The job ads give little away. They ask only for “content managers” or “production editors” in a nondescript part of St Petersburg, and offer an above-average salary.
But for successful applicants, a thriving business offering rich opportunities for creativity and professional growth awaits. You can hone your writing skills subtly weaving patriotic sentiments into blog posts about beauty tips, fortune-telling, fishing or photography. You can revile the United States and Ukraine, posting news links and funny photo memes to local forums. If your English and political loyalty is flawless, you may even get the chance to insert angry comments on major western news sites.
If you’re really at the cutting edge, you can make viral videos about superheroes and breast implants, then drop in an insult about Barack Obama once in a while.
It’s all in a day’s work for a pro-Kremlin “troll”, a growth industry in an economy sliding towards recession, offering hundreds of young people up to £600 a month, with bonuses on top, and a two-days on, two-days off work schedule.