Russian operatives, likely working from St Petersburg, provoked angry Americans to take to the streets, a US Senate committee heard on Wednesday.

The May 2016 protest, arranged by a group named Heart of Texas, was one example of Kremlin-backed efforts to destabilise the American electoral process.

Lawyers for three technology companies – Facebook, Twitter and Google – were told they were grossly underestimating the scale of the problem.

“You just don’t get it,” said California Senator Dianne Feinstein.

“What we’re talking about is a cataclysmic change. What we’re talking about is the beginning of cyber-warfare.”

She added: “We are not going to go away, gentlemen. This is a very big deal.”


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