Courtesy of NBC News:
In many ways, the IRA was like a normal IT facility, Bespalov told NBC News in an exclusive broadcast interview. There were day shifts and night shifts, a cafeteria, and workers were seated at computers in a large open floor plan.
But in the squat, four-story concrete building on Savushkina Street in St. Petersburg, secured by camouflaged guards and turnstiles, bloggers and former journalists worked around the clock to create thousands of incendiary social media posts and news articles to meet specific quotas.
The work was all "Lies... a merry-go-round of lies," Bespalov said. "When you get on the carousel, you do not know who is behind you and neither you are aware of who is in front of you — but all of you are running around within the same circle," he said.
Bespalov told NBC News he "absolutely" believes the agency is connected to the Kremlin — a notion backed up by the U.S. intelligence community, which noted that a "close Putin ally with ties to Russian intelligence" is the "likely financier" of the agency.
Bespalov described how his own work centered on discrediting Ukraine, but that others in the building focused solely on the U.S.
Workers in the “American department” were paid the equivalent of between $1,300 to $2,000 a month for sparking social media uproar. Entry level trolls got only about $1,000 a month with paid bonuses.
This was no part time job for these people, undermining our Democracy and spreading falsehoods on the internet was their full time occupation.
And it was directed and funded by the Russian government.
Any attempts by Donald Trump to suggest that we need to move past this, are complete bullshit, and offers proof that he is compromised by Vladimir Putin.