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Unknown arsonist torches infamous Russian ‘troll factory set up by Putin’s “cook”’ – FAN HQ in St Petersburg is set on fire with a Molotov cocktail

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Infamous Russian ‘troll factory set up by Putin’s “cook”’ is set on fire with a Molotov cocktail
Headquarters of the Russian outlet Federal News Agency was attack on Tuesday
Their St Petersburg base was torched in the early hours with a Molotov cocktail
Suspected head of company, Yevgeny Prigozhin, was indicted by the US this year by Special Counsel investigating Russian interference in the last US elections
CCTV footage showed flames erupting at one of the workstations of the infamous ‘troll station’ in St Petersburg
flames erupting at one of the workstations of the infamous 'troll station' in St Petersburg 2.jpgThe St Petersburg base of the Federal News Agency [FAN] was attacked in the early hours with a Molotov cocktail

The headquarters of a Russian news outlet which the US has accused of pumping out pro-Kremlin propaganda has been torched overnight.
The Federal News Agency (FAN) was targeted at around 3am on Tuesday when a suspect broke into the building’s ground floor in St Petersburg and threw a Molotov cocktail, police said.
The Fontanka.ru news website cited police as saying that an unknown suspect broke the agency’s ground-floor window and threw a Molotov cocktail inside at around 3 a.m. on Tuesday.
Surveillance footage published by FAN showed flames erupting at one of the empty workstations and a female staffer stationed on the opposite end quickly exiting the office.
CCTV footage showed flames erupting at one of the workstations and a female worker at the opposite end was seen desperately trying to escaping from the approaching flames.

flames erupting at one of the workstations of the infamous 'troll station' in St Petersburg 1.JPGCCTV footage showed flames erupting at one of the workstations of the infamous ‘troll station’ in St Petersburg

Chief editor Yevgeny Zubarev said: ‘I believe this is tied to FAN’s activities. We’re most often attacked online, but these types of attacks have already taken place offline.’
Police are still looking to the suspect and criminal proceedings have been launched.
The so-called ‘troll farm‘ is believed to be run by billionaire restaurateur Yevgeny Prigozhin, who is renowned for being Vladimir Putin’s ‘cook’.Russia’s best known troll factory, the most successful weapon in its information war arsenal, in recent times has rebranded itself as an emerging media conglomerate, an investigation by the Russian news outlet RBC has revealed.

Evgeny Prigozhin 1.jpgRussian billionaire Evgeny Prigozhin [photo] is the publisher behind FAN

The owner of Russia’s infamous pro-Kremlin “troll factory” has been sanctioned by the U.S. government, the U.S. Treasury Department announced this year.
Billionaire Evgeny Prigozhin was added to the list of sanctioned individuals due to his company’s contracts with the Russian Armed Forces.
The business fusion with the Army includes the construction of a military base near the Ukrainian border, similar to those which have been used as staging areas for the deployment of Russian soldiers in Ukraine.
Prigozhin owns the holding company behind Internet Research, a St. Petersburg-based firm which allegedly hires Russians to leave pro-government comments and memes on social media and internet forums in 12-hour shifts.
The businessman is also known as “Putin’s chef” for providing catering services to the Kremlin.

Yevgeny Prigozhin, left, serves food to Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin 2.JPG‘Chef’ Evgeny Prigozhin, [left], serves food to Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin during dinner at Prigozhin’s restaurant outside Moscow, Russia

The websites have been re-branded as a media conglomerate with 15 news websites that amass more than 30 million page views every month.
Prigozhin was indicted along with 12 other Russians this year on charges of defrauding the US government and trying to interfere with the 2016 US Presidential elections.
According to the indictment, his firm used bogus social media postings and advertisements fraudulently purchased in the name of Americans to influence to the race to the White House.
Speaking after the indictment, Prigozhin said: ‘Americans are very impressionable people; they see what they want to see.’
‘I treat them with great respect. I’m not at all upset that I’m on this list. If they want to see the devil, let them see him.’

Yevgeny Prigozhin, [left], shows Russian President Vladimir Putin 1 Back in Sept 2010 when Putin took a hiatus from the presidency, Evgeny Prigozhin, left, shows Russian then Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, [second left], around his factory which produces school meals

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny said companies controlled by Prigozhin broke anti-trust laws by bidding 23 billion rubles ($387 million) worth in Defense Ministry contracts.
His firms would have had to face hefty fines and barred from bidding at future auctions. But the anti-trust agency delivered a ruling in November last year not to fine Prigozhin’s firms because they pleaded guilty to the charges.
Navalny said: ‘There’s Putin. He wants to steal our money, and he gives his friend and confidante a chunk of the defense ministry’s budget that steals money from for himself and Putin.
‘And when someone finds out about it and proves it, Putin has special agencies… that in the actual fact are covering up for all those thieves.’

 
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