Editor’s note: This article was written by Eren Ersozoglu and originally published on Grey Dynamics. 

This Grey Dynamics African Intelligence Report analyses the ‘troll factory’ established in Africa as a means for hybrid warfare.

Key Judgments

KJ-1. The Russian Web Brigade has increased sophistication of the ‘troll factory’ to avoid detection. By outsourcing to Africa, operations have become increasingly difficult to detect and intercept. It is likely outsourcing to avoid detection will continue.

KJ-2. Psychological Operations being conducted are focusing on increasing political polarisation in the U.S., focusing mainly on topics of racial tensions. Disinformation is a key strategy to produce a chaotic situation.

KJ-3. Grey zone tactics are utilized to seek a strategic and economic advantage over the U.S. without triggering all-out conflict. Russia is likely to increase bot activity in 2020-2025, peaking before and after U.S. elections. Activities targeting private companies will likely increase.

The Internet Research Agency primarily based in St Petersburg is accused of running fake news for election interference in the 2016 US elections. Owner of the company Yevgeny Prigozhin is identified to be head of the web brigade. The 22-month Mueller investigation concluded on the 17th March 2020 with charges being dropped. The U.S. Justice Department has communicated the difficulty proceeding with the case as it classifies evidence-based US intelligence risks exposing secrets. The troll farms are also being utilized for the aid of Pro-Russian regimes in Africa.


The prior location of the web brigade was discovered in an office block in St Petersburg. Following a CNN linked investigation, outsourcing beyond the country has been discovered to avoid similar discoveries. Troll farms were discovered and raided in Nigeria and Ghana. One farm was discovered operating under an NGO named Eliminating Barriers to the Liberation of Africa (EBLA), with over 200 Ghanaian trolls found with up to 1 million followers.