By Daniel White
November 19, 2015

The U.S. embassy in Moscow took a Russian newspaper to task over stories based on fake documents alleging that U.S. officials were using LGBT activists to spread rumors that Russian politicians are gay.

As Buzzfeed notes, one of Russia’s major newspapers, Izvestia published an article reporting that U.S. officials were colluding with Russian LGBT activist Nikolai Alekseyev to accuse Russian officials of “being of non-traditional sexual orientation.” The paper based its story on a document supposedly discovered by hackers.

The U.S. embassy responded with an annotated version of one of the supposedly hacked documents, pointing out obvious fraud with corrections in red ink.

@izvestia_ru,в следующий раз,используя фальшивые письма,присылайте – поможем исправить ошибкиhttps://t.co/p1880iEWd9 pic.twitter.com/PqfK1DltPG

— Посольство США в РФ (@USEmbRu) November 18, 2015

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Both the tweet and the note at the bottom of the letter say:

“Dear Izvestia, next time you are going to use fake letters — send them to us. We’ll be happy to correct the mistakes. Sincerely yours, Dept of State.”

Russia has a checkered history of dealing with the LGBT community, including a 2013 law that bans the promotion of homosexuality among minors, and the country has gone so far as to initiate an investigation into whether gay emojis break the law.

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