Early Experiments with Personas

Secondary Infektion experimented with different formats of false account before it settled on its trademark reliance on single-use burners. Between 2014 and 2016, the operation ran a number of accounts that it tried to build up into pseudo-personalities, complete with stolen profile pictures and at least some attempt at creating a believable backstory for these personas. In this section, we examine a few of those early experiments.

The first of these began operating in Russian in very early 2014 and attacked members of the Russian opposition before it turned to attacking Ukraine, a salutary reminder that disinformation, like charity, starts at home. Over the following year, the operation added a cluster of further personas in English, German, Russian, and possibly Swedish, using them to amplify its content.

These personas primarily published lengthy blogs, especially on Blogspot and Wordpress. Often, the personas reproduced articles that single-use burner accounts had already posted, sometimes with attribution, sometimes without - perhaps as an attempt at plausible deniability. They thus constituted a secondary amplification network.

This had modest success. The first Russian-language account, the “Blue Man,” did gain at least some audience, to judge by the responses to some of “his” posts; the cluster of secondary amplifiers in other languages sometimes managed to land stories in the Russian-language media. This was trivial compared with the large-scale followings that the Russian IRA built up, but it did show at least some degree of online reach.

However, Secondary Infektion abandoned most of these personas in mid-2016, for reasons that are not yet known. It may be that the operators behind Secondary Infektion wanted to improve their OPSEC because of other incidents that occurred around that time, especially the Russian hacking and leaking of emails from the Democratic National Committee; it may be that they decided independently that the audience gained by maintaining persistent personas was not worth the heightened risk of detection. Whatever the case, they fell silent, and the experiment was not repeated outside the Russian-language space - as far as we have been able to establish.

The Blue Man

The most prolific and realistic Secondary Infektion persona was the asset dubbed the “Blue Man,” first exposed as part of the operation by Facebook in May 2019, and described by the DFRLab in June.[256] The account authored at least 226 Russian-language posts across six platforms, starting with LiveJournal in January, 2014, with his location stated as Ukraine.

The persona gave his name on every platform as “Stanislav Melanich” or “Stas Melanich,” sometimes with the username “bloger_nasralny,” the second part being a foul-mouthed play on the name of prominent Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny. His profile picture was always a photo of Navalny coloured blue – hence the nickname. Unlike most Secondary Infektion assets, his posts did attract readers’ comments, indicating at least some online reach.

The persona’s first few posts attacked Navalny and his colleagues, essentially accusing them of being corrupt puppets of the United States. This underscores how much disinformation is domestic in origin[257]: even the entity that became the Russian IRA started out by targeting Navalny.[258] 

On February 26, 2014, however, four days after Ukraine’s then-President Viktor Yanukovych fled the country, the persona began commenting about events in Ukraine by reposting a LiveJournal blog headlined “Kharkov, Arise!” (“Харьков, вставай!”, referring to the Ukrainian city of that name, through which Yanukovych had passed on his way into exile).[259] 

I simply don’t have time or strength to do what I was before. Too much work lies ahead in breaking through the information blockade that the Official Ukrainian Media have imposed on the national resistance to the new order across the whole of South-East Ukraine.

From then on, the Blue Man posted about Ukraine unrelentingly. Of 226 posts on various platforms, just 24 were about the Russian opposition, the Baltic States, or the United States and the West; the rest were Ukraine all the way.

The persona wrote fluently and in a personal tone, mocking and contemptuous, sometimes foul-mouthed, and littered with sarcastic references to Ukraine’s European hopes and aspirations. He always wrote in Russian, with some Ukrainian words and terms sprinkled in, sarcastically, such as перемога/перемоги (“victory/victories”) or calling Ukraine ЦеЕвропа, a condescending reference to the Ukrainian phrase Україна - це Європа (“Ukraine is Europe”).

For example, in one post headlined “Перемога энергетическая” (“Energy Victory”), he  accused  Poroshenko of keeping quiet about an energy deal with Russia because the arrangement did not fit with the image of Russia as the bloodthirsty enemy of Ukraine. This post referred to Poroshenko as “президент ЦэЕвропы” (“the president of IsEurope”).[260] In another post mocking a petition to the Ukrainian president, the Blue Man called his translation from Ukrainian into Russian a “Translation into human language” (Перевод на человеческий).[261] 

Like other Secondary Infektion assets, the persona existed on multiple platforms but did not always post the same content to each. His activity on his six known platforms unfolded as follows:

  • LiveJournal as Stanislav Melanich, Bloger_Nasralny, January 12, 2014-July 2, 2019, claiming to be in Ukraine, 201 posts
  • cont.ws April 23, 2015-April 30, 2018, as Stanislav Melanich with a link to his LiveJournal, 55 posts
  • Maxpark May 5, 2015-August 21, 2018, as Stanislav Melanich, 20 posts
  • Aftershock June 25, 2015-June 8, 2018, as bloger_nasralny with an Estonian flag in his profile, 41 posts
  • Newsland July 2, 2015-July 2, 2019 as Stanislav Melanich, 55 posts
  • Politikus April 5, 2016-September, 27, 2018, as stasmelanich (Stanislav Melanich), 19 posts

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The Blue Man’s activity across different platforms, 2014-2019.

After four and a half years of posting, the operators appear to have decided that it was time to try a little market research. The persona’s final post on aftershock.news asked readers to rate the sites Aftershock, cont.ws, Politikus, Worldcrisis, and Военное обозрение (Military Review) according to a set of criteria that included length, entertainment value, and happy/sad.[262] There is no indication how many users responded, but the persona only remained on LiveJournal and Newsland thereafter.

The Blue Man had a clear personality, but there was little by way of a clear identity behind it. He said in one of his posts that Ukraine was “my former homeland.”[263] His profile on the forum AfterShock.news featured an Estonian flag, and the site gave his last login location as Estonia (he could have used a VPN).[264] He talked about “Ukrainians” rather than “we” or “we Ukrainians.” The only profile picture he used was the blue Navalny.

His engaging style and repetitive posting were unusual for Secondary Infektion, but multiple pieces of evidence connect the Blue Man to the broader operation, a connection also corroborated by Facebook’s analysis of Secondary Infektion’s initial set.

One of this persona’s earliest posts, on October 23, 2014, reported an outbreak of Ebola in Ukraine.[265] The report was based on a letter that was allegedly leaked from the Scripps Research Institute; Graphika contacted the alleged author, who confirmed that it was a fake.

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One of the earliest fakes that we have yet identified from Secondary Infektion, concerning the alleged outbreak of Ebola in Ukraine. Professor Ollmann Saphire confirmed it was a forgery.

The fake also appeared in English on a medical forum, curezone.org, where it was posted by an apparent burner account.[266] The use of false leaks and burner accounts suggests the tradecraft of Secondary Infektion in its infancy.

On December 4, 2014, the Blue Man shared a YouTube video, now suspended, attributed to “Anonymous Europe.”[267] This claimed to be in possession of leaked proof of a US-EU plot against far-right forces in Europe. For his source, the Blue Man provided a link to now-defunct hacking site cyberguerrilla.org,[268] a site that Secondary Infektion was to use time and again over the years. The YouTube video’s description provided what is likely to be a similar text to the defunct cyberguerrilla post:

Recent protests in Budapest have got nothing in common with true people's demonstrations. They are deliberately heated and financed from outside and are aimed at forcing the people's government to take unpopular measures which benefit Washington and Brussels.[269]

Only one other blog shared the same video.[270] This was a German-language account on BlogSpot called “Ulrich Hartmann,” another Secondary Infektion asset that we describe in more detail below. Thus by the end of the 2014, the trademark tradecraft of Secondary Infektion was taking shape, and the Blue Man was an integral part of it.

An Early Cluster, 2014-2016

In the months after it gave birth to the Blue Man persona, Secondary Infektion created a cluster of false personas in English, German, and Russian that intersected and cross-posted one another’s content. These were the personas “Ulrich Hartmann” and “Max Bromberg” and the blog “Politgraben” in German, the personas “Josef Hashever” and “Steven Laack” and the Twitter account @indepexp (short for “independent expert”) in English, and the persona “Innokenty Niusowsky” or “Ino-News” (likely a play on words from the Russian for “foreign news”) in Russian. A Twitter account and website, @cyber_legion and cyberlegion[.]org,[271] were briefly associated with them, as was a website focused on the African-American community, blackdefence.wixsite.com (discussed below).

Each had at least the rudiments of a persona. “Steven Laack,” for example, claimed to be a Swedish immigrant to the United States; he was mainly active on blogspot.com, while his Twitter account claimed at various times to be located in Providence, Utah and in Florida. “Max Bromberg” claimed to be in Germany and used French model Francois Verkerk as “his” avatar and was more active on WordPress.[272] Almost half of his articles - 30 of 79 - targeted Ukraine, with a specific focus on Ukraine's paramilitary and far-right groups.

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Left, Francois Verkek on Pinterest. Right, the Max Bromberg persona on myheimat.de.[273] 

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Timeline of blog posts by persona. Bar graph label features total number of posts by persona

The “Josef Hashever” persona, also sometimes referred to as “Lunatic Joe H,” was a frequent contributor to Before It’s News,[274] where it primarily reposted content posted by burner accounts on other platforms some hours or days earlier. Hashever also maintained a Wordpress site, “Lunatic Joe’s Blog.”[275] On Twitter and Facebook, his profile picture was Prince Charles. “Ino-News” posted in Russian on a range of platforms, usually providing translations of the English posts.

Most of these personas were active across multiple platforms, including WordPress, Blogspot, Twitter, and Facebook. On Twitter, their posting patterns were strikingly similar and regular, despite the apparent difference in their locations, giving the impression of a team working to a standard shift.

That 8-5 Shift

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Tweet Counts by Day of the Week on the left, Tweet activity by hour GMT on the right, for (top to bottom) @SteveLaack, @PolitGraben, @Ulrich_Hartmann, and @indepexp; all of the personas analyzed showed  a strange pattern for organic users in Central Europe and still more so for users in the United States, but the activity coincides with a morning shift in time zones farther to the east, such as Moscow (GMT+3); they also largely only posted Monday-Friday, with substantially reduced activity on the weekends.

Repeatedly, these personas shared the same stories in different languages, without attributing them to one another; this content originated from single-use burner accounts and was often based on forged documents. For example, on April 6, 2016, a persona called “Dusty L.A.” posted the article “Turkey was about to open second front vs. Armenia” on Medium[276] and indymedia.org.uk[277]; the same article appeared anonymously on homment.com the same day.[278] The article was based on a screenshot of an alleged article on a website called ekurd.net, but no trace of any such article remains on the site.[279] (The Secondary Infektion piece claimed that the original article had been deleted.)

On April 8, 2016, the fake screenshot appeared in three locations and languages: in the identical English version on the “Josef Hashever” account on beforeitsnews.com[280]; in a German article on Politgraben[281]; and in Russian on the inonews.info website.[282] On April 11, the “Steven Laack” persona posted the English-language article on scoop.it.[283] All four personas attributed the story to the homment.com burner account.

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The transmission of the fake story on Turkey’s “second front” against Armenia from a single-use burner post on homment.com, to posts the same day by Josef Hashever, Politgraben, and Ino-News, to the scoop.it account of Steven Laack.

As another example, on October 20, 2015,  the Twitter account “@Cyber_Legion” tweeted, “#European Integration without the #EU. Nordic dream of Swedish nationalists.”[284] The tweet was originally linked to a website that is no longer active, http://cyberlegion.org/european-integration-without-the-eu-nordic-dream-of-swedish-nationalists. The URL was in English, but on October 22, the operation persona Josef Hashever posted an article with the identical headline to “his” WordPress blog and to self-publishing site beforeitsnews.com[285] and claimed that it was a translation from “CyberLegion” in Swedish.

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Headline and illustration from the Josef Hashever WordPress blog; note the attribution to a Swedish version of the post at Cyber Legion.

The Cyber Legion article may have been written in Swedish originally, but the fact that the URL was in English makes this unlikely; reverse-searching the image and reverse-translating into Swedish did not show any Swedish versions of the text, although this is not conclusive. The blog argued that the EU model was broken, and that Nordic countries should set up a splinter group:

Ideology that damages economy, unjustified enlargement without due structural reorganization, serving the needs of NATO up to completely accepting the its line of policy [sic], dominance of artificial political correctness over mutual cultural enrichment – these are distinctive features or [sic] the EU today. (...) An advocated by Swedish nationalists hypothetical Northern Republic composed of Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Iceland and, if possible, Baltic states may not be as absurd as it is portrayed by European Mass Media.

On October 23, the same article appeared on self-publishing website indymedia.org.uk, but this time it was attributed to Anonymous and omitted the reference to Cyber Legion.[286] Three days later, a Russian translation appeared on a number of blogging platforms, including aftershock.news, where it was attributed to operation persona Ino-News.[287] Thus in the space of a week, the story passed through four different personas in two languages, all attributable to Secondary Infektion.

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Diagram showing the story’s progress from @Cyber_Legion (top), to the two Josef Hashever blogs (second row), to indymedia.org.uk (third row), to aftershock.news (bottom).

These personas constituted a small and self-referential group. They acted as second- or third-stage amplifiers, picking up content from Secondary Infektion’s burner accounts and posting it to social media and their own blogs. On occasion, they were picked up in the Russian-language pro-Kremlin media. However, for reasons as yet unknown, they fell silent in mid-2016, and Secondary Infektion shifted even more markedly to using single-use burner accounts.

“Black Defense Foundation”

Perhaps the strangest element of Secondary Infektion’s entire operation - an operation that did not lack for bizarre and colorful stories - was the blog blackdefence.wixsite.com, headlined “Black Defense Foundation.”[288] The blog advocated not just for African-American rights, but for the community’s full independence:

For hundreds of years blacks have tried to assimilate into White America and accept her values and style of life. Our ancestors were brought here in chains – they fought for freedom and they got it. White America and her society rejects us – we will build up our own Black America, and there will be no place for arbitrary powers of white police, white judges and white juries!

The blog was only sporadically active: five posts between January and June 2015, and one post in November of that year (but apparently “part one” of a two-part series whose second part it had already published in January). The content was inflammatory  in tone: it even included a video on police violence that compared the US police with wild animals.[289] The video was also posted on YouTube by a single-use burner account, now suspended.  

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Adjacent stills at timestamp 0:24” and 0:25” from the “Police lawlessness” video, implicitly comparing the police with wild hyenas.

