13 Russian Nationals Indicted by Grand Jury

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Re: 13 Russian Nationals Indicted by Grand Jury

Postby seemslikeadream » Mon Oct 22, 2018 6:38 pm

From ‘Putin's chef’ to ‘Putin's hitman’? After confessing to attacking and poisoning people on behalf of Evgeny Prigozhin, a newspaper source suddenly disappears

09:56, 22 october 2018

Evgeny Prigozhin
Stringer / Anadolu Agency / Vida Press
Note to readers: Days before the article described below was published, someone left a severed goat’s head in a gift basket outside Novaya Gazeta’s newsroom in Moscow. Not long beforehand, the newspaper also received a funeral wreath addressed to Denis Korotkov, the author of this investigative report.
On October 22, the independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta published a new investigative report claiming that people associated with the Putin-connected catering industry oligarch Evgeny Prigozhin are responsible for attacking opposition activists and bloggers, as well as carrying out several murders and poisonings in different countries, including in Syria. The newspaper says it got this information from a 61-year-old man named Valery Amelchenko, who allegedly participated in some of these operations, beginning in 2012. All that’s known about him is that he was arrested in St. Petersburg in 1999 for robbery and sentenced to prison for seven years. He was released early on parole in 2004, but it remains unclear what exactly he did for Prigozhin’s people afterwards. Amelchenko described several of his secret missions to Novaya Gazeta, and then disappeared on October 2. Russian police have added him to a national wanted list, and federal investigators have opened a preliminary case against him. Novaya Gazeta’s Denis Korotkov speculates that Amelchenko was either abducted, killed, or he might have even staged his own disappearance.

Amelchenko says he found work with Prigozhin’s crew through a mutual acquaintance named Andrey Mikhailov, who allegedly helped Prigozhin create the the media holding company that owns St. Petersburg’s infamous “troll factory” and “media factory.” Mikhailov confirmed to Novaya Gazeta that he recruited Amelchenko, saying that he personally worked in Prigozhin’s business empire between 2012 and 2014, reporting to Evgeny Gulyaev, the oligarch’s head of security.

Novaya Gazeta stumbled onto Amelchenko when investigating the November 2016 attack on sociologist and Death Studies Journal publisher Sergey Mokhov (the husband of Lyubov Sobol, who acts as legal counsel for the Anti-Corruption Foundation). The attacker injected a psychotropic drug into Mokhov’s thigh, causing him to lose consciousness. A surveillance camera filmed the incident, and an anonymous source told Novaya Gazeta that the perpetrator was a man named Oleg Simonov, who died under unclear circumstances in May 2017. Simonov’s widow says she recognizes her late husband from the camera footage, and showed Novaya Gazeta a photograph from his funeral, revealing that Amelchenko attended the ceremony.

Amelchenko agreed to speak to Novaya Gazeta, worried that Prigozhin’s henchmen might have been involved in Simonov’s death. He reportedly promised to share details about several secret operations, once he felt safe. In the event of force majeure, Amelchenko also agreed to let the newspaper use the information he’d already supplied, after October 20.

Amelchenko’s story

Allegedly acting on Maikhilov’s orders, Amelchenko says he put together a team that included two men named Vladimir Gladienko and Sergey Kuznetsov. While reporting to Mikhailov, the group apparently focused on surveillance work, and even spied on Novaya Gazeta.

Amelchenko also recalled an attack against “huipster,” a Sochi-based video blogger who “wrote bad things about Putin.” Mikhailov says the blogger changed jobs and went offline after the beating. Another time, Amelchenko says he helped stage a car collision targeting Elena Cherevko, the owner of the DLclinic dental clinic (who at the time was in a property dispute with Prigozhin). Mikhailov confirmed Amelchenko’s role in the affair, and also provided Novaya Gazeta with video footage from the collision, showing that Amelchenko was present.

In late 2013, when Amelchenko was in Kyiv during the EuroMaidan protests, he learned that Mikhailov had been fired. (It’s unclear what Amelchenko was doing in Ukraine.) After a few months, Amelchenko says he was visited by someone he knew from his previous work. (Mikhailov guesses that this was Evgeny Gulyaev, Prigozhin’s head of security.) Before long, Amelchenko heard from Andrey Pichushkin, another Prigozhin security guard.

After these meetings, Amelchenko’s group operated mainly in Ukraine (in the war-torn Donbass and in the Kyiv area). Amelchenko told Novaya Gazeta almost nothing about what the team did, but he did recall the murder of former Luhansk separatist leader Igor Plotnitsky’s “right-hand man,” without ever naming him. Novaya Gazeta guesses this was former adviser Dmitry Kargaev, who was murdered in March 2016.

Amelchenko says the poisonings started after he met Oleg Simonov (the man who allegedly attacked Lyubov Sobol’s husband). Amelchenko says he played no role in that incident, but he did admit to helping Simonov beat up a blogger in Pskov who died after an injection. Novaya Gazeta believes this was Sergey Tikhonov (known online as “skobars”), whose relatives say he died from a heart attack in July 2016.

In February 2017, Amelchenko’s group was sent to Syria, supposedly in order to test new psychotropic substances on captured terrorists. At the time, the team was apparently under the command of Sergey Gubanov, another member of Evgeny Prigozhin’s private security service. When the group arrived in Syria, however, the men discovered that there were no prisoners, so they decided to carry out the tests on the so-called “ISIS hunters” being trained by instructors from the “Wagner” private military company (another Prigozhin-owned outfit). Subjects were given bottles of juice containing a delayed-action dose of the drug, and then released.

After some time, police arrested Amelchenko, Simonov, and Gubanov on charges of poisoning members of Syria’s military intelligence, but they were all released after several hours of interrogation, and then they immediately returned to St. Petersburg. Amelchenko says another seven people (including himself) were also exposed to the poison, but everyone recovered. A source familiar with the Wagner group in Syria later confirmed Amelchenko’s story to Novaya Gazeta.

Novaya Gazeta says Amelchenko also claimed to have had a role in other supposed missions in Europe, but the newspaper was unable to verify the details of his account with other sources. (For example, he described a mission in the Canary Islands.)

Many of the people identified by Novaya Gazeta as members of Amelchenko’s group refused to comment on the story. Vladimir Gladienko, meanwhile, confirmed some of the story’s travel and personnel details, but denied any illegal activity. Evgeny Prigozhin’s security service didn’t answer Novaya Gazeta’s phone calls, and Prigozhin himself has ignored all media inquiries.
https://meduza.io/en/feature/2018/10/22 ... n-s-hitman

Russian paper: Indicted Prigozhin ordered beatings, killing

FILE - In this July 4, 2017 file photo, Russian businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin is shown prior to a meeting of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia. An independent Russian newspaper says a security aide of businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin, who has been indicted in the U.S. for trying to interfere with the 2016 U.S. election, says the Russian mogul has been involved in attacks on several people and at least one killing. Novaya Gazeta on Monday, Oct. 22, 2018 published an article quoting a former convict who worked for Prigozhin, Valery Amelchenko, who said he orchestrated attacks on Prigozhin’s opponents as well as the killing of an opposition blogger. (Sergei Ilnitsky/Pool Photo via AP, File)

MOSCOW (AP) — A security aide to Yevgeny Prigozhin, a Russian businessman who has been indicted by American investigators for allegedly trying to interfere with the 2016 U.S. election, says the mogul has been involved in attacks on several people and at least one killing, an independent Russian newspaper reported Monday.

Prigozhin has been dubbed "Putin's chef" for organizing catering events for Russian President Vladimir Putin and even personally serving him and his guests on some occasions.

The Novaya Gazeta article Monday by reporter Denis Korotkov came out several days after unknown people sent a funeral wreath to the journalist's home and left a basket with a severed goat's head at the newspaper's office.

Korotkov's article relies on several interviews with Valery Alemchenko, a former convict who worked for Prigozhin. Alemchenko said he orchestrated attacks on Prigozhin's opponents as well as the killing of an opposition blogger in northwest Russia, all at the mogul's behalf.

Amelchenko also said several people working for Prigozhin had traveled to Syria last year to test an unknown poison on Syrians who refused to fight for Syrian President Bashar Assad's government. Novaya Gazeta corroborated the account with two other sources.

Amelchenko disappeared early this month shortly after meeting the reporter and telling him that he was being followed. Korotkov said he received a call from Amelchenko's phone later that day and when he went to the man's house, he found two cellphones and what looked like his shoe lying on the ground.

Amelchenko is now on a Russian police list of missing persons.

U.S. authorities on Friday also brought charges against another Prigozhin employee, bookkeeper Elena Khusyaynova, for helping oversee the finances of a so-called troll farm in the Russian city of St. Petersburg that aimed to influence U.S. politics through social media postings. When reached by phone on Monday, the woman's ex-husband, Ravil Khusyaynova, told The Associated that he had spoken to her and she refuses to speak to the media.

Another member of Prigozhin's security detail, Oleg Simonov, who is suspected of attacking the husband of an opposition activist and injecting him with poison, died last year under murky circumstances.

In addition, the activities of Prigozhin's private security contracting firm Wagner have been well-documented. The AP last year published a memorandum detailing an oil deal between Prigozhin's company and the Syrian government.
https://www.yahoo.com/news/russian-pape ... soc_trk=tw

Here’s an English-language summary.
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They could still get him out of office.
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Re: 13 Russian Nationals Indicted by Grand Jury

Postby seemslikeadream » Thu Dec 27, 2018 9:48 am

Operative for “Putin’s Chef” Shares Secrets, Vanishes — Then Reappears and Retracts

Print article Published: Monday, 17 December 2018 14:19

Yevgeny Prigozhin ran the infamous St. Petersburg “troll farm” and other pro-Putin media operations. One of his operatives came clean to reporters, sharing some of the dirty work he and his team did for the oligarch — including murder. Then he vanished.
Yevgeny Prigozhin (Mikhail Metzel/TASS via Getty Images)
Yevgeny Prigozhin (Mikhail Metzel/TASS via Getty Images)

When Valery Amelchenko agreed to talk, a reporter from OCCRP’s Russian partner, Novaya Gazeta, was eager to listen.
The gaunt, unassuming 61-year-old isn’t a well-known figure. But he had worked for Yevgeny Prigozhin, the Russian oligarch sometimes known as “Putin’s chef” because his businesses cater the president’s dinners with foreign guests.
Prigozhin’s profile has risen in the last few years. He has been sanctioned and indicted by the United States for funding the Internet Research Agency, the troll farm accused of meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
He is also believed to be behind Wagner, a private paramilitary group accused of fighting in Syria, eastern Ukraine, and other places on behalf of the Russian government. Three Russian reporters for the Dossier Center were murdered this summer while reporting on Wagner in the Central African Republic.
This was a man reporters wanted to know more about.
And Amelchenko did not disappoint, sitting down with a Novaya Gazeta reporter last February to talk about his years working for the oligarch’s security team.
In long interviews over several months, he described a litany of dirty and illegal tactics directed at Prigozhin’s and Putin’s enemies: harassment and spying, poisonings, the murder of an independent blogger, shady operations in Kyiv and eastern Ukraine, and even a trip to Syria that involved testing poison on unsuspecting mercenaries.
(Read the Syria chapter of Amelchenko’s story.)
Valery Amelchenko. (Photo: VKontakte)
Valery Amelchenko. (Photo: VKontakte)
Reporters found independent confirmation for much of what Amelchenko said, and they never caught him telling a lie. And though he never claimed to have gotten orders directly from Prigozhin, his stories shed light on the cruel and sometimes extreme way the oligarch’s security team operated. (Prigozhin did not respond to a request for comment.)
Amelchenko then became part of the story himself. On Oct. 2, about an hour and a half after meeting with a reporter one last time, he disappeared in an incident that looked very much like a kidnapping.
Then, shortly after reporters started asking questions of Prigozhin’s security staff, the paper received threatening messages: A funeral wreath showed up at its offices bearing the reporter’s photo, followed by a sheep’s head in a basket.
Nevertheless, Novaya Gazeta published a story using the material Amelchenko had provided.
Then, three weeks later, he reappeared at a police station. But now his position had changed entirely. While confirming that his interviews had taken place as described, he now claimed that the whole affair — including the content of his conversations, his being followed by two men, and his disappearance — had been staged by the reporter.

