You cannot engage in a global propaganda campaign and not leave traces of who and what you are. This is as true for Russia Insider as it is for anyone. Previously I discussed Russia Insider's core cadre on Twitter. Now we'll take a look at their website and Facebook page.
- Russia Insider has two domain names, russiainsider.com and russia-insider.com
- The site receives network access care of Hetzner, in Germany. This is one of many links between Kremlin active measures campaigns and persons, businesses, and other organizations in Germany. I'm going to guess the connection is rooted in a failure to de-communize after reunification.
- Russia Insider's domains reside on the IP address 188.8.131.52. Only one other domain shares that IP address with the RI sites, making it a virtual certainty that there is a link between the owner/operator of that third site, and agent or agents of the Russian Federation responsible for Russia Insider. That third site is codium.de. Out of respect for Germany privacy sensibilities, I'll leave to the reader to find out more about codium.de. Hint: look back to the domain name record in 2014 and one Timo S.
- Russia-insider.com (note the dash) is held by domain proxy service GoDaddy.com. The only thing of significance in the record is the expiration date. Sometime between now and 12 August 2015 money will have to change hands, and additional communications will occur in support of the renewal of the name. Russia-insider.com appears to be their favored domain name.
- Russiainsider.com (no dash) would appear to be held in reserve, and the whois record is rather more revealing:
Registrant Name: MIKHAIL GOLOVANOV
Registrant Organization: -
Registrant Street: MINSKAYA 9-55
Registrant City: MOSCOW
Registrant State/Province: RUSSIA
Registrant Postal Code: 121103
Registrant Country: RU
Registrant Phone: +79.031301727
Registrant Phone Ext:
Registrant Fax Ext:
Registrant Email: PROMEDIA@LIST.RU
- DNS is provided by yandex.ru.
Now, on to Facebook...
Here is a taste of Russia Insider on Facebook:
Facebook is potentially a rich source of data about participants in and supporters of the Kremlin's information warfare operations, and I'd say the least we can do is exploit that source, seeing as how Facebook appears to have come down on the side of the Kremlin and the invasion of Ukraine. Why Facebook has chosen the Russian side is a matter of some speculation, but it may be linked to a long-time investor in Facebook, a Russian oligarch who is part of Putin's inner circle.
In any event, inquiring minds will want to look closely at people who Share and/or Like Russia Insider content.