The use of language was aggressive but unidiomatic, bordering on the bizarre. For example, an article posted on January 16, 2015 was headlined “The State of Black America.” Its first paragraph read:  

The Black America State's Concept is still alive at Afro-Americans' head. And their attempts to defy pigs' orders, mass protests in Ferguson, as well as, demonstration killing of these pigs in New York are links in the one chain. Blacks are tired out with living under oppression of whites, taking their dictation, the how of it has been done by their forefathers at plantations.

The website also included a “Contact” form, encouraging readers to reach out and share evidence of “illegal use of force against Black people.” The form suggested the organization may use said material in court. This legal promise, and the organization’s reference to the United States as “Our country,” are particularly odd given that the “Black Defense Foundation” contact information located the organization in Cuba. The website footer contained an address, which was also shown as a geolocalized pin under the contact form: “Black Defense Foundation, 28 Calle Jose Marti, Habana, Cuba.”

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The Black Defense Foundation’s “Contact” page.[290]

Typically of Secondary Infektion, one of the website’s stories was based on an alleged letter, this time supposedly from Republican Congressman Bob Goodlatte, of Virginia’s Sixth District, to the Honorable Todd Richardson, Majority Leader in the Missouri House of Representatives.[291] The letter proposed creating a “public Missouri Police Oversight Committee and allocate at least 35% of seats in it to Afro-Americans.” The opening sentence was couched in stilted, unidiomatic English that omitted the word “the” twice and struggled with the genitive; the letter was likely a fake: “US Congress highly appreciates Missouri House of Representatives achievements in easing social tensions in the State.”

Overall, the website had minimal impact. By April 2020, the “Police lawlessness” video had gathered fewer than 50 views. The website did not give visitor figures, but none of the posts received any comments. As far as we are able to establish, the “Foundation” was only shared once on Facebook, by Secondary Infektion asset Josef Hashever.[292] An attack on Obama[293] was translated into German by Secondary Infektion asset Ulrich Hartmann.[294] The story about the “letter” from Goodlatte was expanded into an article in English by Secondary Infektion asset Steven Laack.[295] The Laack piece was then translated into Russian by Secondary Infektion asset Ino-News.[296] 

It would be an unlikely coincidence that so many of Secondary Infektion’s assets happened to find an otherwise unnoticed blog - a blog that just happened to include an apparently forged letter between two senior US politicians that no other news outlet had noticed. We conclude with moderate confidence that the Black Defense Foundation blog was itself created by Secondary Infektion as a brief experiment into amplifying racial tensions in America.

This experiment pushed both sides of the racial divide. As well as the expanded article mentioned above, the Steven Laack persona mentioned the Black Defense Foundation in one more article, but in a much more negative light.[297] On May 5, 2015, “he” quoted the Black Defense Foundation video that portrayed police as wild animals, but juxtaposed it with another one - this time, a video headlined “Black Violence” that compared African Americans with dogs.[298] Like the “police lawlessness” video, this was also posted to YouTube by a single-use burner account.

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Consecutive screenshots from the “Black violence” video, timestamp 0:53” and 0:54”.

The overall article portrayed the United States as verging on a race war and the breakdown of the concept of the nation:

Current events -- Ferguson, Baltimore. I seriously doubt that since now anyone living there and being white would ever want to join and work in local police. I guess very soon the already small population of white people will hasten to move somewhere away from these places – somewhere, where they’ll feel safe at least. White people are already leaving Texas, California, Arizona ... Anglo-Saxon culture steadily moves to the North. ‘Black America’ begins to manifest itself more clearly on the map - ‘other’ country with its own ‘other’ rules.

The “Black Defense Foundation” was a brief and ineffective effort. It is of interest for the attempt it shows to exacerbate racial divides in the United States. Secondary Infektion did not repeat the effort after 2015, but the Russian IRA did, repeatedly.

[1] As the identity of the operator is currently unknown, it is commonly referred to by the nickname of the operation itself. “Secondary Infektion” is named after the Soviet-era “Operation Infektion,” which planted the false story that the United States had made the AIDS virus in many publications around the world. See David Robert Grimes, “Russian fake news is not new: Soviet Aids propaganda cost countless lives,” The Guardian, June 14, 2017, https://www.theguardian.com/science/blog/2017/jun/14/russian-fake-news-is-not-new-soviet-aids-propaganda-cost-countless-lives.

[2] Nathaniel Gleicher, “Removing more coordinated inauthentic behavior from Russia,” Facebook, May 6, 2019, https://about.fb.com/news/2019/05/more-cib-from-russia/. This is not the longest running network known: an Iranian network that Facebook exposed in May 2020 operated sporadically from 2011 to 2020. See Graphika’s report, “Iran’s Broadcaster: Inauthentic Behavior,” Graphika, May 5, 2020, https://graphika.com/reports/irans-broadcaster-inauthentic-behavior/.

[3] Ben Nimmo, Graham Brookie et al., “Operation Secondary Infektion,” Atlantic Council, June 22, 2019, https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/Operation-Secondary-Infektion_English.pdf.

This is the report which gave the operation its popular name, “Secondary Infektion”.

[4] Adam Rawnsley, “Russian Trolls Hype Coronavirus and Giuliani Conspiracies,” The Daily Beast, April 9, 2020, https://www.thedailybeast.com/russian-trolls-hype-coronavirus-and-giuliani-conspiracies.

[5] Secondary Infektion targeted sectarian tensions in Northern Ireland, among other issues. To avoid confusion, this report refers to the Irish Republican Army as the “IRA,” the Real Irish Republican Army as the “Real IRA,” and the Internet Research Agency as the “Russian IRA.”

[6] For the Russian IRA’s election interference, see Indictment 1:18-cr-00032-DLF, “United States of America v. Internet Research Agency LLC et al.,” US Department of Justice, February 16, 2018, https://www.justice.gov/file/1035477/download. For the GRU, see indictment 1:18-cr-00215-ABJ, “United States of America v. Viktor Borisovich Netyshko et al.,” US Department of Justice, July 13, 2018, https://www.justice.gov/file/1080281/download.

[7] See, for example, the article by the Secondary Infektion persona “Lukas Esmerald,” “Hillary Clinton, a killer (proclaimed) above the law,” in homment.com, October 31, 2016, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418154348/https://homment.com/Hillary-Clinton-a-killer-proclaimed-above-the-law.  

[8] For example, persona “DreuxVachon,” “Emmanuel Macron: a new hope of migrants in Europe?”, Medium, March 16, 2017, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418160806/https://medium.com/@DreuxVachon/emmanuel-macron-a-new-hope-of-migrants-in-europe-b6d07e0a111b. We are grateful to Quora for bringing this post to our attention.

[9] See for example the article by persona “kinstry,” “Ukraine ‘drowns’ The Sweden Democrats?”, defendingthetruth.com, August 30, 2018, https://web.archive.org/web/20200421092045/https://defendingthetruth.com/threads/ukraine-drowns-the-sweden-democrats.102944/.

[10] Rid, Thomas. Active Measures: The Secret History of Disinformation and Political Warfare. United Kingdom: Profile, 2020.

[11] Persona “Chris Woods,” “UK's GCHQ to support Democrats during the 2018 midterms,” ozpolitic.com, August 3, 2018, https://web.archive.org/web/20200521201759/http://www.ozpolitic.com/forum/YaBB.pl?num=1533288024/10. The same persona posted it to cssforum.com.pk, a forum for the Pakistan civil service, on the same day: https://web.archive.org/web/20200521202026/http://www.cssforum.com.pk/css-compulsory-subjects/current-affairs/120717-uks-gchq-support-democrats-during-2018-midterms.html.

[12] Among others, by persona “Ari Pellms,” “Will American senators support Fethullah Gulen in his dispute with Turkey?”, Medium, February 18, 2016, https://web.archive.org/web/20200513231939/https://medium.com/@AriPellms/will-american-senators-support-fethullah-gulen-in-his-dispute-with-turkey-479c44b7519b.

[13] Among others, by persona “Иннокентий Ньюсовский” (“Innocent Newsovsky”), “Американские сенаторы поддержат Фетхуллаха Гюлена в споре с Турцией” (“American senators will support Fethullah Gulen in his dispute with Turkey”), mirtesen.ru, February 20, 2016, https://ino-news.mirtesen.ru/blog/43222494738/Amerikanskie-senatoryi-podderzhat-Fethullaha-Gyulena-v-spore-s-T?utm_referrer=mirtesen.ru.

[14] Persona “Norman Mogano,” “En Suecia proponen crear su propia ‘Comisión de Mueller’” (“Proposal in Sweden to create their own ‘Mueller Commission’”), globedia.com, November 16, 2018, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418192247/http://globedia.com/suecia-proponen-crear-propia-comision-mueller.  

[15] Carl Bildt, “Ny dramatik i syriska tragedin” (“New drama in the Syrian tragedy”), carlbildt.wordpress.com, April 9, 2918, https://carlbildt.wordpress.com/2018/04/09/ny-dramatik-i-syriska-tragedian/.

[16] Persona “Chloe Rebelish,” “Radioactive Rain Over Europe (Greenpeace)”, YouTube, July 22, 2015, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Mu1tvyfD-U&t=2s.

[17] Persona “EnniLowre,” “Corruption in international sports supervisory authorities. Ban of meldonium is due to unfair competition between pharmaceutical companies,” topix.com, April 15, 2016, https://web.archive.org/web/20170802165139/http://www.topix.com/forum/sports/T5KD8MKFTICE78AT7.

[18]See Ben Nimmo, “UK Trade Leaks,” Graphika, December 2, 2019, https://graphika.com/reports/UK-trade-leaks/.

[20] See the Graphika team, “Iran’s Broadcaster: Inauthentic Behavior,” Graphika, May 5, 2020, https://graphika.com/reports/irans-broadcaster-inauthentic-behavior/.

[21] Twitter Safety, “Information operations directed at Hong Kong,” Twitter, August 19, 2019, https://blog.twitter.com/en_us/topics/company/2019/information_operations_directed_at_Hong_Kong.html.

[22] For example Nathaniel Gleicher, “Removing Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior in Spain,” Facebook, September 20, 2019, https://about.fb.com/news/2019/09/removing-coordinated-inauthentic-behavior-in-spain/.

[23] See page 8 and footnote 17.

[24] For examples of previous targeting of the White Helmets by the GRU, see for instance: “From Russia With Blogs,” Graphika, Feb. 12th 2020, https://www.graphika.com/reports/from-russia-with-blogs/. For targeting by the IRA, see: io-archive.org. For broader context, see: Starbird, Kate, et al. "Ecosystem or echo-system? exploring content sharing across alternative media domains." Twelfth International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media. 2018.

[25] Nika Aleksejeva, “Secondary Infektion redux?  Suspected Russian intelligence operation targets Greenland,” DFRLab, November 13, 2019, https://medium.com/dfrlab/secondary-infektion-redux-suspected-russian-intelligence-operation-targets-greenland-c4e04deb27c5.

[26] Nika Aleksejeva, “Lingering Infektion: Latvian operation mimicked Secondary Infektion tactics,” DFRLab, December 10, 2019, https://medium.com/dfrlab/lingering-infektion-latvian-operation-mimicked-secondary-infektion-tactics-bc0bb62eacaa.

[27] u/worstnerd, “Suspected campaign from Russia on Reddit,” Reddit, December 6, 2019, https://www.reddit.com/r/redditsecurity/comments/e74nml/suspected_campaign_from_russia_on_reddit/.

[28] Ben Nimmo, “UK Trade Leaks,” Graphika, December 2, 2019, updated December 8, 2019, https://graphika.com/reports/UK-trade-leaks/.

[29] Insikt Group, “Intent to Infekt: ‘Operation Pinball’ Tactics Reminiscent of ‘Operation Secondary Infektion’,” Recorded Future, April 8, 2020, https://www.recordedfuture.com/operation-pinball-tactics/.

[30] Adam Rawnsley, “Russian Trolls Hype Coronavirus and Giuliani Conspiracies,” Daily Beast, April 9, 2020, https://www.thedailybeast.com/russian-trolls-hype-coronavirus-and-giuliani-conspiracies?ref=author.

[31] For a rapid overview of attribution methods, see: www.attribution.news.

[32] Nathaniel Gleicher, “Removing More Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior From Russia,” Facebook, May 6, 2019, https://about.fb.com/news/2019/05/more-cib-from-russia/.

[33] User “worstnerd,” “Suspected campaign from Russia on Reddit,” Reddit, December 6, 2019, https://www.reddit.com/r/redditsecurity/comments/e74nml/suspected_campaign_from_russia_on_reddit/.

[34] Tulay Karadeniz and Maria Kiselyova, “Turkey downs Russian warplane near Syria border, Putin warns of 'serious consequences',” Reuters, November 25, 2015, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-syria-turkey/turkey-downs-russian-warplane-near-syria-border-putin-warns-of-serious-consequences-idUSKBN0TD0IR20151125.

[35] Persona “Steven Laack,” “Red Alert: Advice against all travel. Or why would anyone go to Turkey these days?”, blogspot.com, December 1, 2015, https://doubtingsteven.blogspot.com/2015/12/red-alert-advice-against-all-travel-or.html.

[36] Persona “pormatt,” “Spain's Intel: Remainers Plan to Assassinate Boris Johnson,” politicaldiscussion.net, August 13, 2018, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418172422/https://politicaldiscussion.net/threads/spains-intel-remainers-plan-to-assassinate-boris-johnson.254/ .

[37] Unattributed post, “United States to nominate Ukrainian President Poroshenko for a Nobel Peace Prize,” homment.com, 27 May, 2015, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418140715/https://homment.com/ukrainenobel.

[38] Persona “vicmilosh,” “Банальный закат Европы” (“Europe’s banal sunset”), stena.ee, November 18, 2019, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418202116/https://www.stena.ee/blog/banalnyj-zakat-evropy.  

[39] Persona “demonmanz,” “Chancellor of Germany and female alcoholism,” Reddit, April 10, 2017, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418161123/https://www.reddit.com/r/germany/comments/64ig7s/chancellor_of_germany_and_female_alcoholism/.  

[40] Persona “Josef Hashever,” “Kaczynski's FRAXA threatens Europe! Why the truth is concealed?”, beforeitsnews.com, April 13, 2016, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418150138/https://beforeitsnews.com/eu/2016/04/kaczynskis-fraxa-threatens-europe-why-the-truth-is-concealed-2602086.html.

[41] Persona “Joe Lane,” “The EU Puts Off the Pan-European Recognition of Armenian Genocide Because of Turkey,” Medium, 22 October 2018, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418183806/https://medium.com/@lanejo/the-eu-puts-off-the-pan-european-recognition-of-armenian-genocide-because-of-turkey-87b3479b5af3.