“Not Too Dirty”
A Man With Little Background
Valery Amelchenko did not offer much about his past.
The earliest reliable information about him dates to 1999, when, according to police records, he took part in a robbery in St. Petersburg and hijacked the victim’s car.
He was sentenced to a seven-year imprisonment in Perm, and was released on parole in 2004. It’s unclear what he did for the next eight years before landing in Prigozhin’s orbit.
Though Amelchenko never received orders from Prigozhin himself, the command structure he described clearly involved the oligarch’s senior associates.
He said that the man who brought him on was Andrey Mikhailov, who had worked for Prigozhin in 2012 and 2013. For a while, Mikhailov was the man Amelchenko reported to, visiting him at his office in a St. Petersburg business center.
In an interview, Mikhailov confirmed that he met and hired Amelchenko. At the time, Mikhailov said, he himself worked under a man named Yevgeny Gulyaev, a former Interior Ministry operative who headed Prigozhin’s security detail.
Andrey Mikhailov. (Photo: Denis Korotkov)
Andrey Mikhailov. (Photo: Denis Korotkov)
Mikhailov was an important figure, having played an active role in organizing Prigozhin’s media outlets and his infamous “troll factory.” He was an aggressive advocate for Putin’s Russia, and his media network served as an attack dog against the president’s — or Prighozhin’s — critics. His publications frequently ran aggressive screeds against opposition writers and independent outlets.
Amelchenko said that the work did while under Mikhailov, consisting mostly of surveilling people and organizations, was “not too dirty.”
For example, he remembered one trip to Moscow during which he surveilled a young woman at the premises of Novaya Gazeta. This would likely have been Maria Kuprashevich, who had been hired by Prigozhin’s people to work in the newspaper’s advertising department, enabling her to collect information about its staff and publications.
Amelchenko also recalled taking part in a staged traffic accident where a man was hired as a “victim” to fall under the car of a businesswoman who was embroiled in a real estate dispute with Prigozhin at the time.
The woman, Yelena Cherevko, told Sobesednik in a 2016 interview that the dispute arose over a building in St. Petersburg. “A drunken homeless man was thrown under my car, as though I had hit him,” she said.
Mikhailov confirmed that this incident really had been a set-up, and was even recorded on video. He showed reporters the recording, taken on Feb. 7, 2013, in which Amelchenko can be seen “assisting” the man who was allegedly run over by Cherevko’s car.

Educating a Blogger
Amelchenko’s work gradually grew more serious. In fall 2013, as Mikhailov recalled, his subordinate visited the city of Sochi with a friend in order to have “a tough talk ” with a local blogger who had written “something offensive” about Putin.
According to Amelchenko, the blogger sold car parts and was lured to a meeting under the pretext of a business deal. After the confrontation, Amelchenko said, the blogger was left with a broken collarbone and soon ceased all publication under his username.
“I’m not a doctor, not a surgeon, and not a traumatologist ... but he’s alive and well,” said Amelchenko. “Well, I don’t know about his health; no one ever showed me his clinical report. ... And that was that. Mikhailov was satisfied.”
Mikhailov also provided the blogger’s username, huipster, and shared photos taken during his team’s undercover surveillance of their target.
A surveillance photo of Antion Grishchenko, also known as ‘huipster,’ taken by Mikhailov’s team. The photo has been edited to protect his privacy. (Photo: Andrey Mikhailov)
A surveillance photo of Antion Grishchenko, also known as ‘huipster,’ taken by Mikhailov’s team. The photo has been edited to protect his privacy. (Photo: Andrey Mikhailov)

Traces of huipster — whose real name is Anton Grishchenko — can easily be found online. In 2013, he promoted his video blog on YouTube, in which he mostly addressed local problems in Sochi. Shortly before his meeting with Amelchenko and his friend, Grishchenko had indeed tweeted a crude caricature of Putin by a French satirical newspaper. The blogger’s social media accounts were deleted shortly after the encounter.
Grishchenko refused to discuss the events of 2013.
The friend Amelchenko went to Sochi with was a man named Vladimir Gladienko. When reporters asked him about the incident, Gladienko said he remembered flying to Sochi with Amelchenko, but claimed to know nothing about the blogger.

Ukrainian Transit
Amelchenko’s work with Mikhailov ended abruptly in late 2013 when the more senior man was fired. Amelchenko says that he learned this from other associates while attending the Maidan protests in Kyiv, where he said he spent some time “alone” in late 2013 and early 2014.
Asked whether he had been on the Maidan on personal business or on assignment, Amelchenko said, “I’m not rich enough to travel there on my own initiative.” He did not say more about his adventure during the Ukrainian revolution that ousted pro-Russian president Viktor Yanukovych.
According to Mikhailov, however, Amelchenko had gone to Kyiv to pay for the organization of “demonstrations.” This is a possible reference to the groups of young men who shouted slogans and attacked anti-government protesters during the uprising.
Mikhailov’s End
Three years after Mikhailov stopped working for Prigozhin, he allegedly fell victim to Prigozhin’s people himself.
In May 2017, Mikhailov notified the police that he had been abducted, taken to the outskirts of St. Petersburg, beaten, and forced to sign a promissory note for over three million rubles, as well as to hand over important company documents.
The group that attacked him was led by a man he knew — a person who reportedly worked for Prigozhin.
After Mikhailov’s dismissal, Amelchenko was then contacted by someone he didn’t name (though Mikhailov says this may have been Gulyaev, the head of Prigozhin’s security detail). Afterwards, Amelchenko’s regular contact was another of Prigozhin’s men named Andrei Pichushkin.
From 2014 to 2016 Amelchenko worked mostly in Ukraine, including in the breakaway Luhansk People’s Republic. He spoke little about this phase of his work, though he did allude to the use of a 9-millimeter PB “silencer pistol” in a “talk” with a well-known person in Luhansk he called “Plotnitsky’s right hand.”
The episode, he said, took place in a stairwell of a nine-story apartment block. And his description closely resembles the murder of Dmitry Karagaev, an assistant to Ihor Plotnitsky, then the leader of the Luhansk People’s Republic. Karagaev’s corpse was found with gunshot wounds on the second floor of a stairwell in a Luhansk apartment building on March 16, 2016.

A Dangerous Bouquet
Novaya Gazeta reporters first learned Amelchenko’s name while investigating a poisoning incident that would end up shedding light on some of his work.
This concerned an attack on the husband of Lyubov Sobol, a lawyer who works for Alexei Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation. Navalny is a longtime Putin critic and opposition leader.
On the evening of Nov. 25, 2016, Sobol’s husband Sergey Mokhov, a sociologist and magazine publisher, was on his way home. A young man with a beard stood at the entrance of his Moscow apartment block, holding a bouquet of flowers.
The Attack in Amelchenko’s Words
“[Mokhov] used to go to some gym in the evenings. … [Simonov] followed him for several days ... he said he had bought a bouquet of flowers and waited for him outside his house. His task … was simply to seriously scare the guy. He pricked him with some medicine. ... [Mokhov] came up and said [to Simonov], are you waiting [for someone]. ... [Simonov responded] ‘I am. I’ve been waiting. Nothing personal.’ Then he pricked him, threw the flowers away, and left.”
When Mokhov passed by, he felt a sharp sting in his leg, after which he started to convulse and fell to the ground. He was hospitalized and eventually recovered.
According to Mokhov’s lawyer, Sergey Badamshin, doctors theorized that a drug, perhaps an antipsychotic agent, had been administered.
Mokhov and his wife have two theories about the attack. Mokhov said the attack could have been related to his work, as he had previously published articles about criminals operating in the Russian funeral services business.
Sobol, on the other hand, suggested that the poisoning could have been an act of revenge by Prigozhin. At the time, much of her work at the Anti-Corruption Foundation focused on his activities. In particular, she had investigated the granting of multi-billion-dollar state contracts to companies affiliated with him.
Navalny, the Anti-Corruption Foundation’s director, echoes Sobol’s view. While he says he “can’t be 100 percent sure that Prigozhin and his people are behind the attack,” he considers this to be the most likely explanation.
The attacker was recorded by a surveillance camera, and images clearly showing the face of the “unknown man with the bouquet” quickly appeared on the internet. But his identity would remain a mystery for almost two years.
A still from a video showing Sergey Mokhov’s attacker. (Photo: Life Novosti)
A still from a video showing Sergey Mokhov’s attacker. (Photo: Life Novosti)

Earlier this year, a source insisting on anonymity approached reporters and identified the man as an Oleg Simonov, originally from the Amur region, who had recently lived in St. Petersburg. A social media search uncovered a man by that name with a September 1982 birthdate who had worked for several pharmaceutical companies.
Oleg Simonov. (Photo: Valery Amelchenko)
Oleg Simonov. (Photo: Valery Amelchenko)
When reporters contacted Simonov’s wife and showed her the surveillance video, she confirmed that the man depicted was her husband, but asked reporters not to use her name.
She said that Simonov’s studies had included pharmacology and that he worked at a pharmacy. She also said that he was no longer living.
Looking back at their marriage, Simonov’s widow said that her husband had clearly been up to something suspicious.
She recalled two separate incidents when he left St. Petersburg “on business” without explaining exactly why.

The first was a trip to Moscow in 2016, shortly after they met.
Then, in February 2017, shortly after their wedding, Simonov left again, this time for a month. Though he again told his wife he was going to Moscow, Amelchenko would later tell reporters that this was when he and Simonov were in Syria. (See: Prigozhin's Men in Syria)
Simonov’s wife said that it was only after his death that she realized that she “didn’t know the person with whom [she] lived.” At his funeral, the widow saw some of his acquaintances for the first time. She later recognized one of them from a photo showed to her by journalists. It was Amelchenko.
According to Amelchenko, who filled in the details of the story later, Simonov had died six months to the day after the poison attack under what he described as unexplained circumstances. Friends who knew him well said that Simonov rarely drank and never used drugs. Nevertheless, Amelchenko said he had heard Simonov was found dead in a bathtub in his rented St. Petersburg apartment after overdosing.

“Nothing Personal”
Why He Talked
It took a while for reporters to find Amelchenko, but when they did, he agreed to talk.
He did so, he said, because he suspected that people working for Prigozhin could have been involved in the death of Simonov, whom he considered a friend. He thought his alleged killing may have been a punishment for what happened in Syria. (See: Prigozhin's Men in Syria)
Furthermore, he understood that after being approached by journalists, he would no longer be able to continue his covert activities without putting himself at risk.
An agreement along those lines was reached. It spelled out that, if something happened to him, Novaya Gazeta had the right to publish any information he had provided after Oct. 20, 2018.
Amelchenko said that he and Simonov met through mutual acquaintances, and that the pharmacist had told him he was looking for additional work in late 2015 or early 2016. After he joined the team, a new emphasis was placed on conducting covert operations involving drugs.
Amelchenko didn’t go into detail about the nature of the substances, saying he had very poor grades in chemistry at school. However, he did describe one of the devices used: the description matched that of a veterinary tranquilizer dart.
He said that he hadn’t played any part in Simonov’s attack on Mokhov and only learned the details from Simonov’s retelling of the event. The aim of the operation, he said, was to scare both Mokhov and his wife, the Anti-Corruption Foundation lawyer.

Another Poisoning
In 2016, Amelchenko recalls, his group headed to Pskov, a town of over 200,000 near the Estonian border.
Amelchenko said the plan was to go to a certain blogger’s house on Fomina Street and inject him with poison. His job was not to attack the blogger himself, but rather to “watch from around the corner.” Simonov was to drive the getaway car.
The attack took place in the morning as the blogger headed to work. Amelchenko could not remember the blogger’s name, but did recall a garage on the property on which an advertisement for a glazier’s workshop and corresponding telephone number were painted.
The blogger, who was about 35 to 50 years old, died soon after being injected. A few days later, Amelchenko phoned the number on the garage to, as he put it, “verify” the result. The blogger’s son answered with the words, “Daddy died.”
But this wasn’t sufficient, and Amelchenko was told to call back another time to find out from the blogger’s relatives where he was buried, go to the cemetery, and photograph the gravestone.
A Google Street View photo of the garage on Fomina Street in Pskov. (Photo: Google)
A Google Street View photo of the garage on Fomina Street in Pskov. (Photo: Google)

In Pskov, reporters located a house on Fomina Street that matched Amelchenko’s description, including the word “glass” written on the garage with a telephone number. An internet search revealed that a blogger named Sergey Tikhonov, who wrote under the pseudonym skobars, had lived there and died of a heart attack nearby on June 29, 2016.
There was no investigation of Tikhonov’s death, but Amelchenko’s description is meticulous. He described exactly what Tikhonov’s house looked like, pointed out details not visible on Google Maps or the Russian service Yandex, recalled which car Tikhonov used to drive to work, and recounted the blogger’s place of burial.

