A Russian national with ties to the FSB is accused of providing funds and advise to the group.
At a 2018 rally in Sacramento, hundreds of Californians called for a national divorce, citing "irreparable and irreconcilable differences.".
"Ultimately, the best people to govern California are us Californians," Louis Marinelli, founder of the secessionist group Yes California, told The Script newspaper.
"I enjoyed my life in Russia," Marinelli told The Sacramento Bee, "but something I care deeply about is California independence.".
According to a federal indictment unveiled Friday, Russian intelligence officers also cared deeply about West Coast secession — as part of an effort to destabilize the United States.
It states that at least one US citizen was aware that Ionov's group was tied to the Russian government.
Marinelli, who now resides in Arkansas, has denied any wrongdoing and said he is no longer associated with the California secessionist movement. »