Both sides in this information war are using propaganda.
Does Russia spend money to improve its image, including on social media? You can bet they do. Just like every other country in the world. Are there people paid to troll anti-russian comments? I wouldn't be surprised. But the question the article raises is a good question as well: Are there people paid to troll pro-russian comments? I wouldn't be surprised, either. And frankly speaking to me it seems like it, because if you post anything pro-russian or just with a balanced view, you do get shouted down as a Putin-lover or whatever.