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Russia using troll factory to target Kremlin critics — UK

Russia has turned an old factory in Saint Petersburg into a so-called troll farm to spread disinformation and target Kremlin critics, including world leaders, according to UK government-funded research.

The site in the Russian city is allegedly being used to “spread lies” on social media and in comment sections of popular websites, Britain’s foreign ministry says in a statement detailing what it called a “sick” operation.

The ministry, which will share the research with social media platforms, claims it found paid employees of the troll factory were targeting politicians as well as musicians and bands, in countries including Britain, South Africa and India.

They use online platforms to recruit and co-ordinate new sympathizers who then target the social media profiles of Kremlin critics, spamming them with comments backing Russian President Vladimir Putin and the war in Ukraine, it adds.

The trolls have targeted the accounts of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and other UK ministers, alongside those of world leaders including German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, according to the ministry.

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