The Ecuadorian Interior Minister María Paula Romo said in an interview with El Comercio publication that Ecuador's Prosecutor General's Office determined that IP addresses from Russia were used to spread statements against the government in social networks.
"I hope that in the coming days, the investigation conducted by the Prosecutor General's Office will give us confidence about the level of coherence between the various social strata, local and federal authorities, and forces that are outside Ecuador," she said.
She noted that the main indicators and trends in social media against the government started in Venezuela, but some attacks had Russian IP addresses.
"I hope that the investigation will give us clarity about the level of agreement [between different groups during the protests]. I think that such an agreement existed. Did everyone involved realize what they were doing? I don't think so. I think we'll have more information after the investigation," said Ecuadorian Interior Minister.
Mass protests against the Ecuadorian President Lenín Moreno began after a sharp increase in fuel prices caused by the withdrawal of government subsidies. Since early October, fuel prices doubled. The Ecuadorian President imposed a state of emergency for 60 days and canceled a three-day visit to Germany.
Fuel subsidies were introduced in Ecuador in the 1970s. Their withdrawal is part of an economic package with which the authorities want to tackle the crisis in the country. Ecuador previously received a $4.2 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund and pledged to reduce public expenditure. The subsidy program required an additional $1.3 billion from the budget a year.
On October 12, protesters took over the building of the Office of the Comptroller General, which is responsible for the financial and economic control in the country.