The Disappearance
Amelchenko’s last meeting with reporters took place at the Shokoladnitsa cafe on Malaya Sadovaya street in St. Petersburg on the evening of Oct. 2. He ordered an apple juice.
The interview ended at about 8 p.m. At about 9:22, he phoned the journalist in some distress to say that he was being watched by two men, “a young guy in a white jacket, wearing glasses, about 25. [And] another one with a Panama hat.”
The call was cut off, and repeated calls to his phone were not answered. Over an hour later, a stranger answered Amelchenko’s number.
“I’m a resident of 110 Leninsky [Prospekt],” he said. “I just found a two telephones and a [shoe] on the ground.”
The place where Amelchenko’s phones and shoe were found after his disappearance. (Photo: Denis Korotkov)
The place where Amelchenko’s phones and shoe were found after his disappearance. (Photo: Denis Korotkov)

The man, who lived in the apartment block next to Amelchenko, gave journalists the two phones, which he had found next to a garage near the building, and pointed out the shoe. The phones matched the numbers Amelchenko had used, and the shoe was very similar to those he had worn during the interview.
The police began a search, and the district department of the Investigative Committee in St. Petersburg launched an investigation.
A police notice about Amelchenko’s disappearance. (Photo: St. Petersburg Police)
A police notice about Amelchenko’s disappearance. (Photo: St. Petersburg Police)
On Oct. 24 — three days after the story that used his material was published — Amelchenko reappeared at a police station and asked them to stop searching for him. And, while he confirmed that his interviews had taken place as described, he now claimed that the whole affair — including the content of his conversations, his being followed by two men, and his disappearance — had been staged by the Novaya Gazeta reporter who had interviewed him.
Amelchenko has not issued any public statements or denials since.
https://www.occrp.org/en/28-ccwatch/cc- ... d-retracts

Mazars and Deutsche Bank could have ended this nightmare before it started.
They could still get him out of office.
But instead, they want mass death.
Don’t forget that.
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Re: 13 Russian Nationals Indicted by Grand Jury

Postby seemslikeadream » Mon Jan 07, 2019 1:45 pm


This is about how I expected today might go: Friedrich is getting fed up with the Troll Lawyers' Trollin

Zoe Tillman

Some fireworks in court this morning as a judge criticized the lawyer representing Concord Management & Consulting in the special counsel Russian troll farm case for his language and harsh words about Mueller's office in filings — "unprofessional, inappropriate, and ineffective"
8:47 AM - 7 Jan 2019

The judge told attorney Eric Dubelier that his strategy was "ineffective" and that his approach to filings — including pop culture quotes (see: https://assets.documentcloud.org/docume ... -Reply.pdf …) and accusing Mueller's office basically of lawlessness — was "undermining your credibility in this courthouse"


"Knock it off," Judge Dabney Friedrich told Dubelier. This then led to a heated exchange where Dubelier said he needed to consult his client since the judge had accused of unprofessional conduct, and now there might be bias from the judge. There's no bias, the judge replied.

Dubelier pushed back, saying the judge had personally attacked him, and Friedrich replied by saying he had made personal attacks on Mueller's office. Dubelier said he was just telling the truth

How did this end? The judge agreed Dubelier could have time to consult with his client (Concord). She ordered the defense and the govt to sit down and discuss discovery-related issues — Dubelier said they'd tried, and the govt just said no, Friedrich said they needed to try again

The judge then closed the courtroom to discuss an issue that relates to a grand jury matter, so it's sealed, but Dubelier left the courtroom less than five minutes later. He declined to answer questions

https://twitter.com/ZoeTillman/status/1 ... 5528007681

Polly Sigh

Leonid Teyf, a wealthy Russian national living in NC accused of money laundering and plotting a murder-for-hire, has ties to Russian oligarch Yevgeny Prigozhin ["Putin's chef"], who was indicted by Mueller election tampering.

https://www.newsobserver.com/news/local ... 71200.html



Here's original article that describes how Leonid Teyf was the Deputy Director of Voentorg, a company which contracted with Russia’s Ministry of Defense - and he provided Prigozhin with outsourcing contracts for the supply of power to army units

Wendy Siegelman

Here's original article that describes how Leonid Teyf was the Deputy Director of Voentorg, a company which contracted with Russia’s Ministry of Defense - and he provided Prigozhin with outsourcing contracts for the supply of power to army units

December 13 AP story on Leonid Teyf: North Carolina couple accused of running $150 million kickback scheme - Prosecutors also claim the husband was plotting to kill the son of a former housekeeper — whom he suspected of having an affair with his wife.

The money-laundering scheme started around 2010, during Teyf's time as deputy director of Voentorg, a company that provided Russia's military with laundry, food and other equipment - and kickbacks grew to $150 million over a two year period


Given Leonid Teif's ties to Yevgeniy Prigozhin, perhaps he's actually the Russian soul Putin has in mind to swap for Paul Whelan?

https://www.newsobserver.com/news/local ... 71200.html

Per Novaya Gazeta, Leonid Teyf provided Russian army catering contracts to a company owned by Russian oligarch Yevgeny Prigozhin [indicted by Mueller]. Teyf and his wife profited from a $150M kickback scheme involving the Russian military.

Leonid Teyf, a wealthy Russian national living in NC accused of money laundering and plotting a murder-for-hire, has ties to Russian oligarch Yevgeny Prigozhin ["Putin's chef"], who was indicted by Mueller election…

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ICYMI: Putin ally Yevgeniy Prigozhin [indicted by Mueller along with his Internet Research Agency & Concord Management] was said to be in touch with the Kremlin & Assad before his Wagner Group mercenaries attacked US troops in Syria in Feb 2018.


Mueller has questioned witnesses on why Trump supported Putin in Syria. Aid & comfort to enemy ...

Collusion isn't a crime – but TREASON damn sure is. Recall Nunberg's meltdown after his Mueller interview: "Russia probe is not a witch hunt. Mueller asked why Trump supported Putin in Syria." Aid & comfort to…

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In JUN 2014, the Mercers & Bannon formed Cambridge Analytica & launched a ‘research project' in Russia — the same month that Prigozhin's troll farm, the Internet Research Agency, launched their campaign to interfere in the 2016 POTUS election.

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Prigozhin spent significant funds to further 'Project Lakhta' whose goal in the US since May 2014 was to spread distrust towards candidates...and to conduct 'information warfare against the US.'"

The Justice Dept has charged a Russian woman, Elena Khusyaynova, for conspiracy to interfere with the 2018 US election – the first criminal case against a foreign national for meddling in the 2018 Midterms. Prosecut…

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Prigozhin's lawyer [for his Concord Management company] was rebuked in federal court today by a Trump appointed judge.

Trump-appointed judge, Dabney Friedrich, defends Mueller and scolds lawyer for Russian firm, Concord Management: "Your brief was inappropriate, unprofessional, and ineffective. You have undermine…

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Re: 13 Russian Nationals Indicted by Grand Jury

Postby seemslikeadream » Fri Jan 25, 2019 8:37 pm


Assertion Stone’s Case isn’t related to SCO Russian Indictments is BS.
1) see what I underlined in red?
1a) Case no 18cr2015?
2) that’s the July 2018 GRU Indictment case
(see thread below)
cc @ericgarland @lauferlaw @LuluLemew @TrueFactsStated

Also I know some of you are like: “this isn’t a cyber war or information warfare against America”
Then perhaps you should re-read the Feb 2018 indictment, because it’s CLEARLY STATED

https://twitter.com/SpicyFiles/status/9 ... 5807041536
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Re: 13 Russian Nationals Indicted by Grand Jury

Postby seemslikeadream » Wed Jan 30, 2019 4:23 pm

Special counsel Mueller alleges that evidence turned over to an indicted Russian company's lawyers was altered and leaked, in arguing against further disclosure to Yevgeniy Prigozhin, aka 'Putin's chef,' charged in 2016 U.S. election disruption effort.


In a new filing in the Internet Research Agency case, Mueller's team says they've found evidence discovery documents were forged as part of a "disinformation campaign aimed (apparently) at discrediting ongoing investigations into Russian interference in the US political system."



An incredibly detailed narrative in the full filing from the Special Counsel's Office


This sentence in particular stands out to me. Mueller's team perceives that whoever allegedly manipulated the discovery materials is trying to leave the impression that they don't have that much on "IRA and Russian collusion." And they really object to that.


https://twitter.com/nycsouthpaw/status/ ... 1880115202

'Putin's Chef' Has His Fingers In Many Pies, Critics Say

Greg Myre
January 30, 20191:02 PM ET

In a 2006 photo, Russian President Vladimir Putin (left) hosts U.S. President George W. Bush in St. Petersburg, Russia. At second right is Russian businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin, known as "Putin's chef." The U.S. has charged Prigozhin with running an Internet operation that interfered with the 2016 U.S. presidential election. He's also been sanctioned for supporting Russia's occupation in Ukraine.

Sergei Zhukov/AP
In 2006, Russian President Vladimir Putin hosted a dinner for President George W. Bush and other world leaders in St. Petersburg, Russia. In a photo, the man standing behind them is the caterer, wearing a tux and a white bow tie. His name is Yevgeny Prigozhin.

His nickname is "Putin's chef." So what's the big deal about him?

"He epitomizes a real renaissance man in contemporary Russia, which is to say that he runs some very high-end restaurants," said Angela Stent, the head of Russian Studies at Georgetown University and author of the forthcoming book Putin's World.

Interesting. But what else does he do?

"He was the one running this Internet Research Agency, this troll factory in St. Petersburg that managed to mobilize thousands of Americans from 5,000 miles away to demonstrate and protest in the 2016 election," said Stent.

That gets your attention. And there's more.

Yevgeny Prigozhin (second right) shows Russian President Vladimir Putin, center, around his Concord Catering factory, outside St. Petersburg in 2010. The company has secured large government contracts to provide school lunches and feed the Russian military.

Alexei Druzhinin/AP
"He also runs Wagner, one of the largest mercenary private military groups in Russia," she added. "His troops are in Syria, they're in Ukraine, they're in a number of other places, where they are fighting in the Russian state's interest."

So he's got a lot cooking.

Tracking the key figures around Putin, and how they fit into the Russia investigation in this country, can be confusing.

Yet Prigozhin's name is worth knowing. He's burly and bald, at age 57. And while his name keeps cropping up, he's largely invisible — even in Russia.

"He doesn't have much of a public persona in Russia. Until very recently he was virtually unknown," said Dmitri Simes, who heads the Center for the National Interest, a think tank in Washington, D.C. "This is not a person who speaks at important political or business meetings. This is not a person who regularly appears on TV."

So where did Prigozhin come from?

He spent most of his 20s in prison on robbery, fraud and prostitution convictions. In the 1990s, he rebuilt his life with hotdog stands, which evolved into a catering business in St. Petersburg, Putin's hometown.

Yevgeny Prigozhin (left) serves food to Russian leader Vladimir Putin during a 2011 dinner at Prigozhin's restaurant outside Moscow.

Misha Japaridze/AP
"He proceeded to get a big break catering high-profile events, one with Vladimir Putin and French President Jacques Chirac in 2001," said Michael Kofman, who closely follows Russia for the U.S. government-funded research organization CNA. "Eventually, he got a massive contract for feeding the Russian military and the Russian armed forces, which is probably where most of his money comes from."

At a recent press conference, Putin was dismissive when asked about his putative chef.

"All my chefs are employed by the Federal Guard Service. They are all servicemen holding different ranks. I have no other chefs," Putin said.

Regarding the private military company, Putin added: "If they comply with Russian laws, they have every right to work and promote their business interests anywhere in the world."

Those interests extend to Syria. In a dramatic confrontation last year, Russian mercenaries tried to seize an oil facility that was held by the U.S military and its allies.

As it was unfolding, former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said he wanted to find out who the attackers were and make sure they weren't part of the formal Russian army. The U.S. military contacted their Russian counterparts on a "deconfliction" hotline the two sides use to make sure they didn't shoot at each other in Syria.

"The Russia High Command in Syria assured us it was not their people," Mattis told Congress last year.

Once that was cleared up, Mattis said, "My direction was for the force to be annihilated."

