In the period May-July 2019 bots accounted for 55% of all Russian-language messages on Twitter, a study by the NATO Stratcom Centre of Excellence shows.
This big increase in automated activity was largely driven by news-bots
contributing to information effects around stories published by the Kremlin’s propaganda outlet, Sputnik. On VK, the bot presence also increased, and currently accounts for one quarter of all users. 17% of English language messaging was done by bots.
Three military exercises were of particular interest for Russian-language bots on Twitter and VK: Spring Storm, Baltic Operations (BALTOPS), and Dragon-19. The level of Twitter activity during the month of July was less than half that observed for the period May–June.