Who is Robert Coalson, you ask? He is a "Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty correspondent covering Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Balkans, South Caucasus," making him a high value target for Kremlin trolls. In their mind he represents American "meddling" in Russian affairs (those Russian affairs including Russian meddling in the internal affairs of multiple countries).
Coalson's post that brought out the troll is not especially significant, but note how in under 140 characters it mentions multiple hot-button issues for the Kremlin: Khodorkovsky, TV Rain, and domestic Russian opposition to Putin:
Khodorkovsky on @tvrain: "Authorities are undoubtedly afraid of even small public protests."— Robert Coalson (@CoalsonR) December 30, 2014
What happened next was a typical Twitter firefight. You could also call it negative engagement. The troll takes a shot at Coalson, who returns fire.
. @AnX85 Why should they be afraid, indeed? Unless the "support" is built on lies. You go home, you parasitical troll.— Robert Coalson (@CoalsonR) December 30, 2014
And that's about when the cavalry arrived, led by the President of Estonia who called the troll a trollop. No point in trying to dialogue with a Kremlin troll - many are paid by the hour and all seek to suck up your time and energy.
I'm not averse to taking a shot or two at a Kremlin troll - among other things it's a way to remind myself to add the troll to the specimen jar.
The troll falls back on babbling, incoherent retorts, and this will go on for as long as you let it. I generally break contact and block them. Once I've collected them I've no need to see them in my timeline.
And so with this, the Kremlin Troll Blog is open for business.
© 2015 Andrew Aaron Weisburd