BELLEVUE, Wash. — Agata Burdonova may marvel on LiveJournal over the fact that she lives just a couple of miles from Bill Gates’ house, but I’m marveling more over the fact that I live just a couple of miles from her apartment.
The proximity is notable because Burdonova has been drawn into an international controversy over her connections to Russia’s Internet Research Agency, or IRA. That’s the infamous troll factory whose activities sparked 13 federal indictments this month, stemming from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 elections.
According to a report from Russia’s TV Rain, Burdonova was an aide to the head of the IRA’s media and public forums department, Katarina Aistova, who figured in a New York Times story about the operation in 2015.
Burdonova’s voluminous social-media postings paint a much softer picture,