Israeli group of cyber mercenaries helped to create a positive image of Aleksandr Zingman in Africa

Aleksandr Zingman
4 mins

На русском языке: Израильская группа кибернаёмников «отмывала» в соцсетях Александра Зингмана и помогала выстраивать ему позитивный имидж в Африке
На беларускай мове: Ізраільская група кібернаёмнікаў «адмывала» ў сацсетках Аляксандра Зінгмана і дапамагала выбудоўваць яму пазітыўны імідж у Афрыцы

The international consortium of journalists OCCRP published an investigation into Team Jorge, an Israeli cyber mercenary group made up of former intelligence officials who are engaged in disinformation and election interference.

Journalists found that the group conducted at least 33 «presidential-level» disinformation campaigns in Africa, Europe, Asia and Latin America. The cost of one such campaign is estimated at $15 million. They also developed Advanced Impact Media Solutions (AIMS) software, which creates bots with photos of real people who participate in disinformation campaigns on websites and social networks. For example, they post tens of thousands of tweets.

The investigators claim that these cyber mercenaries conducted a campaign for «arms dealer» Aleksandr Zingman.

For example, in 2020, Team Jorge created a positive image for Aleksandr Zingman and his business with the help of bots on social networks, part of the «support campaign» was also directed against his opponent, Belarusian businessman and arms dealer Vitaly Fishman.

Through the files in the slander case, which Fishman won in the U.S., journalists identified at least 35 bots associated with Team Jorge. Zingman’s lawyer, on the other hand, stated that his client had never worked with companies involved in disinformation.

Well, the next year, in 2021, Zingman was arrested in Congo.

Aleksandr Zingman is an «arms dealer,» one of Lukashenka’s key shadow partners on African issues, honorary consul of Zimbabwe in Belarus, and the owner of Aftrade DMCC, which supplies Belarusian equipment to Africa. Zingman’s company signed a $32 million contract to supply fire trucks to Zimbabwe, causing a scandal in the country: PMs of the Zimbabwean parliament demanded that the deal be invalidated because the fire trucks were planned to be purchased at an inflated price. Zingman is also linked to the gold mining company Zim Goldfields. According to journalists, millions of dollars from the African gold trade are used to fund armed formations in Russia and Belarus.

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