Putin’s ‘troll army’: bloggers forced to ‘flood websites with pro-Russian propaganda’

A newspaper investigation found the famously secretive regime forces workers to post messages through the night on chat rooms and online comment threads hailing Putin and denigrating his foes in the West.

According to the Guardian, which conducted interviews with workers at the covert site, bloggers are forced to work 12-hour shifts with fines issued for being a few minutes late or for not reaching the required number of posts each day.

One blogger who wrote fake posts for the LiveJournal website said she was paid 45,000 roubles (£520) a month and was instructed not to tell any of her friends about the job.