Stories

How Team 29 tries to shed a light on “troll factory”

Team 29 helped ex-employees of so-called “troll factory” in Saint-Petersburg in court.

“Troll factory” is “Teka” Ltd, former “Internet Research Agency” Ltd.  It is a company in St.-Petersburg, Russia, publishing political comments ordered by state authorities. In 2015 Lyudmila Savchuk, an ex-employee of “troll factory”, asked the Team 29 for help in litigation against her former employer. They initiated a labor dispute in court. They tried to get any documents on the “factory”’s activities.

The first court hearing session on the case took place on June 1, 2015, but the defendant company’s representatives did not attend it. At the next court session, a lawyer of the “Internet Research Agency” provided proofs of their labor relations with Savchuk. The documents provided contained no information about activities of the “trolls” and pro-Kremlin commentators. Attempts of the both case parties’ lawyers to settle an amicable agreement did not succeed.

On August 18, the court agreed that Lyudmila Savchuk was morally damaged, and imposed a symbolic remedy amounting to one ruble on the “Internet Research Agency”. In October 2015, supported by the Team 29 lawyers, Savchuk applied to the public prosecution bodies, asking to inspect the company. In November 2016, the public prosecution initiated an inspection of the OOO “TEKA” upon her application; the inspection results are not known yet.

Savchuk suggested one more ex-employee of the “factory”, Olga Maltseva, to apply to the Team 29. Olga worked at the “factory” at the Savushkina street for more than a year and a half, but was denied of official settlement of a labor contract and a maternity leave in order to get all benefits she had right to. Together with lawyers, she sued her former employing company. Unfortunately, both a first-instance court and the St.-Petersburg City Court rejected Maltseva’s claims.


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