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A lengthy analysis by the NYT explores the relationship between Wikileaks and the Russian Federation.

From the outset of WikiLeaks, Mr. Assange said he was motivated by a desire to use “cryptography to protect human rights,” and would focus on authoritarian governments like Russia’s.

But a New York Times examination of WikiLeaks’ activities during Mr. Assange’s years in exile found a different pattern: Whether by conviction, convenience or coincidence, WikiLeaks’ document releases, along with many of Mr. Assange’s statements, have often benefited Russia, at the expense of the West.

Among United States officials, the emerging consensus is that Mr. Assange and WikiLeaks probably have no direct ties to Russian intelligence services. But they say that, at least in the case of the Democrats’ emails, Moscow knew it had a sympathetic outlet in WikiLeaks, where intermediaries could drop pilfered documents in the group’s anonymized digital inbox.

Source: How Russia Often Benefits When Julian Assange Reveals the West’s Secrets – The New York Times

Is this an expected or surprising conclusion? Does this implicate or connect back to the Trump campaign assertions in any way? And what does it say about the role of non-state actors, especially human rights activists such as Wikileaks, as well as the groups’  presumed ‘independence”?