May 25, 2024

Athens News

News in English from Greece

Founder and financier "troll factories" answered media questions


Yevgeny Prigozhin confirmed that he founded the “troll factory”: “If you are in shit, then it’s stupid to deny that some Russian trolls make you think so.”

A group of Western media journalists sent a request to the press service of the founder of PMC Wagner Evgeny Prigozhin. On official page published both the request and the answers to the questions posed. The request, sent on the night of February 14, states:

We are a team of reporters for the German news weekly Der SPIEGEL. We are writing to you because we, together with various media around the world, including Forbidden Stories, The Observer, The Guardian, Le Monde, Tamedia, Der Standard, ZDF and the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, are considering publishing a series of articles on disinformation campaigns and services offered worldwide in this area. As assistant to Mr. Yevgeny Prigozhin, would you be so kind as to pass on a message to him for comment? We ask that you send your reply by tomorrow, 04:00 pm CET. If we do not hear from you before this time, we will assume that you do not wish to comment, modify or otherwise respond to our information.

The answer appeared before the end of the specified time. The press service published Yevgeny Prigozhin’s response to the request and questions asked. Further without bills.

“Tonight, first at 00:26, then at 1:33, a group of phone hooligans flooded with messages my former assistant, who has not worked for me for a long time. And despite the fact that the whole world probably knows the address of the press service, these petty scammers, whom I recently called media maggots, posing as a group of journalists from the world’s largest publications, instead of sending questions to me, decided to act like a hooligan. Expecting that they will remain unanswered. The direction of the questions is chaotic, which indicates the underdeveloped brain function of these information hooligans. However, the questions are similar to those that are often asked by foreign journalists. I rarely pay attention to them, but since these questions have been collected by a large number of media maggots, I will answer.

According to widespread reports, Mr. Prigozhin was the alleged financier of the so-called Internet Research Agency in St. Petersburg. How will he react?

E.P.: “I react with pleasure. I’ve never just been the financier of the Internet Research Agency. I invented it, I created it, I managed it for a long time. It was created to protect the Russian information space from boorish aggressive propaganda of anti-Russian theses from the West.”

After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, a new “troll army” is operating in cyberspace. This network is known as “Cyberfront Z”. Members of this network meet at a bar owned by Mr. Prigozhin’s company, whose company is listed on the bills. Does Mr. Prigozhin finance this operation?

E.P: “After the start of the so-called “Operation Z” and the inclusion of fraudulent content ranking schemes on the main foreign sites Youtube, Facebook, Twitter and so on, I held a meeting with a group of patriotic bloggers and offered them all possible help. Unfortunately they refused, but since I have a free space next to my office, I was happy to donate it to them as their headquarters. I asked them questions if they needed money. They always said, “No. We don’t work for money.” Guys, if you ever need money, reach out.”

According to Russian media reports, Mr. Prigozhin is also behind Lobaye Invest, which holds licenses to mine precious metals and diamonds in the Central African Republic. How will you react to this?

E.P.: “As for Lobaye Invest. In Lobaye Invest, the owner and director is Dmitry Syty. I would like to remind you that Dmitry Syty became a victim of terrorists after receiving a parcel from DHL. Close your eyes and imagine how your children receive this package. Represented? And now they got in line and apologized to Dmitry Syty for the terrorist activities of Western intelligence services.

Lobaye Invest has never been involved in gold and diamond mining. It represented gratuitous exploration services so that the poorest country in Africa could somehow sell its resources and get out of the poverty into which you, your fathers and grandfathers pushed it for centuries. By the way, Lobaye Invest was liquidated three years ago. I draw your attention to the fact that all your news is not very fresh.

We have one more question for Mr. Prigogine. Experts have seen a rise in disinformation campaigns against Western countries and the United Nations for years. It is believed that Russian actors are behind this, including Mr. Prigozhin. What does he say about this accusation?

E.P.: “Now the answer to “your one more question to Mr. Prigogine”. Gentlemen, by the style of your writing and by your paranoia in question-creation, there is a feeling that you are hardly older than 14 years old. You are misinterpreting “a disinformation campaign against Western countries and the UN”. The population of the “Western countries” is over 1 billion people, 99.9% of whom speak your native languages ​​(English, German and French).

143 million people live in Russia, of which less than 1% speak English fluently, no more than 0.01% speak German, and only a few speak French. Can your weak brain really imagine that these people are able to influence the opinion of the population of the so-called “Western countries”.

Try to analyze another situation: the population of the “Western countries” considers the ideology that you propagate to be wrong, therefore they willingly support the theses that Russians throw in a single amount into your information environment. Therefore, if you are up to your neck in shit, then it is foolish to deny that some Russian trolls make you think so.

Now a separate question on the UN. The UN has long ceased to be an objective tool and lives for the most part on American money in the United States. A huge part of the UN experts are people who know absolutely nothing about the subject they study. Experts on Africa, for the most part, do not know either the customs of the Africans they write about or the languages. Nothing.

The so-called “UN political missions” are a tool for coup d’état in countries where there is a non-pro-Western government. And the pro-Western government is a bunch of traitors to their Motherland, who sell its resources and territories cheaply to Western business and parasitize in the interests of the West on the territory of these states and population.

“UN military missions” are hyper-inefficient organizations for money laundering. The soldiers of these “missions” rob, rape, kill and destroy. They cover bandits and terrorists of all levels. When the Russians come there, they protect the population from ISIS, al-Qaeda and the “UN mission”. These are essentially equivalent organizations. So write your article and run from the dirty side of the planet you’re working on.”

Prigozhin for the first time publicly confirmed his involvement in the organization. He has previously been sued for this. A little background:

  1. Employees of the “Internet Research Agency” or “troll factory” write paid comments in support of the Russian authorities on social networks. In 2013, Russian journalists exposed their office in Olgino, a historic district of St. Petersburg.
  2. In 2018, U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller accused the Internet Research Agency and Prigozhin of interfering in elections using fake social media accounts. Prigozhin stated that his companies did not interfere in the elections.
  3. In July 2022, the US State Department announced a reward of up to $10 million for information about foreign interference in the elections by Prigozhin and the Internet Research Agency. The document states that the accused Russians and employees of organizations massively distributed critical materials on the Internet about Donald Trump’s rivals during the Republican Party primaries Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, and his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton.
  4. In August 2022, Prigozhin filed a defamation lawsuit because The Guardian article said the “troll factory” was allegedly connected to him. He demanded to recover 1 million euros as moral compensation.

As tells CNN Greece, Prigozhin was first sanctioned by the US for ties to the Internet Research Agency in 2018 and charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States. Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report says he sought to sway the 2016 election in favor of Trump:

“The campaign has evolved from a massive program designed in 2014 and 2015 to undermine the US electoral system to a targeted operation that has supported candidate Trump and humiliated candidate Clinton since early 2016. The Internet Research Agency also traveled to the United States on intelligence gathering missions.”

After years of denials, last year Prigozhin confessed to his ties to the hired company Wagner and said it interfered in US elections.

The head of the Russian mercenary company Wagner admitted on Tuesday Feb. 14 that he founded and funded the Internet Research Agency, a company that Washington called a “troll factory” that interfered in the 2016 U.S. election.

Prigozhin has for years acted in the name and in the shadow of the Kremlin, but in recent months has become one of the most prominent figures associated with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. He has admitted to meddling in US elections in the past, but statements today show he goes further as he specifically describes his relationship with the St. Petersburg-based Internet Research Agency.



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