RUSSIAN Twitter accounts suspected of interfering in the US presidential election also posted messages on the Scottish independence debate.

Professor Laura Cram, who is scrutinising social media posts as part of a research project into Brexit, said there are “some” references to independence and Scotland's place in the EU in the dataset.

Scrutiny of Russia’s attempts to manipulate western politics is under the microscope after it emerged that a troll farm operated thousands of fake Twitter accounts from a building in St Petersburg.

READ MORE: SNP call for probe into Russia's links to Brexit vote

Twitter recently suspended 2,752 accounts believed to be linked to the Internet Research Agency and attempts to interfere in US politics.

The social media accounts are said to have spewed out misinformation last year in a bid to undermine the Presidential bid of Hillary Clinton, who was perceived to be hostile to Vladimir Putin.

MPs are also calling for a US-style investigations into whether Russia played a covert digital role in the run-up to the UK referendum on European Union membership.

The Kremlin was believed to be in favour of a Leave vote as Brexit was seen, from a Russian perspective, as undermining the EU.

As part of a wider piece of work on Brexit, Cram and post-doctoral researcher Clare Llewellyn have established that over 400 of the 2,752 suspended Twitter accounts attempting to interfere in US politics also tweeted on Brexit-related hashtags.

Asked whether any of the suspended accounts tweeted on the Scottish independence debate, Professor Cram said a small number of tweets “refer to Scotland”.

She added: “They are choosing issues that are likely to be controversial or disruptive. And as you’d expect, Scottish independence and Scotland’s relationship to the EU is a disruptive issue in relation to Brexit. There are certainly some references to that in the dataset.”

Cram said she did not expect to pick up a “huge amount” of Scottish content, but added: “I definitely would expect it to be one of the issues that would come up in relation to Brexit.”

Putin has taken a dim view of separatist movements in his own country, but analysts have said Scottish independence is of interest to Russia as the Kremlin believes it could potentially weaken the UK.

READ MORE: SNP call for probe into Russia's links to Brexit vote

A spokesman for the Scottish Conservatives said: “It would be foolish to think Scotland is immune from this sinister interference...Scotland’s clearly a place of interest for the Kremlin.”