This article is part of a series analyzing the various aspects of the suspected Russian intelligence operation. Our top post summarizes these findings.
Russian First: Meet The Blue Man
The Russian operation’s oldest and most prolific persona was a Russian-language account whose profile picture was a blue-shaded picture of Russian anti-corruption campaigner Alexei Navalny. Facebook identified the account on its platform as part of the operation and took it offline.
Unlike almost all of the operation’s other assets, the “Blue Man” persona posted early and often. On Facebook, its profile picture and first posts were uploaded on March 10, 2015, indicating the likely creation date. A Livejournal account using the same name and profile picture began posting even earlier, in January 2014.
An analysis of this account shows how long the operation lasted, how consistently it amplified Russian geopolitical narratives, and how closely the operation’s different language sections worked together, once they were launched. The Russian-language operation was not a separate effort: it led to all the rest.Read more