A Russian man said Tuesday he was arrested shortly after he spoke to U.S. media outlets about his time working at a “troll factory.”
Marat Mindiyarov told The Moscow Times he was detained by police Sunday night for allegedly making a false phone call about a bomb in a nearby village. He was released after questioning, and denies all charges against him, he told the newspaper.
Mindiyarov spoke to The Washington Post and The Associated Press after the U.S. Department of Justice announced charges against 13 Russian nationals and three Russian organizations for allegedly attempting to interfere in the 2016 election.
The indictment claims the goal of the Russians was to support then-candidate Donald Trump, and damage his opponent, Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonCountering the ongoing Republican delusion Republicans seem set to win the midterms — unless they defeat themselves Poll: Democracy is under attack, and more violence may be the future MORE.
Mindiyarov said he worked for the Internet Research Agency, a troll farm based in St. Petersburg, Russia, where employees churned out propaganda on social media and fake news websites.
"Your first feeling, when you ended up there, was that you were in some kind of factory that turned lying, telling untruths, into an industrial assembly line," he told The Washington Post.
While Mindiyarov and other employees were not named in the Justice Department’s indictment, the agency’s owner, Yegenvy Prigozhin, was. The Kremlin has denied any connection to the operation.
President TrumpDonald TrumpOmar, Muslim Democrats decry Islamophobia amid death threats On The Money — Powell pivots as inflation rises Trump cheers CNN's Cuomo suspension MORE claimed the latest indictment proves his campaign did not collude with Russia.
Special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerAn unquestioning press promotes Rep. Adam Schiff's book based on Russia fiction Senate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG MORE's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, though, is still ongoing.