To get an idea of just how bizarre are Russian claims that the American HAARP system, it’s worthwhile to check out the kinds of conspiracy theories, and conspiracy theorists, that surround this program. Here are a couple of useful summaries. Ain’t no tinfoil hat thick enough . . .
This is the scientific equivalent of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. So no wonder it resonates in Russia. And no wonder that RT was at the front of the pack in flogging this theory. It is of note that a Google search of “phobos-grunt haarp” generates 986,000 hits.
For a non-insane dissection of this theory, see this Scientific American piece.