lakhta.
Elena Alekseevna Khusyaynova, a Russian national based in St. Petersburg, was in charge of "the budgeting and payment of expenses associated with social media operations, web content, advertising campaigns, infrastructure, salaries, travel, office rent, furniture, and supplies, and the registration of legal entities" as part as the Internet troll campaign known as "Project Lahtka", according to the complaint.
Prigozhin, sometimes dubbed "Putin's chef" because he has managed catering for the Russian leader, was already indicted in February along with 12 other IRA employees over their disinformation campaigns during the 2016 presidential election.
In that effort, they pumped out millions of postings via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other platforms created to stir up animosity between political camps and groups in society.
Who is undermining democracy?
Project Lakhta has a budget of $35m, but not all of their projects are directed at the United States, according to officials.
The proposed operating budget for "Project Lahtka" that Khusyaynova billed between January 2016 and June 2018, according to the complaint, was $35 million; $10 million was billed just between January 2018 and June 2018.
"They hate the Police They hate the Military They hate YOUR President".
"The conspirators allegedly took extraordinary steps to make it appear that they were ordinary American political activists", by setting up thousands of accounts made to appear to be owned by Americans, the Justice Department said.
"The actors also developed playbooks and strategic messaging documents that offered guidance on how to target particular social groups, including the timing of messages, the types of news outlets to use, and how to frame divisive messages", the DOJ said.
The Justice Department disclosed the criminal complaint soon after US intelligence agencies said in a joint statement that they were concerned about efforts by Russia, China and Iran to influence USA voters and policy. The statement, which provided no details about any such efforts, said, "These activities also may seek to influence voter perceptions and decision-making in the 2018 and 2020 USA elections".
A senior Homeland Security official said on Friday that no state voting system had been successfully hacked ahead of the November elections.