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Lyudmila Savchuk: Former Russian Troll Awarded One Ruble in Damages


Ex-Russian internet “troll” Lyudmila Savchuk has been awarded one ruble ($0.01) in damages after she sued her former employer to expose it as a propaganda “factory”.

Lyudmila Savchuk says she and hundreds of colleagues at Internet Research in St Petersburg flooded websites with pro-Putin commentary.

A Russian court ordered Internet Research to pay Lyudmila Savchuk symbolic damages.

An agency representative said it did market research and he was not aware of “trolling” activities, reports say.

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Lyudmila Savchuk, 34, sued the secretive company for alleged moral damages, non-payment of wages and for failing to give workers proper contracts.

The freelance journalist said she worked for the company for two months for a salary of about 40,000 rubles ($400) a month, but was fired in March after speaking to the media about her employer.

Petrogradsky district court on August 17 set the damages at one ruble following an agreement between the parties.

Lyudmila Savchuk said she was happy with the result because she had succeeded in exposing the work of Russia’s internet “trolls”.

Russian media quoted a spokesman for Internet Research denying the accusations.

The Kremlin says it has no links to Internet Research’s operations.

Since leaving the agency, Lyudmila Savchuk has been organizing a public movement against online trolling.

Over the past year, Russia has seen an unprecedented rise in the activity of bloggers allegedly paid by the Russian state to criticize the West on social media over the conflict in eastern Ukraine and post favorable comments about President Vladimir Putin.