[42] Persona “robeharty,” “IRE enlists Muslim militants!”, Reddit, April 22, 2019, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418195148/https://www.reddit.com/r/ireland/comments/bfzfbb/ira_enlists_muslim_militants/.

[43] For example persona “Josef Hashever,” “‘Polish Auschwitz and Treblinka’ surpass Volhynia, Ukrainian official says,” beforeitsnews.com, Juy 11, 2016, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418203351/https://beforeitsnews.com/opinion/2016/07/polish-auschwitz-and-treblinka-surpass-volhynia-ukrainian-official-says-2456706.html.

[44] Persona “Fellow Citizen”, “  German police: migrants threaten to assault women on St. Valentine’s Day,” Medium, February 3, 2016,  https://web.archive.org/web/20200422230722/https://medium.com/@FellowCitizen/german-police-migrants-threaten-to-assault-women-on-st-valentine-s-day-8784af3049e2.

[45] Guest user, “What does Trump's support of Scottish nationalists portend for the EU?”, homment.com, June 7, 2018, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418170800/https://homment.com/kkj0jm76phAHWgoYSjgx.

[46] Persona “Leaky Leak,” “Being friendly American way. The USA was spying on the British Royal Family,” indymedia.org.uk, April 5, 2026,  http://web.archive.org/web/20200418145314/https://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2016/04/524701.html.

[47] Persona “Steven Laack,” “Jewish exodus from Ukraine,” blogspot.com, May 15, 2015, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418140311/https://doubtingsteven.blogspot.com/2015/05/jewish-exodus-from-ukraine.html.

[48] Persona “Albert Fulop,” “Ukraine after presidential elections. Radicals threaten national minorities,” Medium, May 28, 2019, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418195707/https://medium.com/@fulopalb/ukraine-after-presidential-elections-radicals-threaten-national-minorities-352267d3c428.  

[49] Persona “MilDavid,” “Ukraine puts Donald Trump on blacklist,” homment.com, June 20, 2018, https://web.archive.org/web/20200422232829/https://homment.com/yiPdDhuIJ2S44Lx0YEkX; persona ”AdkinsJan,” “Ukraine started supplying Kurds with Javelins,” homment.com, June 25, 2018, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418171255/https://homment.com/evApUNhtKfRrYuS6aAjX.

[50] Persona “ArmanRivar,” “USA and UK: policy of the biggest fraud,” Reddit, April 11, 2018, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418170322/https://www.reddit.com/r/Nigeria/comments/8bhn5i/usa_and_uk_policy_of_the_biggest_fraud/.  

[51] Persona “Cory MIller,” “What does Trump’s support of Scottish nationalists portend for the EU?”, indybay.org, June 7, 2018, https://web.archive.org/web/20200404071417/https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2018/06/07/18815543.php.  

[52] Persona “Josef Hashever,” “Caspian littoral states staying in expectation of ‘colored’ revolutions,” beforeitsnews.com, July 22, 2015, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418142131/https://beforeitsnews.com/protests-demonstrations/2015/07/caspian-littoral-states-staying-in-expectation-of-colored-revolutions-2455918.html.

[53] Persona “Military Observer,” “Flowers for Kim Jong-Un or Operation White Chrysanthemum,” Quora, November 10, 2017, https://archive.vn/wip/Y1q9C.

[54] Persona “Sam Alonso,” “EU provides support to Catalan separatists,” September 29, 2017, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418164035/https://defendingthetruth.com/threads/eu-provides-support-to-catalan-separatists.62578/.  

[55] Persona “Joe Lane,” “The EU Puts Off the Pan-European Recognition of Armenian Genocide Because of Turkey,” Medium, October 22, 2018, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418183806/https://medium.com/@lanejo/the-eu-puts-off-the-pan-european-recognition-of-armenian-genocide-because-of-turkey-87b3479b5af3.

[56] Persona “Steven Lang,” “US and Poland promote the UNSC resolution on reparations from Germany,” Medium, May 24, 2019, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418195630/https://medium.com/@langste/us-and-poland-promote-the-unsc-resolution-on-reparations-from-germany-efd02b778c86.

[57] Unattributed article, “Hillary Clinton, a killer (proclaimed) above the law,” homment.com, October 31, 2016, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418154348/https://homment.com/Hillary-Clinton-a-killer-proclaimed-above-the-law; persona “Lukas Esmeraldas,” “Who else is pumping money into the election campaign of Clinton?”, defendingthetruth.com, November 5, 2016, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418154542/https://defendingthetruth.com/threads/who-else-is-pumping-money-into-the-election-campaign-of-clinton.57635/.  

[58] Persona “Edgars Paukas,” “NED is Concerned with the Upcoming Elections in Latvia,” Medium, October 3, 2018, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418181918/https://medium.com/@paukas/ned-is-concerned-with-the-upcoming-elections-in-latvia-cceb63b0d3c9. The authors are grateful to Adam Rawnsley of the Daily Beast, who first identified this post.

[59] Persona “Andrew Hobbs,” “Another ‘Mueller Commission’ is Suggested to be Created in Sweden,” defendingthetruth.com, November 14, 2018, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418191755/https://defendingthetruth.com/threads/another-mueller-commission-is-suggested-to-be-created-in-sweden.106029/.

[60] Persona “Fellow Citizen,” “German police: migrants threaten to assault women on St. Valentine’s Day,” Medium, February 3, 2016, https://web.archive.org/web/20200422230722/https://medium.com/@FellowCitizen/german-police-migrants-threaten-to-assault-women-on-st-valentine-s-day-8784af3049e2.  

[61] Persona “Lunatic Joe,” “Migration crisis is an accelerator of European nationalism,” indymedia.org.uk, October 12, 2015, https://web.archive.org/web/20200426133156/https://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2015/10/522657.html. A Russian translation was posted by operation persona “Ino-News” at https://web.archive.org/web/20200426134253/https://hugeclick.ru/migracionnyi-krizis-katalizator-nacionalizma-es/3/. Reverse searching the image with Google, Yandex, and Tin-Eye showed that it was not posted anywhere else.

[62] Persona “Limkos Stamp,” “Dome Mosque,” Medium, May 6, 2016, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418151326/https://medium.com/@Limkos_Stamp/dome-mosque-a1bbe842c39e.

[63] Persona “Rob Lloys,” “Another wave of immigration to hit Europe as EU leaders admit they are powerless in Aleppo,” Medium, December 21, 2016, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418155543/https://medium.com/@RobLloys/another-wave-of-immigration-to-hit-europe-as-eu-leaders-admit-they-are-powerless-in-aleppo-bcd03ffa4415.

[64] Persona “Ail Green,” Muslim wave is to cover the United Kingdom before referendum,” Medium, May 10, 2016, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418151527/https://medium.com/@AilGreen/muslim-wave-is-to-cover-the-united-kingdom-before-referendum-3a9fd5391e61.

[65] The tweet is archived at https://archive.vn/3fVWC.

[66] Dion Nissembaum, Emre Peker, and James Marson, “Turkey Shoots Down Russian Military Jet,” Wall Street Journal, November 24, 2015, https://www.wsj.com/articles/turkey-shoots-down-jet-near-syria-border-1448356509.

[67] Katherine Costello, “Russia’s Use of Media and Information Operations in Turkey,” RAND Corporation, 2018, https://www.rand.org/pubs/perspectives/PE278.html.

[68] Persona “Infomaniac,” “True reasons of the recent attack on Su-24,” Medium, December 7, 2015, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418143020/https://medium.com/@infomaniac/true-reasons-of-the-recent-attack-on-su-24-e0650adc3f8d;  persona “Truthseeker,” “The US exposes ties between Turkey and Jabhat al-Nusra?”, Medium, February 12, 2016, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418143458/https://medium.com/@truthseekerNew/the-us-exposes-ties-between-turkey-and-jabhat-al-nusra-ce063989414f; persona “Dusty L.A,” “Turkey was about to open second front vs Armenia,” Medium, April 6, 2016, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418145657/https://medium.com/@DustyLA/turkey-was-about-to-open-second-front-vs-armenia-6a60fa6376ea.

[69] “WADA Statement: Independent Investigation confirms Russian State manipulation of the doping control process,” WADA, Juy 18, 2016, https://www.wada-ama.org/en/media/news/2016-07/wada-statement-independent-investigation-confirms-russian-state-manipulation-of.

[70] Persona “Steven Laack,” “Corruption in international sports supervisory authorities. Ban of meldonium is due to unfair competition between pharmaceutical companies,” blogspot.com, April 19, 2016, https://doubtingsteven.blogspot.com/2016/04/corruption-in-international-sports.html.

[71] Persona “Politgraben,” “Korruption in WADA - Play True?” (“Corruption in WADA - play true?”), wordpress.com, April 22, 2016, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418150741/https://politgraben.wordpress.com/2016/04/22/korruption-in-wada-play-true/.  

[72] Persona “Ino-News,” “Всемирное антидопинговое сообщество попалось на коррупции” (“WADA caught in corruption”), via e-news.pro, April 22, 2016, https://web.archive.org/web/20200422234458/https://www.e-news.pro/news/110649-vsemirnoe-antidopingovoe-soobschestvo-popalos-na-korrupcii.html.

[73] Klement Piccard, “Carnival in Rio with US laboratories’ prescriptions: invisible doping and Zika virus,” Medium, July 22, 2016, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418153454/https://medium.com/@piccard/carnival-in-rio-with-us-laboratories-prescriptions-invisible-doping-and-zika-virus-87c19ea6ab34.

[74] Persona “amateur123,” “Independent Journalists: the new faces, though old methods. Who ‘throws dead cats on the table’ today?”, Medium, May 31, 2016, https://web.archive.org/web/20170115210538/https://medium.com/@amateur123/independent-journalists-the-new-faces-though-old-methods-d12c8741602f.

[75] Persona “Tom Sallee,” “The unfair competition,” Reddit, September 28, 2017, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418164002/https://www.reddit.com/r/antivirus/comments/72ywku/the_unfair_competition/.  

[76] Persona “Bloger_Nasralny,” “Продолжение охоты на ведьм или спасибо НАТО за рекламу” (“Continuation of the witch hunt, or thanks, NATO, for the advertisement”), livejournal.com, July 2, 2019, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418200629/https://bloger-nasralny.livejournal.com/53584.html.

[77] Ben Nimmo and Michael Sheldon, “Russian Op 3: The Blue Man and the Mole,” DFRLab, June 22, 2019, https://medium.com/dfrlab/russian-op-3-the-blue-man-and-the-mole-3ba77b9eb955. For full disclosure, the lead author of the current paper also led the DFRLab’s original exposure of Secondary Infektion.

[78] Gianluca Mezzofiore, “Russia's best troll 'Jenna Abrams' is back with an incredible blog post about AI and the Matrix,” Mashable, November 9, 2017, https://mashable.com/2017/11/09/jenna-abrams-russian-troll-account-ai-matrix/.

[79] Casey Michel, “Russian trolling ahead of the midterm elections is a mixture of the weird and the pathetic,” ThinkProgress.org, November 6, 2018, https://thinkprogress.org/usaira-russian-trolling-ahead-of-the-midterm-elections-is-a-mixture-of-the-weird-and-the-pathetic-c64b0d120ae5/. The IRA site is archived at https://web.archive.org/web/20181125143657/https://usaira.ru/.

[80] Persona “Robert Porter”, “EU Rejects Cooperation with Foreign Far-Right Forces”, playbuzz, October 23, 2018, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418184821/https://www.playbuzz.com/item/55cdcf37-d7c7-4a5b-847d-dbe218f89cbb.

[81] Persona “Stanislav Melanich”, “В погоне за грантами: 12 июня Навальный анонсировал несанкционированный митинг” ("Chasing grants: Navalny announces unsanctioned rally for 12 June"), newsland, June 6, 2017, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418194509/https://newsland.com/user/4297838887/content/meditsinskii-genotsid-po-ukrainski-kor-difteriia-ili-sama-reforma-unichtozhit-ukraintsev/6688826.

[82] Persona “Stanislav Melanich”, “Кремлевская марионетка” (“Kremlin puppet”), December 30, 2014, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418134927/https://bloger-nasralny.livejournal.com/2014/12/30/.

[83] Persona “James Alkirby,” “Ukrainian view of the future of Russia,” Medium, August 31, 2018, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418175046/https://medium.com/@alkirby/ukrainian-view-of-the-future-of-russia-dca036fe2177.

[84] Unattributed article, “Elections of Merkel - let the whole world wait,” homment.com, June 29, 2017, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418162244/https://homment.com/elections-of-Merkel-let-the-whole-world-wait.

[85] Persona “Josh Groll,” “Chancellor of Germany and female alcoholism,” Medium, April 10, 2017, https://web.archive.org/web/20191210170754/https://medium.com/@JoshGroll/chancellor-of-germany-and-female-alcoholism-2c756713a7e9.

[86] Persona “Wolfgang Sperling,” “Politics And Female Alcohol Addiciton,” BuzzFeed Community, March 20, 2017, https://web.archive.org/web/20200404115858/https://www.buzzfeed.com/wolfgangsperling/politics-and-female-alcohol-addiction-2vne1.

[87] Persona “Anonymous,” “Documents confirming that brothers Kaczynski are mentally retarded,” cyberguerrilla.org, April 12, 2016, https://web.archive.org/web/20160907184513/https://www.cyberguerrilla.org/blog/documents-confirming-that-brothers-kaczynski-are-mentally-retarded/.

[88] Persona “Stan Giklems,” “Anonymous. The Kaczynski brothers’ genetic mutation revealed! BREAKING!,” Vimeo, April 19, 2016, https://vimeo.com/163382203.

[89] Persona “Mal O,” “The European Commission: Conduct official and public medical examination of Jaroslaw Kaczynski,” avaaz.org, February 24, 2016, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418203620/https://secure.avaaz.org/en/community_petitions/The_European_Commission_Conduct_official_and_public_medical_examination_of_Jaroslaw_Kaczynski/.

[90] Persona “doubtingsteven”, “Saakashvili did not receive Hahn's assurances that 'interim' Groysman's Cabinet resigns in 2017…”, blogspot.com, May 19, 2016, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418151904/http://doubtingsteven.blogspot.com/2016/05/saakashvili-did-not-receive-hahns.html.

[91] Persona “Bloger_Nasralny”, “Саакашвили и Яценюк: борьба кланов” (“Saakashvili and Yatsenyuk: the battle of the clans”), livejournal.com, December 24, 2015, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418143252/https://bloger-nasralny.livejournal.com/48082.html.

