Lyudmila Savchuk, a former employee of a Russian troll factory, the Internet Research Agency headquartered in Saint Petersburg, commented on United States authorities’ demands to extradite 13 Russians accused of interfering in the last U.S. Presidential election. Savchuk was a whistleblower who unveiled the truth about the troll factory.
As she explained to the Deutsche Welle, the Russians whom the U.S. wants extradited are only a few of many other common employees of the troll factory who operated and continue to operate in large scores from various locations.
“They are guys whose career skyrocketed and they started to implement instructions that came from the top,” she said. Savchuk says that the building on Savushkina street in St. Petersburg is not the only troll factory but it is the most prominent one.
“People who worked in Moscow are less publicly exposed than people who worked here, in Saint Petersburg. Maybe this is the largest troll factory. Some people work from home, remotely. Given this, the estimation that there were approximately one thousand employees in the staff would be insufficient. But that figure was given by people who had worked there until recently,” Savchuk told the newspaper.
Savchuk has no doubt about the soundness of the decision of the U.S. authorities. “Another thing is that there were not 13 and even not 130 employees. The scale of the work that has been conducted is huge and it continues. As I understand, the authorities have enough evidence to press charges against those people,” she said.
Earlier, U.S. Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller accused 13 Russians who had worked at the troll factory of interfering with the U.S. Presidential election. The names of the accused Russians included Mikhail Bystrov, Mikhail Burchik, Aleksandra Krylova, Sergey Polozov, Anna Bogacheva, Maria Bovda, Robert Bovda, Jeikhun Aslanov, Vadim Podkopayev, Gleb Vasilchenko, Irina Kaverzin and Vladimir Venkov.
The list also includes prominent Russian businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin, also known as “Putin’s chef,” who owns a chain of restaurants and is believed to be one of Putin’s confidants.
There are three other organizations believed to have been involved in the meddling in the U.S. elections, all of whom are connected to Prigozhin: the Internet Research Agency known as “the troll factory”, Concord Management and Consulting, and Concord Catering.
The thirteen Russians are accused of tricking the United States and swaying public opinion. Two of the listed suspects also face bank fraud charges while another four are accused of identity theft.