And it was. The Americans say more than 200 Russian mercenaries were killed in withering airstrikes before they retreated from the one-sided fight near the eastern city of Deir el-Zour.

Russian businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin, in a dark suit, second from right, attends a meeting involving top Russian defense officials and members of Libya's National Army in Moscow on Nov. 7, 2018. The photo is taken from a video released by the Libyan National Army.

"They are hired mercenaries who fight for money," Kofman said of the Wagner fighters. He said the mercenaries are allowed to keep a percentage of what they capture, and that's why they targeted the oil facility.

"They thought they'd take it and the thing turned out to be a fiasco," he said.

Kofman and other analysts see Prigozhin as the man funding these ventures, though he may not be involved in the details. In addition, it's not clear how much guidance the Kremlin provides, but it may be limited to some general guidelines, according to analysts.

Simes, meanwhile, notes that many rich businessmen in Putin's orbit are often described as "oligarchs." He disagrees with this label, saying it suggests they have real political power, which they don't in Putin's Russia.

He describes the Putin-Prigozhin ties as "not a relationship of co-equals, not a relationship of two intimate friends, but somebody who knows Putin reasonably well, who benefited from that relationship and who is prepared to be of help when needed."

Because Prigozhin and others like him are not formally part of the government, the Kremlin can distance itself and deny they are acting on behalf of the Russian state.

However, the U.S. government has shown a strong interest in Prigozhin.

The Treasury Department sanctioned him in 2016 for supporting Russia's military occupation in Ukraine.

Robert Mueller's team indicted him last February, saying he used his catering company to fund the Internet Research Agency, which interfered in the 2016 election.

There's virtually no record of Prigozhin speaking publicly. But he did comment on the indictment, telling Russia's state-run Ria Novosti news agency, "Americans are very impressionable people. They see what they want to see. If they want to see the devil — let them see one."

There was a rare sighting in November, when a Libyan military delegation met their Russian counterparts in Moscow. A video of the meeting shows everyone in a military uniform — except one Russian, who's conspicuously wearing a business suit. The man is Yevgeny Prigozhin.

And in the latest twist, Reuters reports that hundreds of Russian mercenaries are now in Venezuela supporting Nicolás Maduro, the embattled president. The Kremlim denies this
https://www.npr.org/2019/01/30/68562263 ... ritics-say
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Re: 13 Russian Nationals Indicted by Grand Jury

Postby seemslikeadream » Thu Jan 31, 2019 8:42 pm


A lot of people are reporting and misreporting details from this Mueller filing revealing that it had been the target of disinformation efforts starting in October.


To substantiate an argument that Concord Management should not be able to share with Yevgeniy Prigozhin the sensitive discovery that the government has shared with their trollish lawyers, Mueller revealed that on October 22, someone posted 1000 files turned over in discovery along with a bunch of other crap, partially nested within the file structure of the files turned over in discovery.

On October 22, 2018, the newly created Twitter account @HackingRedstone published the following tweet: “We’ve got access to the Special Counsel Mueller’s probe database as we hacked Russian server with info from the Russian troll case Concord LLC v. Mueller. You can view all the files Mueller had about the IRA and Russian collusion. Enjoy the reading!”1 The tweet also included a link to a webpage located on an online file-sharing portal. This webpage contained file folders with names and folder structures that are unique to the names and structures of materials (including tracking numbers assigned by the Special Counsel’s Office) produced by the government in discovery.2 The FBI’s initial review of the over 300,000 files from the website has found that the unique “hashtag” values of over 1,000 files on the website matched the hashtag values of files produced in discovery.3 Furthermore, the FBI’s ongoing review has found no evidence that U.S. government servers, including servers used by the Special Counsel’s Office, fell victim to any computer intrusion involving the discovery files.

1 On that same date, a reporter contacted the Special Counsel’s Office to advise that the reporter had received a direct message on Twitter from an individual who stated that they had received discovery material by hacking into a Russian legal company that had obtained discovery material from Reed Smith. The individual further stated that he or she was able to view and download the files from the Russian legal company’s database through a remote server.

2 For example, the file-sharing website contains a folder labeled “001-W773.” Within that folder was a folder labeled “Yahoo.” Within that folder was a folder labeled “return.” Within the “return” folder were several folders with the names of email addresses. In discovery in this case, the government produced a zip file named “Yahoo 773.” Within that zip file were search warrant returns for Yahoo email accounts. The names of the email accounts contained in that zip file were identical to the names of the email address folders within the “return” subfolder on the webpage. The webpage contained numerous other examples of similarities between the structure of the discovery and the names and structures of the file folders on the webpage. The file names and structure of the material produced by the government in discovery are not a matter of public record. At the same time, some folders contained within the Redstone Hacking release have naming conventions that do not appear in the government’s discovery production but appear to have been applied in the course of uploading the government’s production. For example, the “001- W773” folder appears within a folder labeled “REL001,” which is not a folder found within the government’s production. The naming convention of folder “REL001” suggests that the contents of the folder came from a production managed on Relativity, a software platform for managing document review. Neither the Special Counsel’s Office nor the U.S. Attorney’s Office used Relativity to produce discovery in this case. [my emphasis]

It sounds like Mueller’s office found out about it when being contacted by the journalist who had been alerted to the content on Twitter.

But before Mueller asked Concord’s trollish lawyers about it, the defense attorneys — citing media contacts they themselves had received — contacted prosecutors to offer a bullshit excuse about where the files came from.

On October 23, 2018, the day after the tweet quoted above, defense counsel contacted the government to advise that defense counsel had received media inquiries from journalists claiming they had been offered “hacked discovery materials from our case.” Defense counsel advised that the vendor hired by the defense reported no unauthorized access to the non-sensitive discovery. Defense counsel concluded, “I think it is a scam peddling the stuff that was hacked and dumped many years ago by Shaltai Boltai,” referencing a purported hack of Concord’s computer systems that occurred in approximately 2014. That hypothesis is not consistent with the fact that actual discovery materials from this case existed on the site, and that many of the file names and file structures on the webpage reflected file names and file structures from the discovery production in this case.

Without any hint of accusation against the defense attorneys (though this motion is accompanied by an ex parte one, so who knows if they offered further explanation there), Mueller notes any sharing of this information for disinformation purposes would violate the protective order in the case.

As stated previously, these facts establish a use of the non-sensitive discovery in this case in a manner inconsistent with the terms of the protective order. The order states that discovery may be used by defense counsel “solely in connection with the defense of this criminal case, and for no other purpose, and in connection with no other proceeding, without further order of this Court,” Dkt. No. 42-1, ¶ 1, and that “authorized persons shall not copy or reproduce the materials except in order to provide copies of the materials for use in connection with this case by defense counsel and authorized persons,” id. ¶ 3. The use of the file names and file structure of the discovery to create a webpage intended to discredit the investigation in this case described above shows that the discovery was reproduced for a purpose other than the defense of the case.

This thread, from one of the journalists who was offered the information, put it all in context back on November 7, the day after the election.


The thread shows how the release of the Mueller-related files was part of a month-long effort to seed a claim that the Internet Research Agency had succeeded in affecting the election.

Update: This story provides more background.


Given how the Mueller disinformation functioned as part of that month-long, election oriented campaign, I’m more interested in this passage from the Mueller investigation than that the investigation had been targeted. Mueller argues that they shouldn’t have to share the sensitive discovery with Yevgeniy Prigozhin because the sensitive discovery mentions uncharged individuals who are still trying to fuck with our elections.

First, the sensitive discovery identifies uncharged individuals and entities that the government believes are continuing to engage in operations that interfere with lawful U.S. government functions like those activities charged in the indictment.

To be sure, we knew the investigation into Prigozhin’s trolls was ongoing. On October 19, just days before these files got dropped, DOJ unsealed an EDVA complaint, which had been filed under seal on September 28, against Prigozhin’s accountant, Alekseevna Khusyaynova. Along with showing Prigozhin’s trolls responding to the original Internet Research Agency indictment last February, it showed IRA’s ongoing troll efforts through at least June of last year.

Then, in December, Concord insinuated that Mueller prosecutor Rush Atkinson had obtained information via the firewall counsel and taken an investigative step on that information back on August 30.

On August 23, 2018, in connection with a request (“Concord’s Request”) made pursuant to the Protective Order entered by the Court, Dkt. No. 42-1, Concord provided confidential information to Firewall Counsel. The Court was made aware of the nature of this information in the sealed portion of Concord’s Motion for Leave to Respond to the Government’s Supplemental Briefing Relating to Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss the Indictment, filed on October 22, 2018. Dkt. No. 70-4 (Concord’s “Motion for Leave”). Seven days after Concord’s Request, on August 30, 2018, Assistant Special Counsel L. Rush Atkinson took investigative action on the exact same information Concord provided to Firewall Counsel. Undersigned counsel learned about this on October 4, 2018, based on discovery provided by the Special Counsel’s Office. Immediately upon identifying this remarkable coincidence, on October 5, 2018, undersigned counsel requested an explanation from the Special Counsel’s Office, copying Firewall Counsel on the e-mail.


Having received no further explanation or information from the government, undersigned counsel raised this issue with the Court in a filing made on October 22, 2018 in connection with the then-pending Motion to Dismiss. In response to questions from the Court, Firewall Counsel denied having any communication with the Special Counsel’s Office.

This was a bid to obtain live grand jury investigative information, one that failed earlier this month after Mueller explained under seal how his prosecutors had obtained this information and Dabney Friedrich denied the request.

What this filing, in conjunction with Josh Russell’s explanatory Twitter thread, reveals is that the Mueller disinformation effort was part of a disinformation campaign targeted at the election.


And I find that interesting because of a disturbing exchange in a very disturbing Global Threats hearing the other day. After getting both Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and FBI Director Christopher Wray to offer excuses for White House decisions to given security risks like Jared Kushner security clearance, Martin Heinrich then asked Coats why ODNI had not shared the report on election tampering even with the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Heinrich: Director Coats, I want to come back to you for a moment. Your office issued a statement recently announcing that you had submitted the intelligence community’s report assessing the threats to the 2018 mid-term elections to the President and to appropriate Executive Agencies. Our committee has not seen this report. And despite committee requests following the election that the ODNI brief the committee on any identified threats, it took ODNI two months to get a simple oral briefing and no written assessment has yet been provided. Can you explain to me why we haven’t been kept more fully and currently informed about those Russian activities in the 2018–

Chairman Richard Burr interrupts to say that, in fact, he and Vice Chair Mark Warner have seen the report.

Burr: Before you respond, let me just acknowledge to the members that the Vice Chairman and I have both been briefed on the report and it’s my understanding that the report at some point will be available.

Coats then gives a lame excuse about the deadlines, 45 days, then 45 days.

Coats: The process that we’re going through are two 45 day periods, one for the IC to assess whether there was anything that resulted in a change of the vote or anything with machines, uh, what the influence efforts were and so forth. So we collected all of that, and the second 45 days — which we then provided to the Chairman and Vice Chairman. And the second 45 days is with DHS looking, and DOJ, looking at whether there’s information enough there to take — to determine what kind of response they might take. We’re waiting for that final information to come in.

After Coats dodges his question about sharing the report with the Committee, Heinrich then turns to Burr to figure out when they’re going to get the information. Burr at least hints that the Executive might try to withhold this report, but it hasn’t gotten to that yet.

Heinrich: So the rest of us can look forward — so the rest of us can then look forward to reading the report?

Coats: I think we will be informing the Chairman and the Vice Chairman of that, of their decisions.

Heinrich: That’s not what I asked. Will the rest of the Committee have access to that report, Mr. Chairman?


Heinrich: Chairman Burr?

Burr; Well, let me say to members we’re sort of in unchartered ground. But I make the same commitment I always do, that anything that the Vice Chairman and myself are exposed to, we’ll make every request to open the aperture so that all members will be able to read I think it’s vitally important, especially on this one, we’re not to a point where we’ve been denied or we’re not to a point that negotiations need to start. So it’s my hope that, once the final 45-day window is up that is a report that will be made available, probably to members only.

Coming as it did in a hearing where it became clear that Trump’s spooks are helpless in keeping Trump from pursuing policies that damage the country, this exchange got very little attention. But it should!

The Executive Branch by law has to report certain things to the Intelligence Committees. This report was mandated by Executive Order under threat of legislation mandating it.

