On 26th March, I sat down for a live chat with Russel Bentley and David Stickney. The point of the discussion was to go “inside the Kremlin troll army”, which according to mainstream media sources, is a calculated and deliberate strategy of the Kremlin to bring “fake news” and false narratives to the targeted Western world. The reality of course, is that “fake news” are real news, brought to you with the help of the world wide web, on a shoestring budget. In order to access it, you have to go and find it yourself – it is not widely available via your TV set.
The crux of the phenomenon is it is often Americans, other Westerners, and ordinary Russian citizens not connected to the Kremlin by any stretch of the imagination - who participate in bringing you real information, irrespective of the mainstream media stance.
David Stickney, the host of the interview, was born and raised in the United States. David is a disabled veteran of the US army, who went to the former USSR for the first time in 1994. David travelled around Russia, Belarus and Ukraine, working in the IT sphere and on humanitarian projects like the Children of Chernobyl, and others. In the late 1990s, David started his own IT company, and in 2000 opened an office in Crimea, where he has lived since. He has worked as a journalist and in video production since 2010, covering the succession of Crimea from Ukraine. Since then, he has promoted the recognition of the Crimeans’ right to self-determination, countering the narrative propagated by the Western mainstream media.
Russel Bentley is a former marine of the US army, but has been fighting in Donetsk, Eastern Ukraine since 2014. From January to June 2015, he was a soldier in the Essence of Time combat unit of the Novorussian Armed Forces (NAF). He served at the Donetsk airport and Spartak as a rifleman and RPG gunner. Russell believes that the war in Donbass is only the front in a global war; Fascism has again raised its ugly head, and he is on the ground to defeat the oligarch junta. “Truth is one of our most powerful weapons, and my job is to get the truth to the people of the Western world.”
Inessa S YouTube channel focuses on accurate translations of Russia’s foreign policy and other primary sources that are unlikely to air in Western mainstream media. What unites us all is a grassroots attempt to counter moneyed interests and false narratives in global mainstream media.