Jessikka Aro „Putin’s trolls: true stories from the frontlines of the Russian information war“


On September 24. Jessikka Aro presented her long awaited book in Helsinki „ Putin’s trolls: true stories from the frontlines of the Russian Information war“. The book sums up the Kremlin related trolls’ propaganda activities against people who have exposed them.

The book by Jessikka Aro, who is familiar to Propastop’s readers, has been long awaited.

The long-time promised book saw the light of day in late September, when Aro presented her new Finnish language material in Helsinki. Unfortunately, so far, it has only been printed in Finnish, but it can be purchased either in paper version or as an e-book.

Fast-forwarding, this is not a just another regular book on Russia’s influence activities and the fight against it.

While Jessikka Aro has been an active front-runner in this activity and has suffered from it, both privately and professionally, the book talks about something else and perhaps even more important.

Jessikka Aro’s book tells stories of how Kremlin propaganda fighters have been the victims of personal hostilities. They have been attacked not only by the Kremlin related troll factories but also in many cases by compatriots who believe in Russia and its associated fake accounts.

In her book, Aro tells her own story and intertwines the experiences of victims of similar hostilities from around the world. It is detailed, comprehensive and thorough.

In her book, Jessikka, for example, writes about the story of Lithuanian diplomat, Renatas Juška.

The experiences of the leading figure of the Ukrainian civilian publishing house, Informnapalm, who uses the alias Roman Burko, and US businessman, Bill Browder who launched the Danske Bank affair as well as the writers involved in exposing the Northern Norway oil drilling, Russian influence activities; Thomas Nilse, Atle Staalesen and Trude Pettersen

She also writes in her book about two individuals who have fallen in between the gears of the trolls as well, Martin Kragh, an academic who has written about Russia’s influence in Sweden as well as Jelena Milič, the head of the Serbian think tank and who was named by Politico in 2016 as one of the most influential persons in Europe.

The book also talks about Elliot Higgens, the founder of Bellingcat, who has repeatedly been the target of trolls and widespread attacks due to his actions in exposing the Kremlin’s lies.

The final person she talks about is TV show host Liz Wahl, who in 2014 as the news anchor for the American RT channel, made an announcement on live TV that she could no longer be a part of a Russian funded channel that white washes Putin’s activities. She told viewers of the American RT channel on live TV „ I am proud to be an American and I believe in telling the truth. That is why I will give my resignation at the end of this newscast.“

Jessikka Aro’s book is important because it opens up the fight against the Kremlin propaganda by something that has not been talked about much so far – hate campaigns in Social Media, Kremlin propaganda networks as well as Russian supporting compatriots. This is the downside that comes with exposing and actively being against the enlargement of Russia’s global influence activities.

These stories have not been discussed in detail before and Jessikka Aro has done a supremely good job of it.t