The Counter Signal founder Keean Bexte has been offered thousands of dollars of dark money to push pro-Ukrainian propaganda across his massive Twitter following.
Bexte was contacted on Twitter by a user named Volodymyr Kuzma, and offered $200 for each tweet in support of Ukraine. Kuzma asked Bexte to tweet several times per week. He also said he already has other journalists on his payroll.
“Would you consider posting links to human rights articles on your Twitter page?” Kuzma said in a message to Bexte, who has more than 215,000 followers on Twitter.
“These articles are published in well-known publications such as Amnesty, Reuters, DW, etc,” Kuzma continued.
Kuzma then listed some example articles and said, “I am also willing to pay for each post published.”
Facial recognition technology revealed that Kuzma is a Ukrainian journalist. Kuzma told Bexte he represents the organization “Humans Virtue.”
He also told Bexte not to credit “Humans Virtue” for the posts, but to publish them anonymously, saying “no links to Humans Virtue are required.”
“I will be given a list with links in a few days. The articles are ready, you will need to choose one from the list and publish it.”
In another message, Kuzma asked Bexte what he thought about the war in Ukraine.
“I am Ukrainian, I live in Ukraine at the moment,” he said.
On Twitter, Bexte questioned where Kuzma is getting his massive cash flow from. The average salary in Ukraine was around $845 USD per month in 2021.
“ Is this our own tax money being funnelled through Ukraine to buy off people to support their cause,” Bexte questioned
“I thought Ukraine was on the good side – why are they buying off journalists?”
The efforts come amid escalation between Russia and NATO, which has backed the Ukraine through weapons, training and precious military intel. Both NATO and Russia are holding nuclear bomb drills this month and both groups have accused the other of ramping up nuclear bomb threats.