And while Coats’ comment about DOJ, “looking at whether there’s information enough there to take — to determine what kind of response they might take,” suggests part of the sensitivity about this report stems from a delay to provide DOJ time to decide whether they’ll take prosecutorial action against what they saw in the election, the suggestion that only members of the committee (not staffers and not other members of Congress) will ever get the final report, as well as the suggestion that Coats might even fight that, put this report on a level of sensitivity that matches covert actions, the most sensitive information that get shared with Congress.

Maybe the Russians did have an effect on the election?

In any case, going back to the Mueller disinformation effort, that feels like very familiar dick-wagging, an effort to make key entities in the US feel vulnerable to Russian compromise. Mueller sounds pretty sure it was not a successful compromise (that is, the data came from Concord’s lawyers, not Mueller).

But if the disinformation was part an effort to boast that Putin’s allies had successfully tampered with the vote — particularly if Russia really succeeded in doing so — it might explain why this report is being treated with the sensitivity of the torture or illegal spying program.

Update: I’ve corrected this to note that in the end the Intelligence Authorization did not mandate this report, as was originally intended; Trump staved that requirement off with an Executive Order. Still, that still makes this look like an attempt to avoid admitting to Congress that your buddy Putin continues to tamper in US elections.
https://www.emptywheel.net/2019/01/30/t ... erference/

Since we're talking Concord's disinfo targeting Mueller, worth noting that Ukraine getting more bullish on calling Wagner PMC, which is "owned" by same guy who owns Concord, is largely run by GRU, which hacked the DNC.

Wagner PMC part of Russian military intel, IDs of "mercenaries" confirm – Ukraine security chief

Chief of the SBU Security Service of Ukraine, Vasyl Hrytsak, says travel documents issued to mercenaries of Russia's Wagner Private Military Company confirm that the PMC is a secret detachment of the country's military intelligence.

“Russia keeps lying cynically, trying to justify its crimes committed across the globe. The Kremlin keeps yelling that the armed units of its military intelligence don't protect dictatorial regimes in Sudan, Syria and have not been involved in the murder of journalists in the CAR who tried to shed light on their clandestine activities,” the SBU reported on their website.

The Security Service of Ukraine reminded that on January 25, materials testifying that Russian mercenaries and weapons were delivered to Sudan and other countries of the region “directly by the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation on the request of M Invest LLC, a company owned by 'Putin's chef' Yevgeny Prigozhin.”

Moreover, the SBU chief adds, it was through “M Invest” that tickets were purchased for the “passengers” of flights performed by the Russian defense ministry's 223rd flight squad, who turned out to be outsourced operatives of Russia's military intelligence from Wagner PMC.

“From August to December 2018, Tu-154M planes (RA-85041, RA-85155 registration numbers) brought to Sudan, the CAR, and other African countries on a rotational basis 1,012 'we-are-not-there' troops, whose tickets, personal, and passport data are today at the SBU disposal,” reads the statement.

Read alsoContractors of Russia's PMC Wagner beef up security for Venezuela's Maduro – media

The SBU published part of the available information, in particular, the list of 149 people who “directly partook in suppressing democratic protests in Sudan in early 2019.”

“An analysis of passport data of over a thousand PMC Wagner operatives testifies that the overwhelming majority of their travel documents were processed by a same Moscow-based unit of the Federal Migration Service, which also issued cover documents for 'Petrov' and 'Boshirov', Russian military intelligence officers who had carried out a chemical attack in British Salisbury.

At the same time, passport series and registration numbers of several hundreds of passports of "Wagner’s men" show the IDs were issued in bulk, one after another.

Hrytsak says this once again confirms that Wagner PMC is “a secret detachment of outsourced assassins hired by the Russian military intelligence.”

According to the report, the SBU also found that Russian military intelligence was also sent to citizens from other countries: Belarus, Moldova, and the self-proclaimed republics supported by Russia, as part of the African rotations of the Wagner private security complex.

“In addition, the available information indicates the target recruitment to the Sudanese“ business trip ”of PMC Wagner of traitors to Ukraine from among the residents of the temporarily occupied Crimea, who received Russian citizenship as a reward for helping the Russian aggressor,” added the Security Service.

Read alsoNew evidence ties murder of three Russian journalists in CAR to "Putin's chef" – media

It is also noted that more than 90% of mercenaries deployed in Africa had taken part in Russia's military aggression against Ukraine in 2014-2015, in particular, in the offensive on the Lugansk Airport and the city of Debaltseve.

The SBU also found that since the end of 2018, as part of the efforts to create in Sudan a “military-technical support point for the Russian Navy,” former Ukrainian Navy officers were deployed there, who in the spring of 2014 had betrayed Ukraine and sided with the Russian occupants, signing contracts with the Russian navy.
https://www.unian.info/world/10424754-w ... chief.html
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Re: 13 Russian Nationals Indicted by Grand Jury

Postby seemslikeadream » Thu Oct 03, 2019 11:00 am

Leonid Ragozin

This is significant. Anna Bogacheva, on the US sanctions list for running Prigozhin's troll factory in St Petersburg, was previously linked to the neo-nazi group Russky Obraz, the political wing of the murderous group known as BORN.

The organisation cooperated with elements in Putin's presidential administration, until the Kremlin stopped flirting with and started clamping down on neo-nazis. Both leaders of RO/BORN, Nikita Tikhonov and Ilya Goryachev, are now serving life sentences.

Their victims included migrants from Central Asia and several people associated with antifa movement, most prominently left-wing lawyer Stanislav Margelov and his friend, Ukrainian journalist Anastasia Baburova.

Several people, associated with BORN, ended up in Ukraine. The most prominent of them is Roman Zheleznov who was invited by Ukrainian neo-nazis to join Azov at its conception (the "little black men") stage. I interviewed him in Kiev in 2016 and penned this

https://codastory.com/disinformation/ar ... s-in-arms/

One can compile an encyclopedia out of all Western politicians and officials who have made friends with Azov movement, including its vocal community of Russian nazis. Wonder if it ever occurred to them that they are placing themselves less than one handshake away from FSB & GRU.

Bogacheva was one of Prigozhin's IRA employees who travelled around the US trying to establish contacts with activists in various states who could be useful in influencing 2016 elections. This investigation also links her to NRA's best Russian friend, Maria Butina.

What's significant is that there is a whole bunch of former far right activists who are now associated with Prigozhin's multiple enterprises, including influence operations in Africa.

Found this 2013 interview with Anna Trygga (Bogacheva's nomme de guerre in her nazi times) which presents her as Ilya Goryachev's bride. This reinforces RFERL's theory about her being coerced by the FSB into cooperation with Prigozhin.

Another fact that I know from a source in Kiev is that at least some of the Russian neo-nazis earn their living by churning out anonymous texts and comments for Ukraine-based troll factories.

Fun fact. Bogacheva works for Prigozhin's Internet Research Agency (IRA), while Goryachev and Tikhonov were inspired by IRA when they created a double-headed organisation with a political and a liberal wing. But these two acronyms are not identical in Russian.

https://twitter.com/leonidragozin/statu ... 9730065408

"Русский образ" Пригожина. Связи "повара Путина" с националистами
Радио Свобода удалось проследить связь бывших и нынешних подчиненных Евгения Пригожина с русскими националистами. В числе прочего мы узнали, что Анна Богачева, одна из сотрудниц "Агентства интернет-исследований", попавшая под американские санкции весной 2018 года, на самом деле является бывшей активисткой организации "Русский образ", более известной по имени "Анна Тригга". Тригга входила в "группу поддержки" Ильи Горячева на суде по делу "Боевой организации русских националистов", по итогам которого Горячев получил пожизненный срок, а также участвовала в мероприятиях националистов вместе с Марией Бутиной, отбывающей наказание в США за деятельность в качестве незарегистрированного агента иностранного правительства.

16 февраля 2018 года Министерство юстиции США список из 13 российских граждан, обвиненных по делу о вмешательстве России в выборы президента США. В их числе оказался "повар Путина" Евгений Пригожин и сотрудники "Агентства интернет-исследований", больше известного как "фабрика троллей". Спустя месяц против этих людей США . Расследование американского спецпрокурора Мюллера, завершившееся 22 марта 2019 года, также пришло к выводу, что Россия с помощью троллей в соцсетях и с помощью хакеров, взломавших серверы различных организаций Демократической партии США, нарушила американский закон. Несмотря на то, что причастность к этим действиям президента Дональда Трампа доказана не была, установленный расследованием факт вмешательства России в американские выборы приводит к введению новых санкций и по сей день – так, в понедельник Министерство финансов США ввело ограничительные меры , связанных с бизнес-империей Пригожина.

Спецпрокурор Роберт Мюллер
Спецпрокурор Роберт Мюллер
В феврале 2018 года российские СМИ, в том числе Радио Свобода, подробно рассказывали о людях из "пригожинского" санкционного списка. Как следует из обвинительного заключения, многие из них посещали США накануне выборов, чтобы собрать информацию и завести связи, которые должны были помочь в создании фейковых аккаунтов и групп в соцсетях для поляризации американского общества и последующего влияния на американскую политическую повестку. Чуть ли не меньше всего журналистам удалось узнать о сотруднице "Агентства интернет-исследований" Анне Владиславовне Богачевой: по данным Минюста США, она работала на Пригожина как минимум с апреля по июль 2014 года в так называемом "переводческом проекте". Богачева вместе с другой сотрудницей агентства, Александрой Крыловой, посетила девять американских штатов, чтобы собрать данные для будущих операций "фабрики троллей" в США. При получении визы она указала "ложную" цель поездки, уже находясь в стране, купила видеокамеры, несколько сим-карт и "одноразовых" телефонов, обсуждала с Крыловой "пути отхода" для себя и своих коллег на случай провала миссии.

Как выяснили журналисты "Новой газеты", уроженка Ставропольского края Анна Богачева училась в Санкт-Петербурге в Национальном исследовательском университете информационных технологий, механики и оптики (ИТМО) и владела вместе с бывшим комиссаром прокремлевского движения "Наши" Михаилом Потепкиным компанией "АйТи Дебаггер", занимавшейся "Продвижением сайтов и разработкой PR-кампаний". Потепкин, как рассказывало ранее издание The Bell, является одной их ключевых фигур "африканского проекта" Пригожина: в числе прочего он от имени компании "М-Инвест", предположительно связанной с Пригожиным, подписал концессионное соглашение с Суданом о добыче золота.

/**/ /**/ /**/ Евгений Пригожин
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Зигзаг удачи. От ловли "карусельщиков" – к работе на Пригожина

На самом деле, как удалось выяснить Радио Свобода по открытым источникам, биография Богачевой куда интереснее. За этой фамилией скрывается человек, хорошо известный в кругах русских националистов как Анна Тригга. Тригга была активисткой организации "Русский образ", входила в "группу поддержки" Ильи Горячева на суде по делу "Боевой организации русских националистов" (БОРН), по итогам которого Горячев получил пожизненный срок за организацию нескольких убийств, а также, предположительно, была знакома с Марией Бутиной, которая также попала в поле зрения ФБР во время расследования дела о вмешательстве России в американские выборы и после сделки со следствием была приговорена в США к полутора годам лишения свободы за деятельность в качестве незарегистрированного агента иностранного правительства.

/**/ /**/ /**/ Мария Бутина в зале суда
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Мария Бутина осуждена и вернется в Россию через 9 месяцев

Как вспоминал по просьбе "Медузы" в 2017 году главный редактор "Медиазоны" Сергей Смирнов, "Русский образ" был попыткой создать своего рода "политическую крышу" для БОРН. По его словам, название для организации выбрали после того, как Горячев в начале нулевых годов познакомился в Сербии с активистами сербского "Образа" – организации радикальных националистов. Горячев также хотел наладить (и отчасти смог это сделать) сотрудничество с администрацией президента России – именно это сотрудничество наряду с показаниями против Тихонова впоследствии негативно сказалось на репутации "Русского образа" в среде русских националистов.

Почему Анна Владиславовна Богачева из "списка Мюллера" – это "Анна Тригга"?

О том, что Анна Тригга может быть той самой Анной Богачевой из санкционного списка США, удалось узнать благодаря удаленному аккаунту Тригги в социальной сети "ВКонтакте" – vk.com/trigga88. Упоминание этого аккаунта как аккаунта Тригги мы нашли в комментариях к новости от 13 мая 2013 года на сайте "Правые новости" об объявлении Ильи Горячева в розыск по делу БОРНа. В комментарии пользователь под ником KAMPF18 пишет о Тригге как об одной из активисток "Русского образа", связанных с Горячевым. KAMPF18, правда, называет "Русский образ" "Сучьим образом" – так в среде националистов отреагировали на то, что Горячев дал показания против Никиты Тихонова, впоследствии признанного виновным в убийстве адвоката Станислава Маркелова и журналистки "Новой газеты" Анастасии Бабуровой.

