Inside The Internet Research Agency Which Meddled In The
At the center of the indictment against 13 Russian nationals accused of meddling in the US
presidential election is the Internet Research Agency, the 'troll factory' where they all worked.
Details about the ominous organization floated around in the international media before
Friday's charges were brought, but never before has there been such insight into the
It is headed up by businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin, Putin's 'personal chef' who gained
access to Russia's political power players through his luxury restaurants in St Petersburg in
the mid 2000s.
In 2012, he landed a lucrative contract to provide the country's military soldiers with meals. It
only lasted a year but was rumored to be worth around $1.2billion.
With his money, the Agency, which was founded in 2013, flourished. At one stage, former
workers say 400 people were working there.
Their job began with pro-Putin posts on social media and, in one department, evolved into
pro-Trump, anti-Clinton messages on fake accounts where they pretended to be American.
The 'troll factory': This is the building in Olgina, St Petersburg, which was used as the HQ of
the Internet Research Agency
In 2015, a defector who gave her name only as 'Tatiana' explained how it worked.
'You write, write, write from the point of view of anyone' one of the roughly 400 pro-Putin
propagandists told Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.
'You could be posing as a housewife who bakes dumplings and suddenly decides, "I have an
opinion about what Putin said!"'
Some of the groups included names like Tennessee GOP and Army of Jesus.
Others were not conservative-focused and represented minorities or different social groups.
While the agency was founded before Trump announced his candidacy, prosecutors say his
victory in the November 2016 presidential election became its goal.
You write, you write, you write from the point of view of anyone... you could be posing as a
housewife who suddenly deci