The Russian IT specialist and “political expert” created a million-bot farm for Poroshenko, journalists learned.
The million-bot farm, which was recently exposed and blocked by the SBU, worked in the interests of the “European Solidarity” political party and its leader, Petro Poroshenko. This is stated in the journalistic investigation “Apostrophe-TV”, published today.
Media workers published evidence that the organizer of the bot farm was Russian IT specialist Viktor Maistrenko, who collaborated with the people’s deputy Artur Gerasimov, a close associate of Poroshenko.
Maistrenko said that he developed special software that automates the bot farm’s work and scales it up. Thanks to him, the Ukrainian Internet was flooded with “bots”.
“The shell in which everything is written is called “ZennoPoster” – a program for automating actions in the browser,” the publication quoted the detainee as saying. Further, this program could automatically publish the necessary information on behalf of thousands of bots, including fakes and “zrada (treason)”, invite friends, comment, put “likes” under posts, etc.
These bots’ task was to maintain pages of support for Poroshenko and his political forces on social networks, but most importantly, to criticize Zelensky. Among the fresh topics that the bot farm was spreading were: the conflict between Zelensky and Zaluzhny, the “surrender of the country” to Putin and the oligarchs, the failure of conscription into the army, the ruin of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the photo session of Elena Zelenskaya for the Vogue magazine.
According to Maistrenko himself, in addition to working for the EU, he also sold the developed program to everyone. It cost USD 314, and only on the sale of licenses, the Russian earned about 100 thousand dollars.
He also told how he ended up in Ukraine in 2014, after he “lit up” in the elections in Russia, “referenda” in Crimea and Donbas.
According to Maistrenko, despite the ban on crossing the border for Russians, A. Gerasimov helped him. Subsequently, he got a job at his marketing agency and settled in an apartment that belonged to his ex-wife. It was in it, by the way, that recent searches were carried out.
In 2015, having created and developed a bot farm for Poroshenko, Maistrenko received Ukrainian citizenship from the president under a simplified procedure. He also became a “political expert” on the ex-president’s TV channels.
Recall that the SBU announced the exposure of a million-strong bot farm in early August. Appropriate equipment was found in Kyiv, Vinnytsia and Kharkiv to ensure its operation.
So, during the searches, a hardware and software complex for the operation of a bot farm, 5,000 SIM cards and 200 mobile proxy farms were seized to replace IP addresses in order to avoid blocking the relevant Internet resources.