[92] Persona "dhortone,” “Who's Your Boss, Dalia Grybauskaite?", buzzfeed.com, 3 December 2018, http://web.archive.org/web/20200404071513/https://www.buzzfeed.com/dhortone/whos-your-boss-dalia-grybauskaite-3p8ia 

[93] “Case of Abu Zubaydah v Lithuania,” European Court of Human Rights, May 31, 2018, https://hudoc.echr.coe.int/eng#_Toc515265916.

[94] Persona "Steve Eriksson", "Lithuania Blocks the Sensational Investigation into a Torture Issue in the EU," medium.com, 11 October 2018, https://web.archive.org/web/20200404102152/https://medium.com/@Eriksson_91947/lithuania-blocks-the-sensational-investigation-into-a-torture-issue-in-the-eu-80f8284e8f49

[95] Persona "SteveEriksson", President of Lithuania conceals from the UN and the ECHR the names of those organised tortures of prisoners," medium.com, 8 October 2018, https://web.archive.org/web/20200404102229/https://medium.com/@steveeriksson/president-of-lithuania-conceals-from-the-un-and-the-echr-the-names-of-those-who-organized-tortures-2b328db9d1fc

[96] Persona "Steveriks", "Lithuania Blocks the Sensational Investigation into a Torture Issue in the EU," reddit.com, 11 October 2018, http://web.archive.org/web/20200404102214/https://www.reddit.com/r/lithuania/comments/9n82ub/lithuania_blocks_the_sensational_investigation/ 

[97] "Sputnik’s Disinformation as if Former Lithuanian President was KBG Agent," mythdetector.ge, https://www.mythdetector.ge/en/myth/sputniks-disinformation-if-former-lithuanian-president-was-kbg-agent

[98] “От тайного агента КГБ до феминистки: карьера Дали Грибаускайте” (“From secret KGB agent to feminist: Dalia Grybauskaite’s career”), Sputnik, September 25, 2019, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FxmRSdjRLcI&feature=emb_title.

[99] Persona “andrei_kurpskiy,” “Чего боится агент «Магнолия?»”, LiveJournal, June 11, 2015, https://andrei-kurpskiy.livejournal.com/69315.html#cutid1.

[100] Persona "Max Bromberg", "ADIEU, KGB! FLIEHT DALIA GRYBAUSKAITĖ VOR IHRER KGB-VERGANGENHEIT?" (“Adieu, KGB! Is Dalia Grybauskaite fleeing from her KGB past?”) wordpress.com, 15 April 2015, https://web.archive.org/web/20200411081551/https://politgraben.wordpress.com/2015/04/15/adieu-kgb-flieht-dalia-grybauskaite-vor-ihrer-kgb-vergangenheit/ 

[101] See Presentation by Camille Francois at CyberWarCon, Washington DC, November 2018: https://www.cyberwarcon.com/false-leaks

[102] Indictment 1:18-cr-00215-ABJ, “United States of America v. Viktor Borisovich Netyshko et al.,” US Department of Justice, July 13, 2018, https://www.justice.gov/file/1080281/download.

[103] Owen Gibson, “Russia accused of ‘state-sponsored doping’ as Wada calls for athletics ban,” The Guardian, November 9, 2015, https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2015/nov/09/wada-iaaf-russia-dick-pound-banned.

[104] “WADA Statement: Independent Investigation confirms Russian State manipulation of the doping control process,” WADA, July 18, 2016, https://www.wada-ama.org/en/media/news/2016-07/wada-statement-independent-investigation-confirms-russian-state-manipulation-of.

[105] Ben Nimmo, “#PutinAtWar: WADA Hack Shows Kremlin Full-Spectrum Approach,” DFRLab, October 14, 2018, https://medium.com/dfrlab/putinatwar-wada-hack-shows-kremlin-full-spectrum-approach-21dd495f2e91.

[106] See www.io-archive.org for posts made by the Russian IRA on the #dopingleaks campaign.

[107] Persona “EnniLowre,” “Corruption in international sports supervisory authorities. Ban of meldonium is due to unfair competition between pharmaceutical companies,” topix.com, April 15, 2016, https://web.archive.org/web/20170802165139/http://www.topix.com/forum/sports/T5KD8MKFTICE78AT7. The same article was posted by operation persona “Steven Laack” on April 19, 2016: https://web.archive.org/web/20200424111459/https://doubtingsteven.blogspot.com/2016/04/corruption-in-international-sports.html. The Russian version was posted by persona “Ino-News” on April 21: https://maxpark.com/community/politic/content/5190995. The German edition was posted by persona “PolitGraben” on April 22: https://web.archive.org/web/20200418150704/https://de.indymedia.org/node/9139.

[109] The CPJ confirmed that they were approached by a journalist from Russian state channel Россия 24 to confirm whether the letter was fake, but there is no record of the channel running a story on it, a welcome sign of journalistic professionalism.

[110] See for example Christoph Winterbach, Lukas Eberle, and Raphael Buschmann, “How Some US Athletes Obtain Permits for Banned Medication,” Spiegel, December 1, 2016, https://www.spiegel.de/international/world/hack-by-fancy-bears-of-anti-doping-agency-usada-a-1124020.html. The authors based their report on “email communication between several employees of the American anti-doping agency USADA which was provided to the newsmagazine SPIEGEL by the hacker group Fancy Bears.”

[111] Jean-Baptiste Jeangene-Vilmer, “The Macron Leaks Operation: A Post-Mortem,” Atlantic Council, June 2019, https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/The_Macron_Leaks_Operation-A_Post-Mortem.pdf. For transparency, some of the research quoted in Jeangene-Vilmer’s paper was the work of Ben Nimmo, the lead author of the current report.

[112] Persona “DreuxVachon,” “Emmanuel Macron: a new hope of migrants in Europe?”, Medium, March 16, 2017, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418160806/https://medium.com/@DreuxVachon/emmanuel-macron-a-new-hope-of-migrants-in-europe-b6d07e0a111b. We are grateful to Quora for bringing this post to our attention.

[116] Persona “Nicole Roux,” “Emmanuel Macron: Neuer Traum der europäischen Migranten?” (“Emmanuel Macron: New dream of European migrants?,” meine-news.de, March 17, 2017, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418160835/https://www.meine-news.de/aschbach/c-politik/emmanuel-macron-neuer-traum-der-europaeischen-migranten_a19842;  geschichte-wissen.de, March 17, 2017, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418160840/https://geschichte-wissen.de/foren/viewtopic.php?t=5691.

[117] Persona “Gerard,” “Garder le visage de l’Europe,” politicien.fr, March 14, 2017, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418160750/http://gerard.politicien.fr/2017/03/14/garder-le-visage-de-leurope/. The headline appears to be an attempt at a literal translation of the English “Saving Europe’s face.”

[118] Persona “StPatrick,” “Macron moves in the Élysée Palace on shoulders of migrants and jihadists,” Reddit, April 20, 2017, http://web.archive.org/web/20200318192454/https://www.reddit.com/r/eupolitics/comments/66gnnb/macron_moves_in_the_%C3%A9lys%C3%A9e_palace_on_shoulders_of/; defendingthetruth.com, April 20, 2017, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418161140/https://defendingthetruth.com/threads/macron-moves-in-the-%C3%89lys%C3%A9e-palace-on-shoulders-of-migrants-and-jihadists.60472/; politicsforum.org, April 20, 2017, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418161145/http://www.politicsforum.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=42&t=168877&sid=d395f44fff9b397979b01a2ccab4e3f8;  homment.com, April 20, 2017, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418161147/https://homment.com/Macron-moves-in-the-Elysee-Palace-on-shoulders-of-migrants-and-jihadists.

[119] For example, persona “Дмитрий Разумов” (“Dmitriy Razumov”), “Макрон въедет в Елисейский дворец на плечах мигрантов и джихадистов” (“Macron will ride into the Elysee Palace on the backs of migrants and jihadists”), cont.ws, April 26, 2017, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418161320/https://cont.ws/@razumow/598048;  fishki.net, April 26, 2017, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418161228/https://fishki.net/anti/2276742-makron-vedet-v-elisejskij-dvorec-na-plechah-migrantov-i-dzhihadistov.html.

[120] Jean-Baptiste Jeangene Vilmer, “The ‘Macron Leaks’ Operation: A Post-Mortem,” Atlantic Council, June 2019, https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/The_Macron_Leaks_Operation-A_Post-Mortem.pdf.

[121] Persona “Ritterc, “Macron Triumphant: Macro-lies of Micro-victory”, 6 May 2017, http://archive.is/mHxb6. We are grateful to Reddit for first exposing this post as being part of Secondary Infektion.

[122] See www.io-archive.org

[123] Persona “Josef Hashever,”, “Hilla the Hun in her chase for the Genesis Prize,” WordPress, November 26, 2015, http://web.archive.org/web/20200424112628/https://joeshever.wordpress.com/2015/11/26/hilla-the-hun-in-her-chase-of-the-genesis-prize/. The same persona posted the same story on beforeitsnews.com on the same day: http://web.archive.org/web/20200418143028/https://beforeitsnews.com/u-s-politics/2015/11/hilla-the-hun-in-her-chase-of-the-genesis-prize-2491430.html.

[124] Persona “HJHJ,” “Sponsors of Islamists invest into Hillary,” Medium, May 6, 2016, https://web.archive.org/web/20200418151334/https://medium.com/@HJHJHJHJ/sponsors-of-islamists-invest-into-hillary-2cb40e2e1c90.

[125] Persona “climber,” “Electoral mockery in the United States: a view from within,” Medium, June 7, 2016, https://web.archive.org/web/20200418152645/https://medium.com/@climberud/electoral-mockery-in-the-united-states-a-view-from-within-6972fe326cd.  

[126] Persona “Douklan Oisi,” “China compensates Brexit by support of Clinton,” Quora, July 20, 2016, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418153427/https://www.quora.com/What-will-be-Hillary-Clintons-China-policy-if-she-becomes-the-president/answer/Douklan-Oisi.

[127] Unnamed author, “Hitting Trump and Sanders with an e-mail cluster all at the same time,” homment.com, July 27, 2016, https://web.archive.org/web/20200418153520/https://homment.com/Hitting-Trump-and-Sanders-with-an-e-mail-cluster-all-at-the-same-time. The article argued that “you really can’t take literally the theory about the Russian hackers,” in a rare direct reference to other Russian operations.

[128] Persona “George Umber,” “Clinton fits on the Roosevelt's wheelchair?” Medium, August 10, 2016, https://web.archive.org/web/20200418153554/https://medium.com/@GeorgeUmber/clinton-fits-on-the-roosevelts-wheelchair-36b40da7d16b.

[129] Unnamed author, “Hillary Clinton, a killer (proclaimed) above the law,” homment.com, October 31, 2016, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418154348/https://homment.com/Hillary-Clinton-a-killer-proclaimed-above-the-law.

[130] Persona “Петр Калюжный,” “Хиллари Клинтон – убийца, объявленная вне закона” (“Hillary Clinton, a killer proclaimed outside the law”), November 2, 2016, on korrespondent.net, https://blogs.korrespondent.net/blog/politics/3766265/ and dosug.md, https://dosug.md/ru/publication/14327/, among others.

[131] Persona “Farah Al-mazik,” “Stop HIllary Clinton’s Aggression,” thepetitionsite.com, October 27, 2017, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418203502/https://www.thepetitionsite.com/935/098/058/stop-hillary-clintons-aggression/.

[132] Persona “Josefever,” “Germany’s staying secretly supportive of the Turkish Kurds,” beforeitsnews.com, December 24, 2015, https://web.archive.org/web/20200409120834/https://beforeitsnews.com/conspiracy-theories/2015/12/germanys-staying-secretly-supportive-of-the-turkish-kurds-2473062.html 

[133] Homment, "The effect of the referendum in Turkey: urged by Gülen followers, Germany to impose sanctions on Ankara", homment.com, May 11, 2017, http://web.archive.org/web/20200404081117/https://homment.com/the-effect-of-the-referendum-in-turkey 

[134] Persona "alexdudek", "The UN Security Council Resolution: Germany will be obliged to pay Poland for occupation,” Homment.com, December 10, 2018http://web.archive.org/web/20200404102355/https://homment.com/jxfUAkYph61dHstauwGu 

[135] Persona “Politgraben”, "Der Islam gehört zu Deutschand nicht!" (“Islam doesn’t belong in Germany!”), politgraben.wordpress.com, April 28, 2015 https://web.archive.org/web/20200404100150/https://politgraben.wordpress.com/2015/04/28/der-islam-gehort-zu-deutschland-nicht/

[136] Persona “Politgraben”, "Wird Deutschland zum Hauptziel syrischer Flüchtlinge?" (“Will Germany become the main destination for Syrian refugees?”), politgraben.wordpress.com, September 3, 2015 https://politgraben.wordpress.com/2015/09/03/wird-deutschland-zum-hauptziel-syrischer-fluechtlinge/

[137]Persona “Politgraben”, "FLÜCHTLINGE BRINGEN NACH EUROPA TOD" (“REFUGEES BRING DEATH TO EUROPE!”), politgraben.wordpress.com, September 15, 2015  https://web.archive.org/web/20190205023851/https://politgraben.wordpress.com/2015/09/03/wird-deutschland-zum-hauptziel-syrischer-fluechtlinge/

[138] Persona “Politgraben”, "Drang nach Osten 2.0” (“The push to the East 2.0”), politgraben.wordpress.com", May 7, 2015 http://web.archive.org/web/20200404095246/https://politgraben.wordpress.com/2015/05/07/drang-nach-osten-2-0/ 

[139] Persona “Politgraben”, "NRW: KRIEGSWAFFEN-LAGER VON ISLAMISTEN AUSGEHOBEN" (“NRW: ISLAMIST WEAPONS CACHE DUG UP”), politgraben.wordpress.com, June 22, 2016.http://web.archive.org/web/20200404083639/https://politgraben.wordpress.com/2016/06/22/nrw-kriegswaffen-lager-von-islamisten-ausgehoben/ 

[140] Persona “Politgraben”, "AUF VERLANGEN VON NRW-INNENMINISTERIUM" (“AT THE REQUEST OF THE NRW INTERIOR MINISTRY”), politgraben.wordpress.com, February 12, 2016.https://politgraben.wordpress.com/2016/02/12/auf-verlangen-von-nrw-innenministerium/

