Pro-Russia Twitter Trolls Stoked Fears About Ohio Derailment, Analysis Shows


Anonymous, pro-Russian accounts pushed anti-U.S. propaganda and spread misinformation about the recent train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, by using verified accounts on Twitter, according to an Associated Press analysis, complementing criticism by some Republican lawmakers of the Biden ministration’s response to the incident.

Key Facts

The accounts, identified for the AP by the London-based nonprofit Reset, made claims that authorities were lying about the impact of the train’s chemical spill, provoked concerns about possible health effects and compared the derailment to the U.S. government’s support for Ukraine, according to the Associated Press.

Other posts by the accounts—each of which featured a Twitter Blue verification mark—include a conspiracy that environmental scientists traveling to East Palestine were killed in a plane crash and a claim that the derailment will increase fatal cancers in the area.

One account with 25,000 followers tweeted: “Biden offers food, water, medicine, shelter, payouts of pension and social services to Ukraine! Ohio first! Offer and deliver to Ohio!”

Other accounts offered their support for the Russian government, spread claims that the U.S. was stealing Syrian humanitarian relief supplies (donated by China), and reposted videos and articles from Russian state media.

The Associated Press noted it had attempted to reach out to several of the accounts identified by Reset, though only one responded: “Shut up.”

Crucial Quote

Yevgeny Priogzhin, one of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s confidants and the head of the Russian state-backed mercenary company Wagner Group, said last year that Russia is “interfering and we will continue to interfere” with elections in the U.S. An arrest warrant for Prigozhin was issued by the FBI in 2018 after he was charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States and had used social media accounts to sway public opinion.


The response to the East Palestine derailment by the Biden ministration has spawned criticism by Republicans of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. The House Oversight Committee launched an investigation into Buttigieg’s response last month, as Republicans—including Reps. James Comer (Ky.), Jim Jordan (Ohio) and Marjorie Taylor Greene (Ga.)—say Buttigieg was too slow to respond. Buttigieg later said he should have visited the site “sooner” after having defended his decision to wait three weeks to visit as following “the norm.” Former President Donald Trump visited the site and said President Joe Biden should “get back from touring Ukraine” to visit the area—though Biden has not visited in the month since.

Key Background

Nearly 40 rail cars on a Norfolk Southern train fell off the tracks in East Palestine, Ohio, on February 3. The crash caused a fire and spilled hundreds of thousands of gallons of hazardous chemicals into the surrounding area. Officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention arrived late last month to investigate the possible health risks stemming from the derailment, after some locals expressed concerns that the released chemicals could cause cancer or harm their health, though the EPA has stated there was no health risk.

Further Reading

CDC Workers Canvass East Palestine To Investigate Health Risks From Train Derailment (Forbes)

House Republicans Launch Probe Into Buttigieg’s East Palestine Derailment Response (Forbes)

You May Also Like

Helicopter Crashes In Iraqi Kurdistan Reminder That Peshmerga Lacks Basic Airpower

The recent crashes of two helicopters in Iraqi Kurdistan’s Duhok province as…

Meet The IRS Special Agent Earning His Stripes As An NFL Referee

During the week, Eugene Hall uses his tech savvy to chase down…

Microsoft Plans To Use AI To Solve A Huge Pain Point For Doctors

Among the many challenges that physicians face, one of the most cumbersome…

Desperate Vikings Add 3 Defensive Free Agents Who Must Step Up In 2023

The Vikings expect Bryon Murphy (hand on football) to provide dynamic 1-on-1…

How To Save On Luxury Travel This Year

If you love to travel, you have probably seen how high some…

BTS’ Jimin Sells Over 1 Million Copies Of ‘Face’ Solo Album Worldwide For Record-Breaking 24 Hours In Korea


Let’s Hear It For The Frontline!

Shot of a boutique owner using a digital tablet with a customer…

Chapter 4’ Sets Franchise Record With $73.5 Million Debut

Topline John Wick: Chapter 4 set a franchise record in its debut…