Евгения Хасис и Никита Тихонов слушают приговор по делу об убийстве Станислава Маркелова и Анастасии Бабуровой, 6 мая 2011 года
Евгения Хасис и Никита Тихонов слушают приговор по делу об убийстве Станислава Маркелова и Анастасии Бабуровой, 6 мая 2011 года
Несмотря на то что сейчас аккаунт trigga88 удален, на сайте Wayback Machine сохранилась его копия по состоянию на 1 февраля 2012 года.

Как следует из этой сохраненной копии, аккаунт trigga88 принадлежит пользователю Anna Trigga, родившемуся 13 марта 1988 года. Такая же дата рождения указана напротив фамилии Анны Владиславовны Богачевой в санкционном списке Минфина США. Из копии аккаунта trigga88 можно также узнать его числовой ID во "ВКонтакте" – 5146266 (для этого достаточно подвести мышку к ссылке на фотоальбом). Как оказалось, аккаунт Богачевой-Тригги был не удален, а переименован: по адресу vk.com/id5146266 открывается страничка пользователя "Анна Владиславова" (имя Богачевой и ее отчество, переделанное в фамилию). Профиль закрыт от посторонних глаз, единственная доступная в нем информация – фотография профиля (Энтони Хопкинс в роли Каннибала Лектера) и день рождения, все то же 13 марта (но уже без года).

Тем не менее, даже будучи закрытым, этот аккаунт позволяет подтвердить, что Анна Тригга – это Анна Богачева. С помощью числового ID аккаунта можно посмотреть все посты во "ВКонтакте", где этот аккаунт был отмечен. Среди таких постов мы обнаружили пост о сдаче квартиры, написанный "Анной Владиславовой". Адрес на Планерной улице, по которому расположена сдаваемая квартира, – совпадает, как следует из базы данных российских юридических лиц, с юридическим адресом фирмы Богачевой и Михаила Потепкина "АйТи Дебаггер".

В сохранившейся копии старого аккаунта Анны Тригги-Богачевой есть и ее фотография, опубликованная пользователем Мечиславом Качиньски. Этот снимок также позволяет идентифицировать Анну Богачеву как Анну Триггу – в следующих главах этого расследования мы покажем другие фотографии Тригги-Богачевой, сделанные, в числе прочего, на собраниях русских националистов. Кроме того, Радио Свобода удалось узнать о связях с националистами нынешних сотрудников Евгения Пригожина, в том числе тех, кто работает в Санкт-Петербурге в "бэк-офисе" Пригожина, занимающегося "африканским направлением" деятельности "повара Путина".

Анна Тригга (справа), фотография из переименованного аккаунта "ВКонтакте"
Анна Тригга (справа), фотография из переименованного аккаунта "ВКонтакте"
Из программистов в националисты

Анна Владиславовна Богачева родилась в Ставропольском крае, но в середине 2000-х оказалась в Санкт-Петербурге, где поступила в Национальный исследовательский университет информационных технологий, механики и оптики (ИТМО) – один из ведущих российских вузов, студенты которого не раз становились победителями международных соревнований по программированию. Программированию училась и Богачева, очевидно, достаточно прилежно: в 2010 году, будучи студенткой 6-го курса факультета компьютерных технологий и управления, она среди еще 20 учащихся ИТМО получила престижную Потанинскую стипендию, в 2013-м, уже будучи аспиранткой, была рекомендована своим вузом на стипендию Правительства РФ по приоритетным направлениям. К этому можно добавить участие в оргкомитете школы по компьютерному моделированию и соавторство как минимум в одной статье, опубликованной в научном журнале. На выходе получается образ если не блестящей, то вполне успешной студентки и аспирантки. Радио Свобода отправило электронные письма двум соавторам работы Богачевой, но не получило на них ответа, профессор института финансовых кибертехнологий ИТМО Алексей Духанов, основной автор статьи, прочитал сообщение Радио Свобода в социальной сети "ВКонтакте" с вопросами о Богачевой, но не ответил на него.

Найти следов защиты Анной Богачевой кандидатской диссертации Радио Свобода не удалось, похоже, к этому моменту у нее появились другие дела: 2014 год оказался в жизни аспирантки очень насыщенным. В апреле она зарегистрировала с Михаилом Потепкиным упомянутую выше компанию "Ай Ти Дебаггер", а в июне того же года Богачева вместе со своей коллегой по новой работе Александрой Крыловой, еще одним фигурантом списка Мюллера, уже отправились в первую поездку по США "с целью сбора разведданных" для "Агентства интернет-исследований" Евгения Пригожина.

Наконец, еще два месяца спустя, в августе 2014 года, Богачева неожиданно становится временным управляющим проходящего процедуру банкротства ООО "Мурманские верфи" (текст определения арбитражного суда, .pdf). В определении указано, что Богачева представляла "некоммерческое партнерство по содействию деятельности арбитражных управляющих "Инициатива", – эта организация была зарегистрирована в Ярославле, на странице "Инициативы" во "ВКонтакте" (не обновляется с 2012 года) указано контактное лицо – "директор по развитию" Артем Фролов. Радио Свобода удалось связаться с Фроловым, сейчас он работает в московской юридической фирме. На вопрос, как аспирантка-айтишница из Санкт-Петербурга оказалась арбитражным управляющим мурманской компании, представляя при этом ярославское некоммерческое партнерство, Фролов ответил, что "арбитражным управляющим может стать любой человек с высшим образованием", достаточно сдать экзамен и внести 50 тысяч рублей в компенсационный фонд. Фролов также подчеркнул, что география не имеет значения: в "Инициативу" (ликвидирована по решению суда в 2016 году) входили люди из разных регионов, головной офис, по его словам, получал запросы от налоговой службы и распределял их по членам партнерства. Фролов не стал отвечать на вопрос, помнит ли он, как именно Богачева попала в "Инициативу" и знаком ли он с ней лично (Радио Свобода имеет основания предполагать, что они были знакомы, но об этом чуть дальше).

Анна Тригга на молодежном форуме в Белоруссии, 2011 год. Фото из инстаграма Евгения Валяева, бывшего активиста "Русского образа", а ныне – одного из постоянных экспертов РИА ФАН, близкого к Евгению Пригожину:

Видным деятелем петербургских националистических кругов, в которых она хорошо известна под псевдонимом Анна Тригга, Богачева стала примерно в одно время с началом своей учебы в ИТМО. Как именно приехавшая со Ставрополья в Петербург девушка попала в среду националистов, Радио Свобода достоверно установить не удалось. Главный редактор издания "Ридус" Андрей Гулютин, который в середине 2000-х входил в редколлегию журнала "Русский образ", ответил Радио Свобода на этот вопрос так: "Как попала? Спорт, околофутбол, музыка – все передовые носители этих идей в юности относятся к разного рода левакам или к правым. В те далекие годы, в 90-х – нулевых, если ты не желал быть в кругах нариков и прочих вырожденцев, но хотел быть частью неформальной среды, а не гопоты, ты непременно попадал в ту самую среду. Все просто". Впрочем, Гулютин отметил, что знаком с Триггой только "шапочно", так как она не имела отношения к журналу "Русский образ", а к одноименной организации якобы не относился он сам.

То, что Тригга была активисткой движения "Русский образ", подтверждается многими ссылками. Например, нынешний аккаунт Тригги ("Анны Владиславовой") в социальной сети "ВКонтакте" указан старшим администратором петербургского отделения "Право-консервативного альянса" – под этой вывеской "Русский образ" продолжил работать после того, как лидер движения Илья Горячев был задержан в 2013 году по делу "Боевой организации русских националистов". Тригга-Богачева активно участвовала в процессе над Горячевым, была, по словам нескольких собеседников Радио Свобода, ходивших на суд, "в группе его поддержки", давала показания в ходе предварительного следствия, опубликовала интервью с "невестой" Горячева Оксаной, в котором назвала его "политическим узником". Один из посещавших заседания суда собеседников Радио Свобода, пожелавший остаться неназванным, вспоминает, что Анна Тригга "очень хорошо знала английский язык".

24 июля 2015 года Илья Горячев был приговорен к пожизненному заключению по обвинению в организации нескольких убийств, руководстве радикально-националистическим сообществом "Боевая организация русских националистов" и незаконном обороте оружия. Сам Горячев отрицал свою причастность к вменяемым ему преступлениям.

Илья Горячев в суде, 24 июля 2015 года
Илья Горячев в суде, 24 июля 2015 года
Тригга, впрочем, была знакома не только с Горячевым, но и с Никитой Тихоновым и Евгенией Хасис. Богачева упоминается в материалах прослушки разговоров Тихонова и Хасис, сделанной осенью 2009 года; встречается ее имя и в показаниях, которые уже осужденный к тому моменту Тихонов дал на Горячева: "[в апреле 2009 года] я выехал вместе с Хасис в г. Санкт-Петербург. Предварительно Горячев через члена "Русского образа" из Санкт-Петербурга Богачеву Анну арендовал для нас квартиру". Радио Свобода не удалось найти указаний на то, что Тригга имела какое-то отношение к убийствам БОРНа, Андрей Гулютин также сказал в разговоре с Радио Свобода, что роль Богачевой в деле БОРН заключлась в том, что "она что-то там сдавала".

В 2010 году, уже находясь в СИЗО "Лефортово", Евгения Хасис опубликовала критическую рецензию на статью Тригги-Богачевой "Активность девушки в правом движении", в которой та утверждала, что "90% девушек попадают в [правый] движ через правого парня": "Тема, поднятая автором, действительно очень актуальна, но в итоге вышел какой-то микс из поливания грязью женского пола (видимо в рамках внутривидовой борьбы) и выделения себя, как исключения из этой грязи", – писала Хасис. Отношения полов и семья – в контексте правой идеологии – были одним из направлений активистской работы Тригги. По данным Радио Свобода, она имела отношение к близкому к РО проекту "Русская демография" – структуре, которая продвигала консервативные семейные ценности, оказывала помощь детским приютам, больницам, а также, например, жителям Луганской и Донецкой областей и беженцам из них.

Руководила "Русской демографией" Анна Старицкая (страница в фейсбуке и в Живом журнале), которая не просто связана с Триггой в фейсбуке, но и одна из немногих оставила лайки под немногочисленными открытыми постами Тригги в этой социальной сети. На вопрос Радио Свобода о знакомстве с Богачевой Старицкая спросила "почему вы ей интересуетесь?", а потом пообещала сообщить Тригге об интересе со стороны Радио Свобода. Из сохранившейся в архиве копии сайта "Русской демографии" можно узнать имена некоторых других активистов движения в разных городах России. Радио Свобода удалось установить, что в Петербурге координатором проекта был Максим Нуйя (аккаунт в фейсбуке, аккаунт в Живом журнале). Нуйя сейчас работает в сфере IT-технологий, как и Старицкая, он связан в социальных сетях с Триггой. На сообщения Радио Свобода с просьбой рассказать о знакомстве с Анной Триггой Максим Нуйя не ответил.

Скриншот главной страницы ныне закрытого сайта "Русская демография"
Скриншот главной страницы ныне закрытого сайта "Русская демография"
Координатором "Русской демографии" в Ярославле был Артем Фролов – тот самый юрист и бывший "директор по развитию" партнерства "Инициатива", через которое Богачева устроилась управляющим "Мурманских верфей". Он же упомянут в 2011 году на форуме yarportal.ru как представитель "Русского образа" в Ярославле. Связи между "Инициативой" и петербургскими националистами Фроловым и Триггой не исчерпываются. Генеральный директор петербургского ООО "РусЭнергоМаш" Максим Настасьин (аккаунт в фейсбуке, еще один), с одной стороны, оставил лайк под одним из постов "Русской демографии" и имеет в друзьях многих представителей правой среды, включая Анну Богачеву, а с другой стороны, входил в то же самое партнерство "Инициатива". Можно предположить, что через эту организацию Артем Фролов устраивал арбитражными управляющими (что, по его собственным словам, не требует специального образования) своих знакомых националистов.