[141] Persona “Dariusz Pawlak”, "Genocide strikes relations between Ukraine and Poland… again", medium.com, January 18, 2018http://web.archive.org/web/20200404111524/https://medium.com/@darpawlak/genocide-strikes-relations-between-ukraine-and-poland-again-1c1085fec1f9 

[142] Persona “Alexdudek”, "The UN Security Council Resolution: Germany will be obliged to pay Poland for occupation", homment.com, December 10, 2018http://web.archive.org/web/20200404102355/https://homment.com/jxfUAkYph61dHstauwGu 

[143] Unattributed article, "Is Poland to be punished for sabotage of the EU decisions on Ukraine?", homment.com, June 7, 2017 https://web.archive.org/web/20200410073011/https://homment.com/Is-Poland-to-be-punished-for-sabotage-of-the-EU-decisions-on-Ukraine 

[144] Persona “Altan Yavuz,” "Poland Will Support Turkey's Accession to the EU, medium.com, September 7, 2017 http://web.archive.org/web/20200404105206/https://medium.com/@AltanYavuz/poland-will-support-turkeys-accession-to-the-eu-83ab8ac17cf3 

[145] Persona “Carole Juanard,” "Poland Demands Reparations From the Former Soviet Republics For the Aggression Of the Red Army", medium.com, August 22, 2018 http://web.archive.org/web/20200404103152/https://medium.com/@juanard/poland-demands-reparations-from-the-former-soviet-republics-for-the-aggression-of-the-red-army-cab00f5ee858 

[146] "Lithuanian Horizons: with Dalya for without her", groundreport.com, 4 July, 2016 https://web.archive.org/web/20200404101009/https://www.groundreport.com/lithuanian-eu-horizons-dalya-without/

[147] Persona "Josef Hashever", "Lithuanian ‘Nuremberg’ reached a dead end", wordpress.com, 9 June 2016, https://web.archive.org/web/20200404080002/https://joeshever.wordpress.com/2016/06/09/lithuanian-nuremberg-reached-a-dead-end/ 

[148] Persona "El Vilar", Latvia’s ruling party: unity of government, secret services and crime, medium.com, 4 October 2018, http://web.archive.org/web/20200404111836/https://medium.com/@elvilar/latvias-ruling-party-unity-of-government-secret-services-and-crime-fd0275abb6fa 

[149] Persona "saiso", “Latvia as the cyber bastion of NATO", homment.com, November, 20, 2019, https://web.archive.org/web/20200404073156/https://homment.com/awVtJJ8cbPXXjrcWEsoI 

[150] Persona "Stanislav Melanich", Много шпрот и мало водки. Прибалтийский вариант, livejournal.com, June 15, 2015, https://web.archive.org/web/20200404020229/https://bloger-nasralny.livejournal.com/2015/06/15/ 

[151] Insikt Group, "Intent to Infekt: ‘Operation Pinball’ Tactics Reminiscent of ‘Operation Secondary Infektion,', recordedfuture.com, April 8, 2020,  https://www.recordedfuture.com/operation-pinball-tactics/ 

[152] Persona "mazumishasy", "Подарок для Польши: Украина собирается переориентировать Хмельницкую АЭС на экспорт" (“Gift for Poland: Ukraine plans to switch the Khmelnitsky NPP to export”), stena.ee, November 27, 2018, https://web.archive.org/web/20200404003115/https://www.stena.ee/blog/podarok-dlya-polshi-ukraina-sobiraetsya-pereorientirovat-hmelnitskuyu-aes-na-eksport 

[153] Julian Borger, Patrick Wintour and Heather Stewart, “Western allies expel scores of Russian diplomats over Skripal attack,” The Guardian, March 27, 2018, https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/mar/26/four-eu-states-set-to-expel-russian-diplomats-over-skripal-attack.

[154] Persona “Matt Porter,” “Spain’s Intel: Remainers Plot to Assassinate Boris Johnson,” Medium, August 12, 2018, https://archive.is/2CgqR.

[155] Persona “Will Couch,” “Following Brexit is a new fight for United Ireland,” Medium, April 23, 2019, https://archive.is/iQ44c.

[156] Persona “Steven Laack,” “Being friendly the American way. The USA was spying on the British Royal Family,” blogspot.com, April 6, 2016, http://web.archive.org/web/20200424111520/https://doubtingsteven.blogspot.com/2016/04/being-friendly-american-way-usa-was.html. Tweeted the same day at https://twitter.com/StevenLaack/status/717640052034023426.

[157] Persona “Chris Woods,” “UK’s GCHQ to support Democrats during the 2018 midterms,” scoop.it, August 3, 2018, http://web.archive.org/web/20200424111322/https://www.scoop.it/u/chris-woods-4.  

[158] Unattributed article, “Mayday! Theresa May: a mortician or a savior?”, homment.com, July 28, 2016, https://homment.com/mfuanmen2t.

[160] Persona “Mitchell Harris,” USA and UK: policy of the biggest fraud,” Facebook, April 12, 2018, https://web.archive.org/web/20200404073616/https://www.facebook.com/OccupyUnmasked/posts/1848654055165283.

[161] Persona “Matt Porter,” “Spain’s Intel: Remainers Plot to Assassinate Boris Johnson,” Medium, August 12, 2018, https://archive.is/2CgqR.

[162] Persona “Will Couch,” “Following Brexit is a new fight for United Ireland,” Medium, April 23, 2019, https://archive.is/iQ44c.

[163] Persona “Addie Ukip,” “The greatest fraud of the century: referendum in Great Britain,” Medium, May 25, 2016, http://web.archive.org/web/20200424111350/https://medium.com/@AddieUkip/the-greatest-fraud-of-the-century-referendum-in-great-britain-44083d66bbee; persona “Steven Laack,” same headline, blogspot.com, May 27, 2016, http://web.archive.org/web/20200424111345/https://doubtingsteven.blogspot.com/2016/05/the-greatest-fraud-of-century.html.

[164] Ben Nimmo, “UK Trade Leaks,” Graphika, December 2, 2019, https://graphika.com/TradeLeaks; Jack Stubbs, “Leak of papers before UK election raises 'specter of foreign influence': experts,” Reuters, December 2, 2019, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-britain-election-foreign/leak-of-papers-before-uk-election-raises-specter-of-foreign-influence-experts-idUSKBN1Y620A.

[165] “U/worstnerd,” “Suspected Campaign from Russia on Reddit,” Reddit, December 6, 2019, https://www.reddit.com/r/redditsecurity/comments/e74nml/suspected_campaign_from_russia_on_reddit/.

[166] Persona "John Becker", "Georgia demonstrates lack of readiness for its membership in the EU and NATO", medium.com, October 10, 2018, https://web.archive.org/web/20200315172105/https://medium.com/@beckerjo/georgia-demonstrates-lack-of-readiness-for-its-membership-in-the-eu-and-nato-30813385cc0a 

[167] Persona "Stanislav Melanich", "Реформа МВД с грузинским душком"(“Interior Ministry reform with a Georgian scent”), livejournal.com, December 17, 2017, https://web.archive.org/web/20200410144016/https://bloger-nasralny.livejournal.com/47564.html

[168] Persona "Stanislav Melanich", "Революция в Армении – подготовка сдачи Нагорного Карабаха" (“Revolution in Armenia: preparations to surrender Nagorno-Karabakh”), cont.ws, April 30, 2018, https://web.archive.org/web/20200411045816/https://cont.ws/@stasmelanich/931652 

[169] "Arménie: échec de la "color revolution", l'USAID insulte son laquais", wikistrike.com, September 3, 2015, https://web.archive.org/web/20200411050113/http://www.wikistrike.com/2015/09/armenie-echec-de-la-color-revolution-l-usaid-insulte-son-laquais.html

[170] Persona "Semeon Tozz", "What's up in Armenia?", medium.com, May 12, 2018, https://web.archive.org/web/20200411052351/https://medium.com/@semeontozz/whats-up-in-armenia-41231f195c15 

[171] Persona "Max Bromberg", "Schweden ist an Brüsseler Anschlagen schuld" (“Sweden to blame for Brussels attacks”), politgraben.wordpress.com, March 30, 2016, http://web.archive.org/web/20200404102110/https://politgraben.wordpress.com/2016/03/30/schweden-ist-an-bruesseler-anschlaegen-schuld/ 

[172] Persona "Olle", "Fredsreglering genom skrapning av terrorceller.Islamiska staten väntar Sveriges hjälp" (“Making peace by creating terror cells. IS expects Sweden’s help”), svenskpress.se, March 23, 2016 https://web.archive.org/web/20170107203629/http://www.svenskpress.se/papers/pressbladet/articles/view/fredsreglering-genom-skapning-av-terrorceller-islamiska-staten-vantar

[173] Persona "andrewhobbs," "Another "Mueller Commission" Is Suggested To Be Created in Sweden", homment.com, November 14, 2018, http://web.archive.org/web/20200404104202/https://homment.com/WD33RUuytNCkIWOZtfo3 

[175] Persona “George Kobzaru”, “Sverige kunde förebygga terrorattacker i Bryssel" (“Sweden could have prevented terrorist attacks in Brussels”), pressbladet.se, March 29, 2016, http://web.archive.org/web/20200404084318/http://www.pressbladet.se/articles/view/sverige-kunde-forebygga-terrorattacker-i-bryssel 

[176] Arri Gibs, "Sweden could have prevented the terrorist attacks in Brussels!", youtube.com, March 28, 2016, http://web.archive.org/web/20200404084240/https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l-2dMCIgXP4 

[177]  Persona "Josef Hashever", "Peace Settlement Through Creation of Terrorist Cells. ISIS Expects Aid From Sweden," indymedia.org.uk, March 24, 2016, http://web.archive.org/web/20200404102028/https://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2016/03/524628.html 

[178]  "Peace Settlement Through Creation of Terrorist Cells. ISIS Expects Aid From Sweden," newsparticipation.com, March 24, 2016, https://web.archive.org/web/20200410133233/https://newsparticipation.com/peace-settlement-through-creation-of-terrorist-cells-daesh-expects-aid-of-sweden/

[179] Secondary Infektion’s use of Twitter was a deviation from its normal behavior, in that it used the same accounts repeatedly between mid-2014 and mid-2016. These accounts shared a significant proportion of non-original content and reposted individual Secondary Infektion stories repeatedly, occasionally dozens of times per story. Representing the operation’s Twitter usage by individual tweets over-represents the volume of the operation’s Twitter activity compared with its activity on other platforms. For that reason, Twitter is not represented in the comparative graphs.

[180] “Anonymous,” “United States to nominate Ukrainian President Poroshenko for a Nobel Peace Prize,” cyberguerrilla.org, May 24, 2015, archived at https://web.archive.org/web/20150530204435/https://www.cyberguerrilla.org/blog/united-states-to-nominate-ukrainian-president-poroshenko-for-a-nobel-peace-prize/.

[181] Persona “Kries Larsson,” “United States to nominate Ukrainian President Poroshenko for a Nobel  Peace Prize,” YouTube, May 25, 2015, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418140609/https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_2otXTrVJ0g.  

[182] Unnamed poster, “United States to nominate Ukrainian President Poroshenko for a Nobel Peace Prize,” homment.com, May 27,  2015, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418140715/https://homment.com/ukrainenobel.  

[183] Persona “Taurus5”, “Friedensnobelpreis 2015 geht an... Poroschenko?,” ask1.org, May 29, 2015, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418140917/https://www.ask1.org/threads/friedensnobelpreis-2015-%E2%80%93-bin-schockiert.17862/.

[184] Persona “Politgraben,” “Friedensnobelpreis 2015 geht an... Poroschenko?” (“Nobel Peace Prize goes to… Poroshenko?”), de.indymedia.org, May 28, 2015, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418140745/https://de.indymedia.org/node/4650.  

[185] Persona “Ino-news”, “США номинируют Порошенко на Нобелевскую премию мира” (“USA nominates Poroshenko for Nobel Peace Prize”), cont.ws, May 28, 2015,  http://web.archive.org/web/20200418140817/https://cont.ws/@ino-news/90420.

[186] Persona “Ino-news”, “США номинируют Порошенко на Нобелевскую премию мира” (“USA nominates Poroshenko for Nobel Peace Prize”), livejournal, May 28, 2015. The account has been purged, but the article is reproduced here: http://web.archive.org/web/20200418140831/https://x-true.info/19848-ssha-nominiruyut-poroshenko-na-nobelevskuyu-premiyu-mira.html.

[187] Persona “Peter Blom,” “Silence commanded. People in Sweden are incensed by London’s pressure on scientists,” Medium, June 4, 2018,  http://web.archive.org/web/20200418170727/https://medium.com/@peterblom_75128/silence-commanded-people-in-sweden-are-incensed-by-londons-pressure-on-scientists-1097d5b19314.

[188] Persona “Peterbloms,” “Silence commanded. People in Sweden are incensed by London’s pressure on scientists,” BuzzFeed forum, June 4, 2018, https://www.buzzfeed.com/peterbloms/silence-commanded-people-in-sweden-are-incensed-b-3hdos.

[189] Persona “Peterblom,” “Silence commanded. People in Sweden are incensed by London’s pressure on scientists,” thestudentroom.co.uk, June 4, 2018, https://web.archive.org/web/20200422215308/https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/showthread.php?t=5409006.  

[190] Persona “Peter Blom,” “Silence commanded. People in Sweden are incensed by London’s pressure on scientists,” scoop.it, June 4, 2018,    https://web.archive.org/web/20200422215529/https://www.scoop.it/topic/europe-by-peter-blom/p/4098264908/2018/06/04/silence-commanded-people-in-sweden-are-incensed-by-london-s-pressure-on-scientists.

[191] Persona “Peterblom,” “Silence commanded. People in Sweden are incensed by London’s pressure on scientists,” defendingthetruth.com, June 4, 2018, https://web.archive.org/web/20200422215713/https://defendingthetruth.com/threads/silence-commanded-people-in-sweden-are-incensed-by-londons-pressure-on-scientists.66513/.

[192] Guest user, ““Silence commanded. People in Sweden are incensed by London’s pressure on scientists,” homment.com, June 4, 2018, https://web.archive.org/web/20200422215833/https://homment.com/no8ixNupbU355pUakRag.

[193] Persona “Tiagorivas”, “La indignación en Suecia por la presión de Londres sobre los científicos” (“Indignation in Sweden over London’s pressure on scientists”), globedia.com, June 5, 2018, https://web.archive.org/web/20200422220037/http://bo.globedia.com/indignacion-suecia-presion-londres-cientificos.

