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Russia’s troll farm doubled its budget in early 2018

Twitter is filled with junk
AP Photo/Misha Japaridze, Pool
Russian president Vladimir Putin with oligarch Yevgeny Prigozhin, who funded Russia’s troll farm.
By Max de Haldevang
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

The infamous Russian troll farm in St Petersburg is stepping up its disinformation warfare in 2018, according to a criminal complaint by US authorities against the organization’s accountant.

The pro-Putin, oligarch-funded operation spent nearly as much in the first six months of 2018 as it did the entire year before. Between Jan. 2016 and June 2018, the Internet Research Agency’s total budget was over $35 million (more than 2 billion rubles), the complaint says. Not all the spending was on US operations.

The US Department of Justice details the year-by-year expenditure as follows:

2016: approx. $12 million (720 million rubles)

2017: approx. $12.2 million  (733 million rubles)

Jan. to June 2018: approx. $10 million (650 million rubles)

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