Анна Тригга, заметная фигура в националистических кругах, она же – Анна Богачева, успешная студентка и аспирантка престижного вуза, хорошо владеющая английским языком, в 2014 году или чуть раньше оказывается в "Агентстве интернет-исследований" Евгения Пригожина, где занимается переводом и анализом данных. Как это случилось? Источник Радио Свобода, пожелавший сохранить анонимность, рассказал, что работа в пригожинской "ферме" стала ее "трудовой повинностью" под давлением ФСБ – из-за участия Тригги в работе "Русского образа" и других националистических проектов. Подтвердить эту информацию в других источниках РС пока не удалось.

Те же и Бутина

До того как получить "шпионские обвинения" в США и заключить сделку со следствием, позволившую оставить в обвинительном заключении лишь статью о незаконной деятельности в качестве "агента иностранного правительства", Мария Бутина пробовала себя в бизнесе и общественной деятельности в России. Самый известный её проект – существующая до сих пор, несмотря на тюремное заключение Бутиной, организация "Право на оружие".

Мария Бутина, апрель 2012 года
Мария Бутина, апрель 2012 года
"Право на оружие" действует с 2011 года и лоббирует ослабление ограничений на использование огнестрельного оружия гражданским населением в России. С самого своего создания организация декларировала готовность сотрудничать с любыми политическими группами, придерживающимися такой же позиции по оружейному вопросу.

Анна Тригга (верхнее фото) и Мария Бутина на одном из мероприятий "Консервативного клуба" в 2012 году
Анна Тригга (верхнее фото) и Мария Бутина на одном из мероприятий "Консервативного клуба" в 2012 году
Одной из таких групп стал и "Русский образ", вернее, его "обновленная версия" – "Правоконсервативный альянс". Основателем "Альянса" стал все тот же Илья Горячев, а одним из первых символических жестов организации было присвоение неофициального звания "почетный гражданин Москвы" Воиславу Шешелю, бывшему лидеру Сербской радикальной партии, признанному Международным cудом в Гааге виновным в преступлениях против человечности и приговоренному в 2018 году к 10 годам лишения свободы за преследование хорватов в селе Хртковци, которое расположено в сербском крае Воеводина.

"Правоконсервативный альянс" сделал сотрудничество с "Правом на оружие" одним из постоянных направлений своей деятельности. Когда телеканал Russia Today в рамках акции в поддержку Бутиной записывал рассказы друзей и соратников о Бутиной, одним из двух опрошенных оказался активист "Правоконсервативного альянса" Алексей Живов.

Есть множество фотографий и постов в соцсетях, подтверждающих присутствие членов "Альянса" на мероприятиях "Права на оружие" и наоборот. На одном из них в 2012 году были и Анна Богачева-Тригга, и Мария Бутина.

Националисты на "африканском направлении"

С русскими националистами, как выяснило Радио Свобода, связаны не только бывшие, но и действующие сотрудники "Агентства интернет-исследований" (хотя у Радио Свобода нет точных данных о том, что Анна Богачева больше не работает на Евгения Пригожина).

На то, что нынешние "пригожинские" функционеры тесно связаны с националистической средой, указывают их социальные связи. Так, в разделе "коллеги" списка друзей Михаила Потепкина, ключевой фигуры нынешнего "африканского" проекта Пригожина, можно найти и Анну Триггу, и других известных националистов: это и знакомый с Триггой Евгений Валяев, бывший член "Русского образа", теперь часто дающий комментарии связанному с Пригожиным агентству РИА ФАН в качестве эксперта, еще один член "Русского образа", свидетель по делу Горячева Сергей Лапшин, Сергей Ерзунов, лидер "официальной группы Русского образа" "Хук справа"; близкий друг Никиты Тихонова и один из основателей прокремлевского молодежного движения "Идущие вместе", футбольный хулиган, засветившийся в деле БОРН, Алексей Митрюшин. Впрочем, это не означает, что кто-то из указанных людей сейчас работает в проектах Евгения Пригожина.

Петр Бычков (справа), руководитель "бэк-офиса" Евгения Пригожина в Санкт-Петербурге
Петр Бычков (справа), руководитель "бэк-офиса" Евгения Пригожина в Санкт-Петербурге
Непосредственные деловые связи нынешних руководителей "бэк-офиса" Евгения Пригожина, занимающегося "африканским направлением", с националистами из бывшего "Русского образа" подтверждаются рядом документов, переданных Радио Свобода расследовательским центром "Досье". В их числе – переписка между Михаилом Потепкиным и человеком с ником "Theodor", в которой они в начале 2018 года обсуждают согласование Петром Бычковым на одну из должностей в проекте кандидатуры некоего "Вити". "Витя", как следует из сообщений Потепкина, является представителем "олдскула "Русского образа" (Радио Свобода пока не удалось установить его личность). Кроме этого, в распоряжении Радио Свобода есть фрагмент переписки Потепкина с отцом ребенка Анны Богачевой-Тригги, человеком с ником "Генадий". В одном из сообщений "Генадий" просит Потепкина прислать ему копию российского паспорта для того, чтобы сменить юридический адрес компании "АйТи Дебаггер", которым Богачева-Тригга владеет вместе с бывшим комиссаром "Наших". Радио Свобода отправило Анне Богачевой и нескольким ее друзьям сообщения с просьбой подтвердить или опровергнуть их знакомство с Михаилом Потепкиным или Петром Бычковым. Богачева на них не ответила, несколько других бывших активистов "Русского образа" отказались обсуждать с Радио Свобода эту тему. Также центр "Досье" передал Радио Свобода своего рода "резюме" одного из видных активистов "Русского образа" в Санкт-Петербурге, которое Петр Бычков якобы отправил Михаилу Потепкину с просьбой поделиться известными ему сведениями о нем – этому человеку, имя которого мы пока не будем называть, возможно, будет посвящено одно из будущих расследований центра "Досье" и Радио Свобода.
Mazars and Deutsche Bank could have ended this nightmare before it started.
They could still get him out of office.
But instead, they want mass death.
Don’t forget that.
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Re: 13 Russian Nationals Indicted by Grand Jury

Postby seemslikeadream » Fri Oct 11, 2019 12:57 pm

Troll Factories: The Internet Research Agency and State-Sponsored Agenda Building
Darren L. Linvill
Department of Communication, Clemson University darrenl@clemson.edu
Patrick L. Warren
John E. Walker Department of Economics, Clemson University pwarren@clemson.edu
Thanks to:
The Social Media Listen Center, Clemson University Brandon C. Boatwright, University of Tennessee Knoxville

We document methods employed by Russia’s Internet Research Agency to influence the political agenda of the United States from June 19, 2015 to December 31, 2017. Using the Social Studio social media listening platform, we downloaded tweets from handles identified by Twitter as being associated with the Agency. We identified five handle categories: right troll, left troll, news feed, hashtag gamer, and fearmonger. Within each type, accounts were used consistently, but the behavior across types was radically different, both in terms of “normal” daily behavior and in how they responded to external events. In this sense, the Internet Research Agency’s agenda-building effort was “industrial”-- mass produced from a system of interchangeable parts, where each class of part fulfilled a specialized function.

In February 2018, the U.S. Justice Department indicted 13 Russian nationals for interference with the 2016 U.S. Presidential election (Barrett, Horwitz, & Helderman, 2018). The indictment named the Internet Research Agency (IRA), based in St. Petersburg, as central to a Russian effort, beginning in 2014, to sow discord in the U.S. political system, largely through social media. Evidence of IRA-linked accounts was found on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Google. These accounts masqueraded as American citizens and were used to try to divide voters along a range of issues.
Cobb and Elder (1971) define agenda building as the process by which actors endeavor to move issues from their own agenda onto the agendas of policymakers. In many analyses of agenda- building, media content is used to measure the existing agenda, influenced by varying constituencies (for review, see Denham, 2010). But scholars have also examined the role that media, including social media, play in driving an agenda (Lariscy, Avery, Sweester, & Howes, 2009, Parmelee, 2014). National efforts to use media to influence foreign citizens is not new; Japan broadcasted to U.S. troops throughout World War II, and Voice of America has for decades been an global mouthpiece of the U.S. government. However, Russia’s work on social media has taken agenda-building efforts by nations into a new context. The purpose of this study is not to look at the agendas behind IRA efforts, but rather to better understand the structure of the IRA’s agenda building campaign. Given the covert nature of this campaign, such understanding is essential.
This study asks two questions about the IRA’s behavior on the social media platform Twitter:

RQ1: Can IRA Twitter handles employed between June 19, 2015 and December 31, 2017 be categorized by their content into discrete types, and if so, what characterizes those types?
RQ2: If so, are differing types of Twitter handles employed by the IRA in ways that are different from one another?
We employed an exploratory, sequential mixed methods design (Creswell, 2014), first applying qualitative analysis to the data and then using quantitative analysis to explore how behavior varied over time. We used Salesforce’s Social Studio social listening platform to download all tweets in the study period from known IRA accounts (for API information see: Introducing Social Studio REST API, n.d.). Variants of this software have been used to examine social media content in political dialogue (Edgerly, Thorson, Bighash, & Hannah, 2016), crisis events (Black, Dietz, Stirratt, & Coster, 2015), and educational settings (Linvill, Boatwright, & Grant, 2018).
On June 18, 2018, the U.S. House Intelligence Committee released an updated list of 3,841 Twitter handles associated with IRA activity (Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, 2018). These handles identify what are commonly called troll accounts, meaning they have human operators, as opposed to bot accounts which are computer operated. We collected all tweets from these accounts between June 19, 2015, the earliest date searchable at the time of study, and December 31, 2017. Source-based searches are unreliable on suspended accounts. Keyword searches using the term “tweet from” followed by the handle, however, yielded all tweets from a given account. Keyword searches also returned clutter from non-IRA affiliated accounts, most notably variations on IRA handles; e.g. searches for the IRA handle @Brooooke returned tweets from @_Brooooke_,

@__Brooooke__, @_Brooooke_X_ and seven other variations. We removed 17,980 tweets from non-IRA handles.
We identified 24 handles with tweets not associated with IRA agenda building. Six handles engaged in commercial activity (four marketed exercise and diet related activities, another marketed payday loans, and a sixth marketed essay writing services). 18 accounts appeared to engage in normal human behavior.1 We removed 154,832 tweets associated with these 24 handles.
828,219 tweets from 1,472 separate handles tweeted predominantly in a language other than English. The majority of these were Russian language handles, but handles also tweeted in German, Italian, Arabic, French, and Spanish. In an effort to keep the focus of the current study on the IRA’s U.S. operations, these handles were removed.
Finally, 1,034 handles on the list did not tweet during our sample period. 1,875,029 tweets associated with 1,311 IRA handles remained for analysis.
Data Analysis
We both worked to qualitatively analyze each handle, as recommended by Corbin and Strauss (2015), and placed handles into emergent categories. First, we engaged in a process of unrestricted open coding, examining, comparing, and conceptualizing the content. We considered elements of tweets including the hashtags employed by a handle, cultural references within tweets, as well as issues and candidates for which a handle advocated. Many tweets included external links, some of which were usable, and external pages were considered. Finally, the name of the
1 The presence of handles operated by individuals with no relation to the IRA has been documented. A previous list published by the U.S. House Intelligence Committee in November, 2017 contained four individuals we worked with journalists to identify and speak to (Calderwood, Riglin, & Vaidyanathan, 2018). These individuals, and others, were removed from the updated June, 2018 Congressional list.

handle itself often contained information that helped us better understand its nature (e.g. @BLMSoldier). We conducted axial coding to identify patterns and interpret emergent themes. To verify the validity of results, near the end of axial coding, peer debriefing was conducted (Creswell & Miller, 2000). This involved bringing in an external individual familiar with the phenomenon to play devil’s advocate.
178 handles with 10,838 total tweets could not be categorize due to insufficient activity. Some handles appeared briefly just after June 18, 2015, perhaps with tweets occurring prior to the beginning of our data that were unavailable to us. More common, however, were handles that simply tweeted very few times, often in single digits. We do not know if handles stopped tweeting voluntarily or if Twitter suspended the accounts.
The 1,133 remaining IRA-associated handles in our data were placed into one of five categories. We each independently coded a sub-sample of 50 handles and found a Krippendorf’s alpha reliability of .92 (note: error occurred only in accounts with extremely low tweet counts).
The raw tweet data were imported into STATA 14.2 for quantitative analysis. The data were collapsed to account-by-day and account-by-hour units of observation, with total tweets tallied, and each account matched with the account-type codes derived in RQ1. We then analyzed the behavior by account type, both over the full period and in specific event windows.
RQ1. We identified five categories of IRA-associated Twitter handles, each with unique patterns of behaviors: Right Troll, Left Troll, News Feed, Hashtag Gamer, and Fearmonger. With the exception of the Fearmonger category, handles were consist and did not switch between categories.