[194] Persona “Tiago Rivas,” ““La indignación en Suecia por la presión de Londres sobre los científicos,” burbuja.info, June 5, 2018, https://web.archive.org/web/20200422220046/https://www.burbuja.info/inmobiliaria/threads/la-indignacion-en-suecia-por-la-presion-de-londres-sobre-los-cientificos.1040375/.

[195] Persona “ДРИЧАК МИХАЙЛО”, “Наказано мовчати: в Швеції обурені тиском Лондона на вчених” (“Ordered to be silent: Swedes angry with London’s pressure on scientists,”) korrespodent.net, June 21, 2018, https://web.archive.org/web/20200422220430/https://blogs.korrespondent.net/blog/world/3982646/.  

[196] Persona “Михайло Дричак,” “Наказано мовчати: в Швеції обурені тиском Лондона на вчених,” pero.org.ua, June 21, 2018, https://web.archive.org/web/20200422220421/https://pero.org.ua/polityka/nakazano-movchaty-v-shvetsiyi-obureni-tyskom-londona-na-vchenyh/.  

[197] Persona “drichakmikh,” “Наказано мовчати: в Швеції обурені тиском Лондона на вчених”, blog.i.ua, June 21, 2018, https://web.archive.org/web/20200422220416/http://blog.i.ua/user/10180331/.

[198] Persona “OliverrStonne,” “MI6 Operative On Anti-Trump Campaign,” Buzzfeed Community, January 20, 2017, archived at https://web.archive.org/web/20191214150229/https://www.buzzfeed.com/oliverrstonne/mi6-operative-on-anti-trump-campaign-2sdhe.

[199] Persona “Pierre Buisson,” “Buzzfeed impute la paternité du faux rapport compromettant sur Trump au MI6” (“Buzzfeed attributes the birth of the fake compromising report on Trump to MI6”), actu-politique.info, January 26, 2017, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418155920/https://actu-politique.info/viewtopic.php?t=18786.  

[200] Persona “Peter Kaufman,” “Buzzfeed schreibt MI-6 die Autorschaft des fake kompromittierenden Materials über Trump zu” (“Buzzfeed attributes the authorship of the fake compromising material on Trump to MI6), meine-news.de, January 26, 2017, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418155941/https://www.meine-news.de/boellstein/c-politik/buzzfeed-schreibt-mi-6-die-autorschaft-des-fake-kompromittierenden-materials-ueber-trump-zu_a18716.

[201] This also echoes the trajectory of the Russian IRA. See Phil Howard, Bharath Ganesh, Dimitra Liotsiou, John Kelly, and Camille Francois, "The IRA, Social Media and Political Polarization in the United States, 2012-2018," Computational Propaganda Research Project, Oxford Internet Institute, December 2018 https://comprop.oii.ox.ac.uk/research/ira-political-polarization/

[203] Persona “Will Benton,” “The US is concerned about the influx of Chinese spies,” Medium, August 16, 2018, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418172544/https://medium.com/@willbenton_22335/the-us-is-concerned-about-the-influx-of-chinese-spies-ff32414b367d.

[204] Persona “jalindner,” “USA sind um den Zustrom von chinesischen Spionen besorgt” (“USA concerned by the influx of Chinese spies”), chinaseite.de, 28 June 2018, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418174700/https://forum.chinaseite.de/viewtopic.php?t=33153.  

[206] Pesona “Will Benton”, “The US is concerned about the influx of Chinese spies,” Medium, August 16, 2018, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418172544/https://medium.com/@willbenton_22335/the-us-is-concerned-about-the-influx-of-chinese-spies-ff32414b367d.

[207] Persona “willbenton,” “The US is concerned about the influx of Chinese spies,” cssforum.com.pk, August 16, 2018, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418172548/http://www.cssforum.com.pk/css-compulsory-subjects/current-affairs/120861-us-concerned-about-influx-chinese-spies.html.

[208] As of April 21, 2020, the link was still visible at https://i.imgur.com/EZCtdo6.jpg; it is archived at https://web.archive.org/web/20200422221631/https://i.imgur.com/EZCtdo6.jpg.

[209] Persona “paulrossa,” “'Hard Brexit' to be rewarded by favourable trade deal and a new PM,” homment.com, 18 September 2018, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418181505/https://homment.com/mFJwD0WX6VGMptz2xYGp. The screenshot is preserved at http://web.archive.org/web/20200418133728/https://i.imgur.com/pn5MVzz.jpg.

[210] Search term “Giuliani: Britain gets the,” Reddit. Search made on April 7, 2020. https://www.reddit.com/search/?q=Giuliani%3A%20Britain%20gets%20the.

[212] Persona “Norman Nash,” “OSCE ODIHR: 3.15 million Germany's new citizens ensured the CDU victory,” Urban75.net, October 3, 2017, https://web.archive.org/web/20200521154328/https://www.urban75.net/forums/threads/osce-odihr-3-15-million-germanys-new-citizens-ensured-the-cdu-victory.354753/.

[213] His biography can be viewed at https://www.osce.org/node/330441.

[214] “Germany, Parliamentary Elections, 24 September 2017: Final Report,” OSCE ODIHR, November 27, 2017, https://www.osce.org/odihr/elections/germany/358936.

[216] Persona “chavezserg,” “Servicios de inteligencia de España: se prepara el atentado contra Boris Johnson” (“Spanish intelligence services: Assassination attempt against Boris Johnson is being prepared”) globedia.com, August 8, 2018, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418182645/https://i.iheart.com/v3/re/assets.brands/5e5ea6a57a1102921ef48ac2?ops=resize(192,0).

[217] Persona “Peter Blom,” “ Silence commanded. People in Sweden are incensed by London’s pressure on scientists,”  Medium, June 4, 2018, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418170727/https://medium.com/@peterblom_75128/silence-commanded-people-in-sweden-are-incensed-by-londons-pressure-on-scientists-1097d5b19314.

[219] Persona “John Becker,” “Georgia demonstrates lack of readiness for its membership in the EU and NATO,” Medium, October 10, 2018, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418182740/https://medium.com/@beckerjo/georgia-demonstrates-lack-of-readiness-for-its-membership-in-the-eu-and-nato-30813385cc0a.

[220] Dominic Grieve, “It’s time for MPs to put country before party,” Prospect, August 19, 2018, https://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/magazine/dominic-grieve-country-before-party.

[221] Persona “Josef Hashever,” “Genocide of ‘non-Ukrainians’ on approval of the EU,”  indymedia.org.uk, April 20, 2015, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418135637/https://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2015/04/520191.html.

[222] Nuland has been a notable target of Russian information operations, most notoriously when unknown agents intercepted a phone call she made in 2014 in which she was less than complimentary about the European Union’s role in Ukraine. The recording was published by Russian officials. See Mark Hosenball, “Leaked call on Ukraine made on unencrypted cellphones -U.S. officials,” Reuters, February 7,  2014, https://www.reuters.com/article/ukraine-phonecall-idUSL2N0LC1E120140207.

[223] Anonymous poster, “Ukraine is trying to frustrate referendum in the Netherlands,” first posted on cyberguerrilla.org, March 24, 2016, archived at https://web.archive.org/web/20161118160559/https://www.cyberguerrilla.org/blog/ukraine-is-trying-to-frustrate-referendum-in-the-netherlands/. Operation Secondary Infektion regularly posted on cyberguerrilla.org and pretended to belong to the “Anonymous” hacker movement.

[225] Persona “Werner Holt,” “Belagerung von Deutschland: USA und Polen führen einen Informationskrieg” (“Siege of Germany: Poland and the USA are waging an information war”), meinbezirk.at, April 24, 2019, https://web.archive.org/web/20200409121649/https://www.meinbezirk.at/steinfeld/c-politik/belagerung-von-deutschland-usa-und-polen-fuehren-einen-informationskrieg_a3346260.

[226] Ben Nimmo, Eto Buziashvili and Michael Sheldon, “Russian Op. 6: EU Elections,” DFRLab, June 22, 2016, https://medium.com/dfrlab/russian-op-6-eu-elections-892c6b5fecb7.  

[228] Persona “Rachel Cross Voddo,” Reddit, January 23, 2017, https://web.archive.org/web/20200404112138/https://www.reddit.com/user/RachelCrossVoddo/.

[229] Persona “OliverrStonne”, “MI6 Agent on anti-Trump campaign,” Buzzfeed Community, January 20, 2017, https://web.archive.org/web/20170204041523/https://www.buzzfeed.com/oliverrstonne/mi6-operative-on-anti-trump-campaign-2sdhe.

[230] Persona “Friso Fischer,” Facebook, January 27, 2017, https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100015062384380.

[231] Persona “Martin Karlsson,” Facebook, January 30, 2017, https://www.facebook.com/martin.karlsson.754365.

[232] The mein-suedhessen.de article has been removed, but copies remain elsewhere. See persona “Peter Kaufman,” “Buzzfeed schreibt MI-6 die Autorschaft des fake kompromittierenden Materials über Trump zu” (“Buzzfeed ascribes the authorship of the fake compromising material on Trump to Buzzfeed”), meine-news.de, January 26, 2017, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418155941/https://www.meine-news.de/boellstein/c-politik/buzzfeed-schreibt-mi-6-die-autorschaft-des-fake-kompromittierenden-materials-ueber-trump-zu_a18716.

[233] Persona “NigusEeis,” “Litbuanian ‘Nuremberg’ reached a dead end,” Reddit, June 8, 2016, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418152733/https://www.reddit.com/r/lithuania/comments/4n55d8/lithuanian_nuremberg_reached_a_dead_end/.

[234] Persona “Taurus5,” “Friedensnobelpreis 2015 – bin schockiert!!” (“Nobel Peace Prize 2015 - I’m shocked!!2), ask1.org, May 29, 2015, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418140917/https://www.ask1.org/threads/friedensnobelpreis-2015-%E2%80%93-bin-schockiert.17862/.  

[235] Persona “jaimeibanez,” “SNBO de Ucrania: EE.UU. prepara protestas masivas en Ucrania y Rusia” (“Ukraine’s SNBO: U.S. preparing massive protests in Ukraine and Russia”), Reddit, December 21, 2017, https://www.reddit.com/r/spain/comments/7l8314/snbo_de_ucrania_eeuu_prepara_protestas_masivas_en/.

[236] Persona “cabradolfo,” “Salieron a la luz los nombres de los ucranianos "no enjuiciables" de la lista de Yovanovitch” (“The names of ‘unprosecutable’ Ukrainains from the Yovanovitch list came out”), Reddit, March 28, 2019, https://www.reddit.com/r/vzla/comments/b6fxvc/salieron_a_la_luz_los_nombres_de_los_ucranianos/.

[237] User “David,” “United States to nominate Ukrainian President Poroshenko for a Nobel Peace Prize,” davidicke.com, May 28, 2015, https://www.davidicke.com/article/326777/united-states-to-nominate-ukrainian-president-poroshenko-for-a-nobel-peace-prize. The post was sourced to homment.com.

[238] As of April 9, 2020, the tweet was still live at https://twitter.com/davidicke/status/604007235606302720.

[239] Eric Zuesse, “U.S. Pressures Nobel Committee to Declare Ukraine’s President a Peace Prize Nominee, Leaked Letter,” globalresearch.ca, May 29, 2015, https://www.globalresearch.ca/u-s-pressures-nobel-committee-to-declare-ukraines-president-a-peace-prize-nominee-leaked-letter/5452448.

[240] Unattributed article, “Is Ukraine Pressuring US to Secure Nobel Peace Prize for Poroshenko?”, Sputnik, May 30, 2015, https://sputniknews.com/world/201505301022745342/.

[241] Unattributed article, “Ucraina ricatta USA per nomina Poroshenko al Nobel per la Pace” (“Ukraine blackmails USA to nominate Poroshenko for the Nobel Peace Prize”), Sputnik Italia, May 30, 2015, https://sputniknews.com/world/201505301022745342/.

[242] Unattributed article, “Poroşenko, Nobel Barış Ödülü'ne mi aday gösterilecek?” (“Will Poroshenko be nomiated for the Nobel Peace Prize?”), Sputnik Turkiye, June 1, 2015, https://tr.sputniknews.com/avrupa/201506011015760567/

[243] Unattributed article, “Нобель переворачивается в гробу: Порошенко номинируют на премию мира” (“Nobel turning in his grave: Poroshenko nominated for peace prize”), nahnews.org, May 29, 2015, https://nahnews.org/240784-nobel-perevorachivaetsya-v-grobu-poroshenko-nominirovali-na-premiyu-mira.

[244] Lawrence Alexander, “Open-Source Information Reveals Pro-Kremlin Web Campaign,” Global Voices, July 13, 2015, https://globalvoices.org/2015/07/13/open-source-information-reveals-pro-kremlin-web-campaign/.

[245] For example, persona “Jeannette Collette,” “Выборы Меркель — и пусть весь мир подождёт! AgoraVox, Франция” (“Merkel’s election, and the world can wait! - AgoraVox, France”), news-front.info, July 6, 2017, https://news-front.info/2017/07/06/vybory-merkel-i-pust-ves-mir-podozhdyot/.

[246] Patrick Beuth, Marc Brost, Peter Dausend, Steffen Dobbert und Götz Hamann, “War without blood,” Die Zeit, February 26, 2017, https://www.zeit.de/digital/internet/2017-02/bundestag-elections-fake-news-manipulation-russia-hacker-cyberwar.

[247] For an example of content sharing, see, “Из Украины начался массовый исход евреев” (“Mass exodus of Jews from Ukraine began”), politrussia.com, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418140412/https://politrussia.com/world/iskhod-evreev-iz-943/. The article was sourced to Secondary Infektion asset “Steven Laack.” The umbrella group is the “Patriot Media” group, created in October 2019 and online at https://mediapatriot.ru/ 

[248] Persona “Steven Laack,” “The USA used NGOs in former USSR republics to recruit Muslim students for ISIS,” blogspot, June 29, 2015, https://doubtingsteven.blogspot.com/2015/06/the-usa-used-ngos-in-former-ussr.html.

[249] See above, note 204.

[250] Unattributed article, “Американский блогер: США вербовали в ИГИЛ в России и на Украине” (“American blogger: USA advertised for ISIS in Russia and Ukraine”), riafan.ru, July 2, 2015, https://riafan.ru/329308-amerikanskiy-bloger-ssha-verbovali-v-igil-v-rossii-i-na-ukraine.

[251] Ben Nimmo, “UK Trade Leaks,” Graphika, December 2, 2019, https://graphika.com/reports/UK-trade-leaks/.

