In April of 2019 Russian investigative lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya launched an official websiteVESNA, which literally means ‘spring’ in Russian. According to Veselnitskaya, the website is her one and only opportunity to publicly speak about widespread political speculations, her name has been circulating in:
“Reconsideration of the world landscape is an extremely hard and at the same time simple work to do. But perhaps you could see the answers that are right in front of you and plain to see – the answers to the question of who inspired this series called “The Russian Umbrella”. The aim of this website is to provide insight into this story. I’ll guide you through the documents and information I have gathered and analyzed. Whether to remain unconvinced or find the strength and courage to admit your errors – that depends on your personal preferences. And the latter is a hard choice to make.”
While covering latest world news, VESNA also started publishing materials analyzed by Veselnitskaya, as she promised, and documents related to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election, Trump Tower meeting, Prevezon case and Real Story of William Browder. All the materials were then posted on social media platforms, including Twitter and Facebook.
The URL of Veselnitskaya’s website was blocked on Facebook for more than a month and was finally unblocked on June 12th, which symbolically happens to be the Russia Day. Yet, right after that Veselnitskaya’s Twitter account @Nveselnitskaya was attacked and on Monday, June 17th, suspected from Twitter. The attempts to get feedback from Twitter Support did not succeed and the appeal was not even looked through.
“On May 20th I announced both on my website and on Twitter that since I launched VESNA and started publishing documents exposing a group of political speculators, Facebook blocked the URL of my website, which restricted access to the reports. At the same time many Twitter users were attacked by bots supporting and praising me, which I see as an element of black PR.
Back then I clearly realized who was behind it, but today everyone can draw the same conclusion: June 14th Mr. Browder, one of the subjects of my investigations, tweeted about a massive attack under my name.
In the following days VESNA suffered a DDoS attack while social media users were again attacked by a bot army,” said Veselnitskaya
Rhetoric of the tweets makes it clear that Veselnitskaya’s name was not simply mentioned once or twice, but someone was carrying out a particular order to create disruption in an online community. It is worth mentioning that there also was a troll farm linked to Alexey Navalny.
Veselnitskaya commented on the matter by saying that “the Internet was flooded with suspiciously created accounts mentioning my name here and there, posting links to the dead and buried articles and in a period of time deleting their posts.”
an example of one of the “bot” account
All this “enthusiasm” started right after the second Verdict against William Browder had been published on VESNA. One of the main details here is that the court filing, explaining Browder’s participation in a fraud scheme, has never been available to the Western public before, and Veselnitskaya’s website was the only opportunity for Internet users to obtain such information in English.
Every document published on VESNA was legally obtained and those whose reputation may be damaged by the published information clearly know that. However, they keep on promoting their own version of events, different from the real story, supporting the brashly commercial and morally wrong bill “Magnitsky Act,” and trying to do their best to wrongly portray Veselnitskaya’s role in obtaining the documents in order to criminalize their origins. Yet, the documents, including the second Verdict against Browder, speak for themselves exposing a compound, yet trivial fraudulent scheme carried out by Hermitage Capital Management.
The publication of the documents by Veselnitskya on the Internet caused a storm of responses: the post on VESNA and Veselnitkaya’s personal Twitter account was viewed more than 50,000 views and the Verdict was widely downloaded. Real people managing so-called ‘troll farms’ then started promoting an idea that everything said about Browder was a lie and he was the investigator and the whistleblower of the Russian tax-fraud.
The following day Veselnitskaya’s personal account on Twitter was suspected, thus, the access to materials was lost, which caused negative reaction of Twitter users, real people following both Veselnitskaya and those, she is arrayed against.
Mr. Browder couldn’t suppress his concernment about the media reports and reaction of Veselntskaya’s supporters:
Russian state news organization RT seems particularly perturbed that Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya seems to have been suspended from Twitter https://t.co/h2Dco4HYBZ
— Bill Browder (@Billbrowder) June 18, 2019
«The documents, exposing Browder and his allies, published on my website and my social media accounts, have no analogues in Western media. These people put so much effort into building troll bot armies and attacking both my accounts and VESNA, which once again proves that they are using the same tactics of strategic political propaganda that they used to. Their actions are not very smart, yet clearly worked through and aimed to suppress any information that could cause even a slight damage,” said Veselnitskaya.
“I am grateful to all of my supporters and I am happy to see that people are not just perturbed, but sick of being told what to read, what to say and what to think. My point of view may not be shared by everyone, but I am sure that the constructive dialogue and analysis will prevent humanity from turning into computer bots.” Natalia Veselnitskaya.
Natalia Veselnitskaya – official website