Kremlin paid internet commenters
Article by: Vitalii Usenko, Dmytro Usenko
Confirmation that the command operates a network of paid pro-Kremlin commenters appeared on May 31, 2014. Anonymous International exposed the activities of the Russian Internet Research Agency, which feeds itself from Russia’s state budget. The goal of this organization is to create, through comments on the internet, the illusion of support for the Kremlin regime.
Interestingly, the owner of the agency, Eugene Prigozhin, is the founder of the holding company Concord, known as ‘Putin’s chef.’ The company’s direct management includes Maria Kuprashevich, who is known for having taken a job in the liberal media to commit espionage.
It was found that there is a staff of people working with strict accountability to the curators. These staff writers are paid for writing pro-government comments on the internet.
The average salary of such a ‘commenter’ writing ‘politically correct’ posts is from thirty to forty thousand rubles (approx. 1,000 USD). Propaganda warfare is conducted on two fronts, on both the Russian and international internet. Each department has its ‘experts’, on which total spending for the last month amounted to 33 million rubles (1 million USD)
To confirm these facts, it is enough to compare scanned passports discovered through hacking email accounts with real people on social networks. A list of hacked correspondence, as well as some names and details on people, can be found in this publication (in Russian).
Written by: Dr. Vitalii Usenko, MD, MBA, expert of the Center of Military-Political Studies in the sphere of psychology of communications, and by Dmytro Usenko, student at Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto
Edited by Robin Rohrback, Euromaidan Press