Rammstein's social media accounts have been targeted by Russian troll factories spreading disinformation about the war in Ukraine, according to a report from the UK government.
The report's authors – who identities have not been revealed – say that Rammstein are on a list of targets that also includes British prime minister Boris Johnson, German chancellor Olaf Scholz, and EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell. Other musicians targeted include dance music acts Daft Punk, David Guetta, and Tiesto.
According to the report, the troll factory is based at the Arsenal Machine-building Factory in St. Petersburg, a site that manufactures military equipment and technology.
Evidence of the disinformation was found across social media – on Twitter, Facebook Instagram, YouTube and TikTok – with pro-Moscow messages from legitimate social media users amplified in order to evade measures put in place to combat disinformation.
The Guardian reports that the operation has been linked to Yevgeny Prigozhin, an oligarch with close ties to Russian president Vadimir Putin. Prigozhin is the founder of the Internet Research Agency, a group accused interfering with the US presidential election in 2016, and is on the FBI's wanted list.
UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said: “We cannot allow the Kremlin and its shady troll farms to invade our online spaces with their lies about Putin’s illegal war.
“The UK government has alerted international partners and will continue to work closely with allies and media platforms to undermine Russian information operations.”
In the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Rammstein issued a statement, saying "The band Rammstein wishes to express its support for the nation of Ukraine as it resists the shocking attack perpetrated by the Russian government. Above all at this moment, we feel particular grief for the suffering of the Ukrainian people.
“Each member of the band has various experiences of the two countries; all members of the band have friends, associates, partners, fans in both lands. We acknowledge the desperation that many Russian fans may feel when faced with the actions of their government, and we want to remember the humanity shared by both Russian and Ukrainian citizens.”