Putin’s Trolls: On the Frontlines of Russia’s Information War Against the World

Ig. Jun. 2022. 425p. ISBN 9781632461292. $18.95. POL SCI
In her first book, journalist Aro details the dangers Russia’s information warfare, driven by Vladimir Putin, poses worldwide. Finland, an independent nation, borders Russia and has a long and complicated relationship with its powerful neighbor. After reporting on cyber warfare and Russia’s concerted effort to influence public opinion in other countries for Yleisradio (the Finnish national public broadcasting company), Aro was in the crosshairs of Russia’s troll army. Her investigations were denounced and her professional reputation was questioned. Her personal information was published and her life was threatened, until she left Finland for her own safety. Aro describes the experiences of a Lithuanian diplomat, a Norwegian journalist, a Swedish academic, the Serbian head of a pro-Western think tank, a Crimean journalist, and American-born businessman Bill Browder, all of whom have been targeted by Russian-generated online smear campaigns. Like Browder’s Red Notice, this book opens a window into the megalomaniacal plans of Putin and convincingly shows that this danger is real, worldwide, and not being addressed by governments or the social media behemoths that allow it to spread.
VERDICT Very timely for anyone who uses social media or who follows American, Russian and worldwide politics.
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