[252] Kylie Maclellan and Elizabeth Piper, “Labour's Corbyn accuses Conservatives of offering up UK health service in U.S. talks,” Reuters, November 27, 2019, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-britain-election-labour-health/labours-corbyn-accuses-johnson-of-offering-up-uk-health-service-in-us-talks-idUSKBN1Y112P.

[253] Ben Nimmo, “UK Trade Leaks,” Graphika, December 2, 2019, https://graphika.com/reports/UK-trade-leaks/.

[254] User “u/worstnerd,” “Suspected campaign from Russia on Reddit,” Reddit, December 6, 2019, https://www.reddit.com/r/redditsecurity/comments/e74nml/suspected_campaign_from_russia_on_reddit/.

[255] Natasha Lomas, “Reddit links UK-US trade talk leak to Russian influence campaign,” Techcrunch, December 7, 2019, https://techcrunch.com/2019/12/07/reddit-links-uk-us-trade-talk-leak-to-russian-influence-campaign/.

[256] For an initial analysis of the account from June 2019, see Ben Nimmo and Michael Sheldon, “Russian Op 3: The Blue Man and the Mole,” DFRLab, June 22, 2019, https://medium.com/dfrlab/russian-op-3-the-blue-man-and-the-mole-3ba77b9eb955.

[257] For an overview of recent information operations, including both foreign and domestic efforts, see the Facebook and Twitter archives of takedowns at https://about.fb.com/news/tag/coordinated-inauthentic-behavior/ and https://about.twitter.com/en_us/advocacy/elections-integrity.html#data.

[258] Ben Nimmo, “The Russians who exposed Russia’s trolls,” DFRLab, March 8, 2018, https://medium.com/dfrlab/the-russians-who-exposed-russias-trolls-72db132e3cd1.

[259] Persona “bloger_nasralny,” ““Харьков, вставай!” (“Kharkov, Arise!”), LiveJournal, February 26, 2014, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418134044/https://bloger-nasralny.livejournal.com/2014/02/26/.

[260] Persona “Bloger_Nasralny”, “Перемога энергетическая” (“Energy Victory”), LiveJournal, December 27, 2014, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418134914/https://bloger-nasralny.livejournal.com/17269.html.

[261] Persona “Bloger_Nasralny,” “Peremogi добрались до Порошенка)” (“Peremogi reached Poroshenko)”), LiveJournal, February 6, 2017, https://web.archive.org/web/20180213162059/http://peremogi.livejournal.com/26353579.html.

[262] Persona “Bloger_Nasralny”, “Российская гражданская журналистика глазами интернет-пользователей” (“Russian citizen journalism in the eyes of internet users”), aftershock, July 8, 2018, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418170853/https://aftershock.news/?q=node%2F653000.

[263] Persona “Bloger_Nasralny,” “Украина сегодня – это Россия 90-х” (“Ukraine today is Russia in the 90s”), politikus.ru, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418152544/https://politikus.ru/articles/politics/77399-ukraina-segodnya-eto-rossiya-90-h.html.

[264] Persona “Bloger_Nasralny,” Aftershock.news, created circa January 2015, https://web.archive.org/web/20200421171718/https://aftershock.news/?q=user/16791.

[265] Persona “Bloger_Nasralny,” “Эбола в Украине” (“Ebola in Ukraine”), LiveJournal, October 23, 2014, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418134357/https://bloger-nasralny.livejournal.com/2014/10/23/.

[267] Persona “Bloger_Nasralny,” “Це зрада! или национальная песня: «а тому ли я дала?»” (“"This is treachery! Or the national hymn: "but did I put out to that?"), LiveJournal, December 3, 2014, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418134602/https://bloger-nasralny.livejournal.com/2014/12/03/.

[269] Persona “Anonymous Europe,” “Message to the citizens of European countries,” YouTube, December 1, 2014, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418134525/https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tRiii1_PvA0.

[270] Persona “Ulrich Hartmann,” “Eine gruselige Zeit kommt” (“A grim time is coming”), BlogSpot, December 3, 2014, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418134545/https://ulrich-hartmann.blogspot.com/2014/12/eine-gruselige-zeit-kommt.html.

[271] The Twitter account only posted six times, and is archived at https://archive.vn/wip/M8NKQ. The web domain expired in February 2016; it had been registered to Gandi SAS, a French provider.

[274] Persona “Josefever,” Before It’s News, https://beforeitsnews.com/v3/contributor/stories/?uid=421606.

[275] Persona “Josef Hashever,” “Lunatic Joe’s Blog,” WordPress, https://web.archive.org/web/20200421233129/https://joeshever.wordpress.com/. The same persona was on Twitter as LunaticJoeH: https://web.archive.org/web/20200404100741/https://twitter.com/lunaticjoeh.

[276] Persona “Dusty L.A.”, “Turkey was about to open second front vs. Armenia”, Medium, April 6, 2016, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418154202/https://medium.com/@DustyLA/butkevi%C4%8Diuss-european-commissary-vs-grybauskaite-s-presidency-a5fb9e227e8d.

[277]  Persona “Dusty L.A.”, “Turkey was about to open second front vs. Armenia”, indymedia.org.uk, April 6, 2016, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418145646/https://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2016/04/524715.html.

[278]  Anonymous post, “Turkey was about to open second front vs. Armenia”, homment.com,, April 6, 2016, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418145704/https://homment.com/dCUHKFspYF.

[280] Persona “Josef Hashever,” “Turkey was about to open second front vs. Armenia,” beforeitsnews.com, April 8, 2016, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418145758/https://beforeitsnews.com/war-and-conflict/2016/04/turkey-planned-to-open-second-front-in-nagorno-karabakh-2460965.html. The same persona posted the story on Facebook three days later: https://www.facebook.com/NewWorldOrderThe/posts/1576472702663296.

[281] Persona “Politgraben,” “BERG-KARABACH: PLAN DER TÜRKEI GESCHEITERT” (“Nagorno-Karabakh: Turkey’s plan failed”), wordpress.com, April 8, 2016, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418145740/https://politgraben.wordpress.com/2016/04/08/berg-karabach-plan-der-tuerkei-gescheitert/.  

[282] Persona “Ino-News,” “Курдский источник: Турция готовила для Армении второй фронт” (“Kurdish source: Turkey was preparing a second front for Armenia”), infonews.info, April 8, 2016, https://web.archive.org/web/20200315182628/https://inonews.info/2016/04/08/kurdskij-istochnik-turtsiya-gotovila-dlya-armenii-vtoroj-front/.

[283] Persona “Steven Laack,” “Turkey was about to open second front vs. Armenia,” scoop.it, April 11, 2016, https://www.scoop.it/topic/the-world-war-iii-just-signs-or-final-diagnosis/p/4062423407/2016/04/11/turkey-was-about-to-open-second-front-vs-armenia.

[284] Persona “Cyber_Legion,” “#European Integration without the #EU. Nordic dream of Swedish nationalists,” Twitter, October 20, 2015, https://twitter.com/Cyber_Legion/status/656414091221823488.

[285] Persona “Josef Hashever,” “European Integration without the EU. Nordic dream of Swedish nationalists,” wordpress.com, October 22, 2015, https://joeshever.wordpress.com/2015/10/22/european-integration-without-the-eu-nordic-dream-of-swedish-nationalists/; beforeitsnews.com, October 22, 2015, https://beforeitsnews.com/eu/2015/10/european-integration-without-the-eu-nordic-dream-of-swedish-nationalists-2592024.html.

[286] Anonymous, “European Integration without the EU. Nordic dream of Swedish nationalists,” indymedia.org.uk, October 23, 2015, https://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2015/10/522787.html.

[287] Persona “Ino-News,”Евроинтеграция вне ЕС. Северная мечта шведских националистов” (“Euro-integration outside the EU: The Northern dream of Swedish nationalists”), aftershock.news, October 26, 2015 https://aftershock.news/?q=node/344284.

[289] Persona “Piter Preston,” “Police lawlessness. Violence against African Americans,” YouTube, April 3, 2015, https://web.archive.org/web/20200419214940/https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=T-dwnx1G9Vc; embedded in Black Defense Foundation, April 6, 2015,

[291] Unattributed author, “Bob Goodlatte: Pacifying Blacks,” Black Defense Foundation, March 3, 2015, https://blackdefence.wixsite.com/blackdefense/single-post/2015/03/03/Bob-Goodlatte-Pacifying-Blacks.

[292] Persona “Josef Hashever,” “Just like this opinion and want to share it,” posted to Facebook page “Beyond Awake,” June 30, 2015, https://web.archive.org/web/20200419220037/https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1464549067188994&set=o.362881567123288&type=3.

[293] Unattributed author, “Barack Obama - ‘White Raven’ or ‘Lame Duck’?”, Black Defense Foundation, February 3, 2015, https://blackdefence.wixsite.com/blackdefense/single-post/2015/02/02/Barack-Obama-%E2%80%93-White-Raven-or-Lame-Duck.

[294] Persona “Ulrich Hartmann,” “Barack Obama - weißer Rabe oder lahme Ente?” (“Barack Obama - White Raven or Lame Duck?”), blogspot.com, February 9, 2015, https://web.archive.org/web/20200419221359/https://ulrich-hartmann.blogspot.com/2015/02/barack-obama-weier-rabe-oder-lahme-ente.html.

[295] Persona “Steven Laack,” “35% of seats for Afro-Americans in proposed ‘public Missouri Police Oversight Co,” indymedia.co.uk, March 20, 2015, https://web.archive.org/web/20200419223755/https://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2015/03/519864.html.

[296] Persona “Ino-News,” “Афро-американцы хотят получить полный контроль над полицией США” (“Afro-Americans want to get full control over U.S. police”), aftershock.news, March 28, 2015,  https://web.archive.org/web/20200419223509/https://aftershock.news/?q=node/298024&full.

[297] Persona “Steven Laack,” “Lawlessness, hatred and violence. But is it the way to go, Merica?,” blogspot.com, May 5, 2015, https://web.archive.org/web/20200419225402/https://doubtingsteven.blogspot.com/2015/05/lawlessness-hatred-and-violence-but-is.html.

[299] Particular thanks are due to Reddit for publishing its findings of Secondary Infektion assets in December 2019. See u/worstnerd, “Suspected campaign from Russia on Reddit,” Reddit, December 6, 2019, https://www.reddit.com/r/redditsecurity/comments/e74nml/suspected_campaign_from_russia_on_reddit/.

[300] Persona “RuffMoulton”, “The USA will reinforce security of diplomatic mission in South Korea with special forces”, 13 November 2017, 13 November 2017, http://archive.is/JYKlV

[301] MilitaryObserver, “Flowers for Kim Jong-un or Operation White Chrysanthemum”, 10 November 2017 http://archive.is/sGemr

[302] Persona “Realist233”, Comment on “Flowers for Kim Jong-un or Operation White Chrysanthemum”, 15 November 2017, http://archive.is/nPsSg#selection-467.0-467.178 

[303] Persona “MaxKasyan”, "Зимові Олімпійські ігри 2018 у Південній Кореї і їх безпека" (2018 South Korean Winter Olympics and their Security)” 29 November 2017, http://archive.is/NnGZg#selection-403.0-403.59

[304] Persona “КАСIАН МАКСИМ”, "Зимові Олімпійські ігри 2018 у Південній Кореї і їх безпека" (2018 South Korean Winter Olympics and their Security)” 29 November 2017, http://archive.is/9S2mx#selection-1155.0-1155.59 

[305] Unattributed article, “The PyeongChang 2018 and its security,” homment.com, November 14, 2017, https://web.archive.org/web/20200422014028/https://homment.com/the-PyeongChang-2018-and-its-security.

[306] Homment, “Olympische Winterspiele als Deckmantel für den Angriff auf Nordkorea” (“The Winter Olympics as cover for the attack on North Korea”), 21 December 2017, https://web.archive.org/web/20200410163530/https://homment.com/Olympische-Winterspiele-als-Deckmantel-fuer-den-Angriff-auf-Nordkorea 

[307] Persona “Philhoch”, “German sports officials are concerned for the safety of German athletes at the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Games”, December 22, 2017 https://web.archive.org/web/20200410164423/https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/showthread.php?t=5108016

[308] Persona “Blancoaless”, “Los funcionarios deportivos de Alemania preocupados por seguridad de atletas en los JJ.OO. de PyeongChang”, December 24, 2017, https://web.archive.org/web/20200325180141/https://www.reddit.com/r/es/comments/7m0937/los_funcionarios_deportivos_de_alemania/

[309] Persona “Levchenko Oleg”, "XXIII Зимові Олімпійські ігри: В очікуванні трагедії" (“The 23rd Winter Olympics: In Anticipation of a Tragedy”) 26 December 2017, https://web.archive.org/web/20200325182333/https://www.obozrevatel.com/ukr/my/politics/xxiii-zimovi-olimpijski-igri-v-ochikuvanni-tragedii.htm

[310] Homment, “Sports fans petitioned the IOC to cancel Winter Olympics”, 29 December 2017, http://archive.is/Gwu2V#selection-871.0-871.56

[311] Persona “Almanzamary”, “La petición de los aficionados al deporte pide al COI que cancele los JJ.OO. de Invierno-2018” 9 January 2018, http://archive.is/Uowl0#selection-359.0-359.93 

[312] Persona “Проц Василий”, “Любителі спорту через петицію закликали МОК скасувати Зимову Олімпіаду“, 1 January 2018 http://archive.is/iWJbR#selection-33.0-50.0

[314] Persona “Василь Плисюк” (“Vasil Plisyuk”), “"Російські хакери": кремлівська зброя гібридної війни проти демократії” (“Russian hackers: the Kremlin’s weapons of hybrid war against  democracy”), politiko.ua, August 8, 2017, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418163549/https://politiko.ua/blogpost146273; livejournal.com, August 8, 2017, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418163453/https://ua-1.livejournal.com/566725.html.

[315] For transparency, one of the authors of this paper has been friends with one of the people whose name was one the forged letter for some 20 years.

[317] Persona “Максим Крафт” (“Maksim Kraft”), “Марін Ле Пен і російські хакери роблять рейтинг "Шведським демократам"” (“Marine Le Pen and Russian hackers improve the Sweden Democrats’ rating”), politiko.ua, August 23, 2018, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418173947/http://press.politiko.ua/blogpost151124; livejournal.com, August 23, 2018, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418173740/https://ua-politics.livejournal.com/1307003.html.

