Russian President Vladimir Putin ‘influenced the outcome’ of Swansea’s mayoral nominations for his own gain, an unofficial report has revealed.
The report claims that the Kremlin developed a clear preference for Townhill Ward Councillor David Hopkins in the run up to the nominations, due to their desire to invest in Townhill properties and introduce Russian oligarchs to take over West End football club.
It’s alleged that Russian hackers infiltrated a number of official Council email addresses to gain intelligence on other prospective mayoral candidates. In addition to this, the Russians reportedly ‘trolled’ Swansea Council staff on social media and set up a series of sophisticated Swansea speaking bots on Twitter.
Council spokesman Pete Bowen said: “We became suspicious when we noticed activity on email servers after 3:30 in the afternoon, which is very unusual.
“The trolling went a little unnoticed, our complaints backlog is huge so we’ve stopped taking any notice.
“Taking all things into account, we’re satisfied that Putin didn’t have any influence over the mayoral nominations, despite Russia’s obvious interest in Townhill. It’s purely coincidental this is the ward David Hopkins represents.
“We’ve informed the Mayor and Lady Mayoress of our decision, so they can resume their civic duties.
“It certainly gives the Lady Mayoress the opportunity to wear her new Russian mink furred coat.”