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“Troll Factory” under investigation: whom and why was accused of influencing the presidential elections in the US

The main thing about the 13 figurants of the case of the US Justice Ministry.

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton at a debate before the 2016 election. Holiday pictures AP

Continuation: How exactly the “troll factory” intervened in the presidential elections in the United States .

On February 16, the US Department of Justice brought charges against 13 Russian citizens in the case of interference in the presidential election in 2016 and a conspiracy to “deceive” the United States.

What did the Russians accuse of?

  • Conspiracy to fraud;
  • Secret information gathering in the USA;
  • Use of the computer infrastructure of the USA;
  • Theft of personal data of Americans;
  • Actions aimed at the election of the US president;
  • Political advertising;
  • Organization of political rallies in the United States;
  • The destruction of evidence and evidence of their actions;

Many of the accused, apparently, were employees of the “Agency for Internet Research” or “troll factory”, whose employees write paid comments and organize Internet campaigns in support of the Russian government. The authorities recognized businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin as the head of the “factory”.

According to the Ministry of Justice, the agency has been interfering in political processes and elections since 2014. According to the agency, the center of “influence” was located at the address: St. Petersburg, Savushkina Street, 55. This is exactly the address where the “troll factory” functioned before .

According to the estimates of the US authorities, hundreds of people worked in the agency, and the budget was estimated at “millions of dollars”. The money was transferred from the company Concord Prigogine to the Lakhta project: by September 2016 the monthly budget had reached 73 million rubles (1.25 million dollars). Most often, money was transferred to PayPal accounts.

One of the most ambitious projects on influence was the “translation project” (translator project). In 2016 80 people were transferred to it. It is assumed that the “factory” leased the server to the US, organized a VPN-network and after that acted in YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. The goal for the presidential elections was formulated as follows: “to undermine the credibility of candidates and the political system as a whole.”

To collect data in the US, workers of the “factory” were presented as American citizens, including political and public activists, the Ministry of Justice asserts. Russians were accused of creating “hundreds” of fake accounts in social networks, as well as using personal data of real Americans – everything to keep the pages and communities in social networks.

Most of the alleged subordinates Yevgeny Prigogine do not have public information, except for the one indicated in the charge. The document of the Ministry of Justice does not say how many Americans have affected the activities of the “factory”.

Who are these people

Eugene Prigogine

The businessman is called the “cook of Putin”: he owns the company “Concord” – the supplier of power for managing the affairs of the president, military units and Moscow schools. Prigogine is also associated with the informal military organization “PMC Wagner”, mercenaries from which could fall under the US air strikes in Syria. As repeatedly suggested by the media, the entrepreneur created and sponsored the St. Petersburg “troll factory”, which, among other things, worked during the American elections. The entrepreneur denied the connection with the “factory”.

According to the document, Prigogine supervised and sponsored the activities of the agency through Concord Management and Consulting “and” Concord Catering “. The Ministry of Justice stressed that these companies are connected by contracts with the Russian government.

Mikhail Bystrov

Mikhail Bystrov, the former head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs for the Moscow region, was the owner and general director of LLC Internet Research, a legal entity under which the “factory” allegedly operated. On behalf of the “Internet Research” on sites with ads published vacancies programmers, copywriters and editors. In 2015 the company was renamed into GlavSet.

The Justice Ministry confirmed that Bystrov was the general director of the agency from April 2014, and indicated that he used other legal entities (including GlavSet) to cover up his activities. In 2015-2016, Bystrov helped Prigogine with general tasks for Lakhta, for example, planned the schedule of his meetings.

Mikhail Burchik (Mikhail Abramov)

According to RBC, the former owner of IT companies VkAp.ru and GaGaDo actually managed the “factory”. In this he helped the experience of publishing newspapers for municipal districts. Burchik did not officially confirm the connection with the “trolls,” but admitted that he advises the media in terms of the development of Internet projects.

The Ministry of Justice said that Burchik joined the agency in October 2013. In March 2014, he was promoted to the second position in the organization. The US authorities call him a “manager” or manager of the interference in the elections. It is indicated that Mikhail personally met with Prigogine about 2016.

Jeyhun Nasimi Oglu (Jeyhun Aslanov)

In media publications , the Azerbaijani appeared as the head of the “American Division” of the “troll factory”. Judging by reports from the Telegram chat rooms, Jeyhun exchanged his colleagues with the results of work in the USA. Prior to this, while studying in Petersburg, he managed to visit the United States and London. He denied his connection with the “factory”.

The Justice Ministry said that Aslanov joined the agency around September 2014. He directed a “translation project” and monitored the implementation of many actions during the election-2016. In this case, the firm Jeyhun ” Azimut ” was the intermediary of “Concorde”, the US authorities are sure.

Alexandra Krylova

According to the Ministry of Justice, Krylov worked for the “troll factory” from September 2013 to November 2014. Presumably in April 2014, Krylov took the third position in the company.

In the same year, she flew to the US, indicated the “false purpose of the trip”, but in fact allegedly collected data for the agency. With her, found cameras, phones and SIM-cards.

Cергей Полозов

He worked in the IT department of the agency from April 2014 to October 2016, the Justice Ministry said. Polozov was also involved in concealing the real geolocation (Russia) during operations in influencing American policy.

The Ministry of Justice charges that a member of the conspiracy flew to Atlanta in late November 2014, and then gave Polozov a train report and expenses.

Anna Bogacheva

The Ministry of Justice pointed out that she worked in the organization from April to July 2014. Bogachova worked with translations and led a project to analyze the data.

According to the authorities, she, like Krylov, flew to the United States for the “false purpose of the trip” to collect data for future operations – she also found cameras, telephones and SIM cards. Together with Krylova Bogacheva allegedly stayed in at least nine states (from California to New York) from June 4 to June 26, 2014.

Maria Bovda

She worked for the “factory” in the period from November 2013 to October 2014. Bovda was engaged in translations and certain unspecified duties. She did not receive leadership posts, according to the Ministry of Justice.

Robert Bovda

According to the Ministry of Justice, Robert worked at the agency around the same time that Mary – from November 2013 to October 2014. He was deputy head of the “translation project”, that is, Jeyhun Aslanova. He “tried” to cross the US border, presumably to collect data, but was denied because of a visa that did not fit his purposes.

Vadim Podkopayev

According to the Ministry of Justice, he joined the “troll factory” in about June 2014. He worked as an analyst and participated in a “translation project”. Podkopaev was also responsible for finding information in American social media – so he had to supply the agency with content for the stock.

Gleb Vasilchenko

He worked for the “factory” from August 2014 to September 2016 and was responsible for the publication, monitoring and updates in social networks. The accusation of the Justice Ministry is about records made allegedly on behalf of American citizens or small fake organizations. According to the authorities, Vasilchenko also led two groups that directly interfered in the US political system and the 2016 elections.

Irina Kaverzina

She joined the organization in October 2014. The Ministry of Justice said that Kaverzina worked on translations and personally published the records on behalf of several “US citizens.”

Vladimir Venkov

He came to the “factory” in March 2015. Venkov’s activities are similar to the work of Kaverzina: he was engaged in a “translation project” and was personally responsible for publishing from several “American” accounts.

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