[318] Persona “Nadine Kinstry,” “Ukraine ‘drowns’ the Sweden Democrats”, Medium, August 30, 2019, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418174645/https://medium.com/@kinstry/ukraine-drowns-the-sweden-democrats-910417925d5d.

[319] Persona “Gustavo Salcedo Meija,” “Ucrania ‘ahoga’ a Demócratas de Suecia” (“Ukrinae ‘drowns’ the Sweden Democrats”), globedia.com, September 1, 2018, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418175119/http://globedia.com/ucrania-ahoga-democratas-suecia.

[320] Persona “Laurent Lavial,” “L’Ukraine donne la jambette aux Democrates de Suede” (“Ukraine kicks the Sweden Democrats”), developpez.net, September 3, 2018, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418175300/https://www.developpez.net/forums/d1889769/club-professionnels-informatique/actualites/politique/l-ukraine-donne-jambette-aux-democrates-suede/.

[321] “Background to “Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections”: The Analytic Process and Cyber Incident Attribution,” Office of the Director of National Intelligence, January 6, 2017, https://www.dni.gov/files/documents/ICA_2017_01.pdf.

[322] Persona “OliverrStonne,” “MI6 operative on anti-Trump campaign,” BuzzFeed Community, January 20, 2017, https://web.archive.org/web/20191214150229/https://www.buzzfeed.com/oliverrstonne/mi6-operative-on-anti-trump-campaign-2sdhe.

[323] Persona “Pierre Buisson,” “Buzzfeed impute la paternité du faux rapport compromettant sur Trump au MI6” (“BuzzFeed attributes the birth of the fake compromising report on Trump to MI6”), actu-politique.info, January 26, 2017, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418155920/https://actu-politique.info/viewtopic.php?t=18786.

[324] Persona “Peter Kaufman,” “Buzzfeed schreibt MI-6 die Autorschaft des fake kompromittierenden Materials über Trump zu” (“BuzzFeed attributes the authorship of the fake compromising material on Trump to MI6), meine-news.de, January 26, 2017, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418155941/https://www.meine-news.de/boellstein/c-politik/buzzfeed-schreibt-mi-6-die-autorschaft-des-fake-kompromittierenden-materials-ueber-trump-zu_a18716.

[325] Persona “Martin Karlsson,” “Brittiska Mi-6 spion avslöjar hemligheter om anti-trump-kampanj” (“British MI-6 spy reveals secrets of anti-Trump campaign”), text accompanying German version of the article, Facebook, January 30, 2017, https://www.facebook.com/Starkfuerdeutschland/posts/115338628980910.

[326] Persona “Kyle Warren,” “Trump-May meeting: Downing Street's desperate attempt to save face,” Quora, February 2, 2017, https://www.quora.com/Does-May-understand-that-she-is-creating-a-big-mess-for-the-UK;

[327] For example, persona “Thomas Cooke,” “Evolution of relations between Donald Trump and Her Majesty’s secret service,” Medium, March 22, 2017, https://web.archive.org/web/20191210223517/https://medium.com/@ThomasCookee/evolution-of-relations-between-donald-trump-and-her-majestys-secret-service-a20586e80153

[328] Persona “Klaus Hoffman,” “Die Evolution der Beziehungen zwischen Donald Trump und den Geheimdiensten Ihrer Majestät” (“The evolution of relations between Donald Trump and Her Majesty’s secret service,” kraichgau.news, March 24, 2017, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418160928/https://kraichgau.news/region/c-politik-wirtschaft/die-evolution-der-beziehungen-zwischen-donald-trump-und-den-geheimdiensten-ihrer-majestaet_a8053.

[329] Persona “Mats Petersson,” “Evolution av relationerna mellan Donald Trump och säkerhetstjänsten av Hennes Majestät,” pressbladet.se, March 30, 2017,     http://web.archive.org/web/20200418161027/http://www.pressbladet.se/articles/view/evolution-av-relationerna-mellan-donald-trump-och-sakerhetstjansten-a.

[330] Persona “ИЩЕНКО АЛЕКСЕЙ,” “Эволюция отношений Дональда Трампа и спецслужб Её Величества,” korrespondent.net, March 27, 2017, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418160947/https://blogs.korrespondent.net/blog/politics/3832189/.

[331] Donald J. Trump, “Working on major Trade Deal with the United Kingdom. Could be very big & exciting. JOBS! The E.U. is very protectionist with the U.S. STOP,” Twitter, July 25, 2017, https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/889821674987761664.

[332] Persona “JDallas,” “Trump pardons London for collecting damaging information on him?” defendingthetruth.com, July 31, 2017, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418163431/https://defendingthetruth.com/threads/trump-pardons-london-for-collecting-damaging-information-on-him.61856/.

[333] Persona “ГОРИЧНЫЙ ИГОРЬ” (Gorychniy Igor”), “Производственная травма кремлевского Лжедмитрия” (“Kremlin False Dmitriy’s Work Injury”), korrespondent.net, August 30, 2018, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418174843/https://blogs.korrespondent.net/blog/politics/4005789/.

[334] Persona “IgoGorr,” “Производственная травма кремлевского Лжедмитрия” (“Kremlin False Dmitriy’s Work Injury”), blog.i.ua, August 30, 2018, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418175014/http://blog.i.ua/user/10398775/2241375/.  

[336] Persona “Taciano Aguilera,” “Accidente laboral del "falso" primer ministro de Rusia” (“The ‘false’ prime minister of Russia’s work accident”), globedia.com, September 1, 2018, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418175316/http://ec.globedia.com/accidente-laboral-falso-ministro-rusia; burbuja.info, September 1, 2018, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418175210/https://www.burbuja.info/inmobiliaria/threads/accidente-laboral-del-falso-primer-ministro-de-rusia.1073516/; foroexplayate.com, September 1, 2018, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418175241/http://www.foroexplayate.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?t=41916.

[337] Persona “Петро Рябко” (“Petro Ryabko”),  “Майбутнє України” (“The Future of Ukraine”), YouTube, September 3, 2018,  http://web.archive.org/web/20200418175334/https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ywwI9zgMrpU.

[338] For example persona “Григорий Шляпин” (“Grigorii Shlyapin”), “На Украине началась кампания по избранию Медведева президентом России” (“Campaign to elect Medvedev president of Russia began in Ukraine”), cont.ws, September 4, 2018, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418175505/https://cont.ws/@Grishal/1053673.

[339] Persona “Websam”, “The Guardian 'deprived' Medvedev of funds for the 2024 presidential campaign,” politicaldiscussion.net, September 11, 2018, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418180046/https://politicaldiscussion.net/threads/the-guardian-deprived-medvedev-of-funds-for-the-2024-presidential-campaign.388/.

[340] Persona “Floramatista,” “The Guardian ‘ha privado’ a Medvedev de fondos para la campaña presidencial de 2024” (“the Guardian ‘deprived’ Medvedev of funds for the 2024 presidential campaign”), Reddit, September 12, 2018, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418180237/https://www.reddit.com/r/redditores/comments/9f5uy1/the_guardian_ha_privado_a_medvedev_de_fondos_para/.  

[341]   Persona “Pat Schumann,” “  The Guardian: Dmitri Medwedew hat kein Geld für den Wahlkampf 2024” (“The Guardian: Dmitri Medvedev has no money for the 2024 election”), ask1.org, September 12, 2018, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418180202/https://www.ask1.org/threads/the-guardian-dmitri-medwedew-hat-kein-geld-f%C3%BCr-den-wahlkampf-2024.18076/.

[342] Persona “Mikhail Ivashov,” “The Guardian ‘лишил’ Медведева средств на предвыборную кампанию 2024 года” (“The Guardian ‘deprived’ Medvedev of funds for the 2024 election campaign”), pandoraopen.ru, September 13, 2018, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418180535/https://x-true.info/73922-the-guardian-lishil-medvedeva-sredstv-na-predvybornuju-kampaniju-2024-goda.html.

[345] Persona “Dolan Moss,” “NATO: Biological terrorism traditions from Vietnam to Ukraine,” articlesreader.com, September 27, 2016, https://web.archive.org/web/20161229212109/http://www.articlesreader.com/nato-biological-terrorism-traditions-from-vietnam-to-ukraine/.

[346] Persona “Bloger_Nasralny,” “НАТО: традиции биотерроризма от Вьетнама до Украины,” aftershock.news, September 28, 2016, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418154102/https://aftershock.news/?q=node%2F439886&full=.

[347] Persona “Abkusainov,” “Казахстану грозит эпидемия” (“Epidemic threatens Kazakhstan”), yvision.kz, May 24, 2019, https://web.archive.org/web/20200420132634/https://yvision.kz/post/833065.

[349] Adam Rawnsley, “Russian Trolls Hype Coronavirus and Giuliani Conspiracies,” The Daily Beast, April 9, 2020, https://www.thedailybeast.com/russian-trolls-hype-coronavirus-and-giuliani-conspiracies.

[350] Persona “boltandy”, “В Алматы признались в работе над коронавирусом до эпидемии” (“Almaty admitted to working on coronavirus before the epidemic”), mynizhyn.com, February 22, 2020, https://web.archive.org/web/20200420162112/http://www.mynizhyn.com/blogs/boltandy_495.html .

[351] Embedded in article by persona “Steven Laack,” “Mayday! Theresa May: a mortician or a savior?”, newsparticipation.com, August 2, 2016, https://newsparticipation.com/mayday-theresa-may-a-mortician-or-a-savior/.

[353] Persona “mokley,” “American secret services: “Pravy sector” is training IG fighters,” indymedia.co.uk, October 21, 2015, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418142825/https://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/regions/world/2015/10/522777.html.

[354] Persona “Emil Joranssen,” “Karl Bildt: mellan fängelse och ukrainas statsministerpost.” (“Karl Bildt: Between prison and the Ukrainian premiership,” pressbladet.se, March 11, 2016, http://www.pressbladet.se/articles/view/karl-bildt-mellan-fangelse-och-ukrainas-statsministerpost1.

[355] For example, persona “Josef Hashever,” “Carl Bildt: hovering between prison and the Ukrainian Premiership,” blogspot, 13 March 2016, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418143949/http://doubtingsteven.blogspot.com/2016/03/carl-bildt-hovering-between-prison-and.html.

[356] Persona “Gerard,” “Garder le visage de l’Europe,” politicien.fr, March 14, 2017, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418160750/http://gerard.politicien.fr/2017/03/14/garder-le-visage-de-leurope/. The headline appears to be an attempt at a literal translation of the English “Saving Europe’s face.”

[357] Site search for “Hugo Brandy” on April 10, 2020, https://www.iss.europa.eu/search-view?search_text=Hugo%20Brandy.

[358] Persona “Johan,” “Flight SK1755: vem behöver en falsk sensation” (“Flight SK1755: who needs a fake sensation”), nyhetsverket.se, February 11, 2015, https://web.archive.org/web/20160407165422/http://www.nyhetsverket.se/nyhet/25851/Flight-SK1755-vem-beh%C3%B6ver-en-falsk-sensation; the equivalent English post was attributed to persona “Steven Laack,” “Flight SK1755: Who needs false sensation?”, blogspot.com, February 13, 2015, http://web.archive.org/web/20200418135054/https://doubtingsteven.blogspot.com/2015/02/flight-sk-1755-who-needs-false-sensation.html.

[359] RIA Novosti, “Жив ли "Живой журнал": кого и зачем читать” (“Is LiveJournal still alive? Who to read and why”), March 23, 2020,  https://ria.ru/20200323/1568892366.html

[360] Rusprofile, “Кривич Артем Геннадьевич” (“Krivich, Artyom Gennadyevich”), rusprofile.ru, https://www.rusprofile.ru/person/krivich-ag-470322686728

[361] Kont, “Конт объединяет талантливых авторов и интересных аналитиков со всего мира” (“Kont brings together talented authors and interesting analysts from around the world”), cont.ws, https://cont.ws/about

[362] Russky Expert, “Континенталист” (“Kontinentalist”), ruxpert.ru, January 20, 2020, https://ruxpert.ru/%D0%9A%D0%BE%D0%BD%D1%82%D0%B8%D0%BD%D0%B5%D0%BD%D1%82%D0%B0%D0%BB%D0%B8%D1%81%D1%82 

[363] Brand Analytics, “Топ-платформ и Топ-100 виральных русскоязычных медиаресурсов, МАЙ 2019 года” (“Top platform and top 100 viral Russian-language media resources, May 2019”), br-analytics.ru, June 6, 2019, https://br-analytics.ru/blog/top-100-maj-2019

[364] Чекко (“Chekko”), ООО "МАКС-ПАРК" (“MAXPARK PRIVATE LIMITED COMPANY”), checko.ru, https://checko.ru/company/maks-park-1145009002038

[365] Maxpark, “О сервисе” (“About the service”), maxpark.com, https://maxpark.com/main/about

[366] Russian Expert, “Aftershock”, ruxpert.ru, March 10, 2020,  https://ruxpert.ru/Aftershock

[367] Brand Analytics, “Топ-платформ и Топ-100 виральных русскоязычных медиаресурсов, МАЙ 2019 года” (“Top platform and top 100 viral Russian-language media resources, May 2019”), br-analytics.ru, June 6, 2019, https://br-analytics.ru/blog/top-100-maj-2019

[368] INFOX.ru, “C-Мedia купил Newsland.ru” (“C-Media buys Newsland.ru”), infox.ru, January 14, 2010, https://www.infox.ru/news/120/37918-c-media-kupil-newslandru

[369] Ru.Wikipedia, “Newsland”, ru.wikipedia.org, March 4, 2020, https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newsland

[370] Politikus, “О сайте” (“About the site”), politikus.ru, https://politikus.ru/about.html

[371] Buzina, “О писателе” (“About the author”), buzina.org, https://buzina.org/about-avtor.html 

[372] Fishki, “О проекте” (“About the project”), fishki.net, https://fishki.net/about

[373] Razumei, “О ПРОЕКТЕ” (“About the project), https://www.razumei.ru/pr/

[374] Openrussia, “openrussia.org — от открытой информации к открытой стране.” https://openrussia.org/about/ 

[375] Meduza, Коллекционеры дорогих картинок Кто делает «Фишки.net», Pikabu и «Я плакалъ»: исследование «Медузы», 13 April 2019, https://meduza.io/feature/2016/04/13/kollektsionery-dorogih-kartinok

[376] Infopolk, “Частые Вопросы” (Frequently Asked Questions), http://infopolk.ru/%d1%87%d0%b0%d1%81%d1%82%d1%8b%d0%b5%d0%b2%d0%be%d0%bf%d1%80%d0%be%d1%81%d1%8b/