A Russian pc knowledgeable accused of meddling within the US 2016 presidential election says he merely did unusual IT work, not political trolling.
Sergei Polozov is amongst 13 Russians named within the Mueller indictment, which alleges a scientific Russian state effort to affect US voters.
Mr Polozov instructed BBC Russian he knew nothing a couple of Russian “troll farm” known as the Web Analysis Company.
The company’s alleged location, he mentioned, was a enterprise centre he had visited.
“My job was typical of co-operation between an IT firm and any subcontractor: you might be set a activity, for instance, to create an internet site, a visiting card, an online web page.”
None of these duties, he burdened, concerned use of the English language or targets within the US.
He mentioned he had collaborated with employees at Savushkina 55, the St Petersburg handle alleged to have been the nerve centre of Russian cyber-meddling within the US election, forward of Donald Trump’s victory.
- The ways of a Russian troll farm
Mr Polozov admitted having accomplished duties for Mikhail Burchik, one other identify on US Particular Counsel Robert Mueller’s indictment.
However he didn’t give particulars of his assist for the St Petersburg “enterprise centre”. Not one of the different named Russian suspects has spoken to the BBC at size.
He described himself as “a fairly energetic patriot”. “I really like Russia and just like the path wherein we’re going.”
The Russian company – IRA for brief – allegedly unfold tens of millions of tweets and not less than 180,000 Fb posts aimed toward influencing US voters.
US particular counsel Robert Mueller issued an indictment in February 2018 accusing 13 Russian nationals and three Russian companies of such meddling.
It alleges that Mr Polozov labored for the Russian IRA from about April 2014 to about October 2016, managing its IT division.
It says he “oversaw the procurement of US server and different pc infrastructure that masked the organisation’s Russian location when conducting operations inside the US”.
BBC Russian interviewed Mr Polozov by way of Skype in regards to the allegations.
‘Pool of organisations’
When requested if he knew of pretend social media accounts being created at Savushkina 55, he mentioned: “I considered it as a form of pool of organisations doing stuff there.
“I did not perceive it to be a unified construction, whether or not when it comes to the technical duties or the kind of folks I used to be co-operating with.”
Yevgeny Prigozhin, a Russian tycoon near President Vladimir Putin, allegedly ran the IRA operation. The Kremlin denies that there was any such operation to affect the US election.
Mr Polozov mentioned the US accusation in regards to the Russian company “is a type of fabrication, an inflated story, slightly than an actual firm”.
“I believe a lot of us have two or three pretend accounts in social media,” he mentioned, including that if the company certainly existed “then they might be patriots doing one thing for his or her nation”.
“I need to consider in such a factor, that there are folks transmitting not unfavorable, however constructive stuff – that is cool.”
He mentioned he was now avoiding international journey due to the danger that he might be arrested.
You possibly can learn the total interview in Russian right here.