Charles is a reporter and producer based in Moscow.
The election was never about whether Putin would win. But high voter turnout has been marred by reports of ballot stuffing and other unethical means of getting support for the incumbent president.
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.
Russian journalist Vitaly Bespalov worked in the now-infamous Internet Research Agency, which employed internet trolls to reinforce state-sanctioned messages.
A close look at the conflicts in both Ukraine and Syria shows that the Russian definition of “soldier,” “mercenary” and “volunteer” seem to blur when convenient.
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.