As Russia rises, how does it project its power around the world? Are its successes genuine or merely sleights of hand? This series looks at the "ghost empire" behind Russian renewal and finds greatness both real and imagined.
Long before Russia ever launched social media campaigns in the US, Kremlin-backed trolling was alive and well at home. In this online underworld of paid seeders, twitterati and trolls, “demotivators” — Russian internet picture memes — play a special bottom-feeder role.
Vladimir Putin will win his fourth term after 18 years in power. But behind the scenes of an election with a foregone conclusion — an event that should be drama-free — a more complicated picture emerges.