Right Troll (617 handles, 663,740 tweets, M = 1075.75, SD = 2949.82). These handles broadcast nativist and right-leaning populist messages. They employ common hashtags used by similar real Twitter users, including #tcot, #ccot, and #RedNationRising. Following the nomination of Donald Trump, they uniformly supported his candidacy and his Presidency, e.g. @AmelieBaldwin retweeted on December 13, 2016, “No, Russia didn’t elect Donald Trump, the voters did https://t.co/ce70G9gv4h Repeat over and over disbelievers. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP!!” These handles regularly employed #MAGA, the acronym for “make America great again,” Donald Trump’s campaign slogan. They routinely denigrated the Democratic Party, e.g. @LeroyLovesUSA, January 20, 2017, “#ThanksObama We're FINALLY evicting Obama. Now Donald Trump will bring back jobs for the lazy ass Obamacare recipients.”
These handles’ themes were distinct from mainstream Republicanism. They rarely broadcast traditionally important Republican themes, such as taxes, abortion, and regulation, but often sent divisive messages about mainstream and moderate Republicans. During the Republican Party primaries, #GOPStop appears frequently in Right Troll tweets, e.g., @amalia_petty, December 16, 2015, “#VegasGOPDebate Asking who is gonna win #GOPDebate is like asking what sort of crap is your favourite?” Similarly, on October 6, 2016, @hyddrox retweeted “The House voted to impeach Koskinen but that JERK McConnell said he didn't have time to take it up on the senate Time to EXIT THE D.C.” in reference to Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
This category also includes some themed accounts, including @itstimetoseced, which advocated for the secession of Texas, and @Jihadist2ndWife, a parody handle, which presented itself as the wife of an Islamic State fighter. The overwhelming majority of handles, however, had limited identifying information, with profile pictures typically of attractive, young women.

Left Troll (230 handles, 405,549 tweets, M = 1763.26, SD = 2468.32). These handles sent socially liberal messages, with an overwhelming focus on cultural identity. They discussed gender and sexual identity (e.g., #LGBTQ) and religious identity (e.g., #MuslimBan), but primarily focused on racial identity (e.g., #blacklivesmatter). Many handles, including @Blacktivists and @BlackToLive, tweeted in a way that mimicked the Black Lives Matter movement, with posts such as @Blacktivists, May 17, 2016, “Justice is a matter of skin color in America. #BlackTwitter”. Many such tweets seemed intentionally divisive, including @Blacktivists, May 10, 2016, “When you have been handcuffed for no good reason, all you can think about is how not to get shot. Never trust a cop”, or @BlackToLive, September 6, 2016, “they treat us today, not like fellow citizens, but as an insurgency which they must suppress...”.
Just as the Right Troll handles attacked mainstream Republican politicians, Left Troll handles attacked mainstream Democratic politicians, particularly Hillary Clinton. Tweets such as @Blacktivists, October 31, 2016, “NO LIVES MATTER TO HILLARY CLINTON. ONLY VOTES MATTER TO HILLARY CLINTON” and a retweet from @JerStoner, October 7, 2016, “#ClintonBodyCount if anyone else had her rap sheet - they'd be on death row”. Such tweets undermined Clinton’s credibility and spread questionable information about her campaign prior to the 2016 election. In contrast, these handles were supportive of Bernie Sanders prior to the election, with posts such as @blacneighbor, June 13, 2016, “I think many folks took @BernieSanders for granted. I've never seen a politician so passionate about the people!”
News Feed (54 handles, 567,846 tweets, M = 10,515.67, SD = 9275.05). These handles overwhelming presented themselves as U.S. local news aggregators and had descriptive names such as @OnlineMemphis and @TodayPittsburgh. They linked to legitimate regional news sources and tweeted about issues of local interest, such as @KansasDailyNews, December 9, 2015,

“#news Barton County finds new revenue with oil well” and on the same day, “#news SW Kansas sheriff says he’s getting calls about welfare of some horses”.
A small number of these handles, including @SpecialAffair and @WarfareWW, tweeted about global issues, often with a pro-Russia perspective. The handle @todayinsyria tweeted on October 11, 2015, “2 civilians killed by terrorists’ gunfire in Sweida countryside http://t.co/lHbleruLq3” and on the next day “Russian Air Force destroys 53 targets for ISIS in several areas in Syria http://t.co/aSBbcfwQkT”. These link directly to the Syrian Arab News Agency, a Syrian state agency allied with the Russian government.
Hashtag Gamer (110 handles, 216,895 tweets, M = 1955.31, SD = 3176.10). These handles are dedicated almost entirely to playing hashtag games, a popular word game played on Twitter. Users add a hashtag to a tweet (e.g., #ThingsILearnedFromCartoons) and then answer the implied question (Haskell, 2015). These handles also posted tweets that seemed organizational regarding these games, e.g. @AmandaVGreen’s quote tweet, August 31, 2016, “15 minutes till we play @TheHashtagGame with @HashtagRoundup & @HashtagZoo! Who's ready to #hashtag!”. Many of these tweets were mundane, including @DonnieLMiller, April 12, 2017, “#OffendEveryoneIn4Words fart in your face.” Others, however, often using the same hashtag, were socially divisive, including @DonnieLMiller, April 12, 2017: “#OffendEveryoneIn4Words undocumented immigrants are ILLEGALS.” Many tweets from Hashtag Gamers were overtly political, e.g. @LoraGreeen, July 11, 2015, “#WasteAMillionIn3Words Donate to #Hillary”. While many tweets shared themes seen in the Right Troll category, Left Troll themes also appeared, e.g., @LoraGreeen, January 25, 2016, “#ItsSoWhiteOutsideThat Donald Trump thought it was a meeting of his followers.”

Fearmonger (122 handles, 10,161 tweets, M = 82.79, SD = 60.06). These accounts spread news of a fabricated crisis event— that salmonella-contaminated turkeys were produced by Koch Foods, a U.S. poultry producer, near the 2015 Thanksgiving holiday. The tweets described the poisoning of individuals who purchased these turkeys from Walmart. These included @RitterTra, November 26, 2015, “OMG Obama and Koch bros. are trying to steal our holidays! nice. #USDA” and also @Peter_Downs_Up, November 27, 2015, “wooow Whut? Poisoned #turkey on Thanksgiving?! #KochFarms #foodpoisoning #USDA”. Koch Foods has no connection to the Koch brothers, and the story was an IRA fabrication (Washington, 2018).
Handles were coded as Fearmongers if they tweeted exclusively about Koch Foods or if their account ceased tweeting after a period of extensive tweets about this issue. Several handles tweeted briefly in a manner consistent with the Right Troll category but switched completely to tweeting as a Fearmonger and were coded as the latter.
RQ2: Figure 1 displays the daily number of tweets from Left Troll and Right Troll accounts. Figure 2 displays the daily number of tweets from News Feed and Hashtag Gamer accounts. These figures illustrate differences in how the IRA employed account types. The Left Troll and Right Troll accounts were very active, with mean aggregate daily output of 437 and 716 tweets, respectively. But their day-to-day was also highly variable, with between-day standard deviations of 655 and 1347. The News Feed handles, by contrast, tweeted at a quite consistent rate throughout the period, averaging at total of 613 tweets per day and a standard deviation of only 380. The Hashtag Gamer handles’ output rises in early 2016 and are very active during and after the election season, but by summer of 2017 they are nearly silent. They tweet, on average, 234 times per day, with a standard deviation of 610. A Kruskal–Wallis test rejects the null that the daily tweet totals for these four accounts types were pulled from the same distribution (p < .001).

The account types also differentially react to political circumstance. Figure 3 zooms in on a four-day period centered on midnight UTC, heading into Oct. 7, 2016. The News Feeds have their normal low and consistent output, while the Hashtag Gamers spike the evening of the 5th and then stop tweeting. Finally, the Trolls (more Left than Right) begin massively producing tweets for at least 14 hours in a row, beginning at noon UTC on the 6th, and continuing with a second spike around 8:00 a.m. UTC on the 7th. WikiLeaks released the first batch of the hacked Podesta emails around 8:30 p.m. UTC on the 7th. A very similar pattern of behavior can be seen in the enormous spike in Right Troll accounts in late July and early August, 2017, when the other account types quit operations as the IRA focused resources in Right Trolls.
Figure 4 zooms in on a three-day period centered on Oct. 19, 2016, the day of the final Presidential debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton (which began at 1:00 a.m. UTC on the 20th). This figure shows spikes in IRA use of Hashtag Gamer handles and includes many tweets addressing the debate, such as @Gab1Aldana, “#RejectedDebateTopics how to turn your Foundation into money laundering machine.” There was very limited activity by other account types over this period, and, as with the pre-WikiLeaks efforts, major output occurred in advance of the event.
Finally, Figure 5 zooms in on a ten-day period beginning on Sept. 11, 2016. Over this entire period, Left Trolls activity is low. Even within work periods, the troll operators are specializing on one account type at a time, beginning with Hashtag Gamers and following up with Right Trolls on Sept. 12, but reversing the order on Sept. 14. The enormous plateau of Right Troll activity beginning around noon on the 16th and rising through the end of the 17th is regular Right Troll activity, but significantly spikes on the 18th in response to the Chelsea bombing at 1:30pm UTC on the 17th.

These three periods make clear that the IRA allocated their efforts amongst the account types very differently when faced with different political circumstances or shifting goals. In all three periods, a Kruskal–Wallis test rejects the null that the daily tweet totals for these four accounts types were pulled from the same distribution (p < .001). Without better information about their goals, it is difficult to speculate about exactly what underlying strategy is driving these shifts, but accounts of different types are not good substitutes for each other--- each plays a different role and is used differently.
The IRA efforts in our sample period were conducted systematically. Handles were built into one of five groups and then used as interchangeable parts depending on allocation needs or Twitter bans. Effort was reallocated amongst account types in response to shocks, depending on the segment of the U.S. electorate the IRA wished to engage, changing IRA strategic goals, or both.
Understanding how governments work to influence other nations’ domestic agendas is important, and the IRA Twitter operation is an important example from the digital age. At a February 13, 2018 U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee hearing, Senator Mark Warner stated that social media companies have been “slow to recognize the threat” that Russian influence poses (Nakashima & Harris, 2018, para. 7). At that same hearing, U.S. Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats said of Russian efforts to disrupt the 2016 election, “There should be no doubt that Russia perceives its past efforts as successful” (para. 9). The Director then warned of the certainty of future Russian interference.

For this reason, future research will need to examine IRA efforts further. The data collected for this study can be used to analyze the qualitative nature of individual tweets and to give a more detailed understanding of the effectiveness of this campaign over time. These data can also be used to better understand how the IRA’s tactics adapt over time and, by analyzing the non-English tweets, in various contexts.
Russia’s attempts to distract, divide, and demoralize has been called a form of political war (Galeotti, 2018). This analysis has given insight into the methods the IRA used to engage in this war. One former employee of the IRA described the feeling of working there as though “you were in some kind of factory that turned lying, telling untruths, into an industrial assembly line” (Troianovski, Helderman, Nakashima, & Timberg, 2018). The systematic and organized nature of the messaging we have analyzed here suggests this employees feeling was correct. The IRA is engaging in what is not simply political warfare, but industrialized political warfare.

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Figure 1. Daily tweets by Left Troll and Right Troll accounts, Jun 19, 2016 – Dec 31, 2017.

Figure2. Daily tweets by News Feed and Hashtag Gamer accounts, Jun 19, 2016 – Dec 31, 2017.

Figure 3. Hourly tweets by four largest account types, Oct 5-Oct 8, 2016.

Figure 4. Hourly tweets by four largest account types, Oct 18-Oct 20, 2016.

Figure 5. Hourly tweets by four largest account types, Sep 11-20, 2016.
http://pwarren.people.clemson.edu/Linvi ... actory.pdf
Mazars and Deutsche Bank could have ended this nightmare before it started.
They could still get him out of office.
But instead, they want mass death.
Don’t forget that.
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