RBTH: SPIEF 2016: Russia will attract only the best foreign technologies

Cash, Calculator, Pen

Russia plans to set up a new presidential council to promote economic innovation, as business deals are unveiled. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – ALEXEI LOSSAN, RBTH – June 21, 2016) Participants in the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) have signed agreements worth $15.8 billion, the executive secretary of its organizing committee, Anton Kobyakov, has announced. The official […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin] Meeting with Vladimir Fortov and Mikhail Kotyukov

File Photo of Test Tubes with Algae Displaying Different Colors, Part of U.S. Energy-Related Research; from nrel.gov

(Kremlin.ru – June 14, 2016) Vladimir Putin met with President of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) Vladimir Fortov and Director of the Federal Agency for Scientific Organisations (FASO) Mikhail Kotyukov. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Fortov, Mr Kotyukov. We have met to talk about the coordination of efforts between the Academy of Sciences and FASO, about your achievements […]

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Why the U.S. Needs Russian Rocket Engines to Spy on Russia

File Photo of Atlas Rocket on Launch Pad

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Eli Lake – June 6, 2016) When President Barack Obama came into office, the fact that Russia sold the U.S. the rocket engines it needed for launches was a feature of U.S. foreign policy, not a bug. Obama was trying to reset the U.S. relationship with Moscow, and that meant finding areas where the two former […]

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A sheltered existence: Life in Russia’s closed cities

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

Dating back to the Soviet era, closed cities, where important strategic facilities were hidden and secured, continue to exist in today’s Russia. These cities cannot be entered without a special pass, but tourists occasionally manage to make it inside. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – OLEG YEGOROV, SPECIAL TO RBTH – May 2, 2016) In the late 1940s, a […]

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The Soviet Adventures Of Steve Jobs

Mac Computer file photo

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Carl Schreck – April 1, 2016) In the summer of 1985, a young commercial attache at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow sat down with two representatives of the California computer company Apple who were visiting the heart of the Soviet empire. One was an “older guy,” the attache, Mike Merin, recalls. The other was “this lanky, […]

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Akademgorodok: The last Soviet Utopia, or a new Silicon Valley?

Russia Map

Why is Russia’s intellectual, spiritual and cultural strength concentrated in Siberia? What is happening today at this world-renowned research center? Why do people here refuse to believe in a new brain drain? (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – MARINA MOSKALENKO, SPECIAL TO RBTH – March 28, 2016) Akademgorodok was created in 1957 by decree of the Soviet leader, Nikita […]

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Science parks: Russia’s secret weapon, or Potemkin village?

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

Sanctions are hampering Russia’s modernization and economic growth, but the country is determined to develop new technologies. Science parks are a crucial part of the national innovation strategy. How many have been built in the country recently, and what exactly are they doing? RBTH has the answers. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – VICTORIA ZAVYALOVA, RBTH – March 21, […]

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Russian Academia’s Struggle to Attract Top Talent

Skolkovo File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Vasily Kolotilov – February 8, 2016) About half an hour from the western outskirts of Moscow, the grays of Russian suburbia give way to a jagged horizon of shiny glass, concrete and abandoned building sites. A series of giant wooden pencils emerge, bearing the insignia “Skoltech.” The curious art installation signals arrival at the Skolkovo […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Meeting with President of the Russian Academy of Sciences Vladimir Fortov

File Photo of Test Tubes with Algae Displaying Different Colors, Part of U.S. Energy-Related Research; from nrel.gov

(Kremlin.ru – January 22, 2016) The Russian Academy of Sciences’ achievements in 2015 and priority areas of work were the main subjects of discussion. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Fortov, I propose that we look at the results of the Academy’s work. How did the work process go, and what are your priorities? President of the Russian Academy of […]

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The Exodus Equation: Study Shows Russian Math Geniuses Excelling In West

Mercator Projection Satellite Image of Earth

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Antoine Blua – January 24, 2016) The massive exodus of scientists since the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union is a known phenomenon that has greatly affected the field of mathematics. More than 30 speakers invited to address the 1986 International Congress of Mathematicians in California came from the Soviet Union — most of them from […]

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TRANSCRIPT: Vladimir Putin held a meeting of the Presidential Council for Science and Education.

File Photo of Test Tubes with Algae Displaying Different Colors, Part of U.S. Energy-Related Research; from nrel.gov

(Kremlin.ru – January 21, 2016) Meeting of the Council for Science and Education. The agenda covered the drafting and implementation of a long-term research and development strategy. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, colleagues, At the previous Council meeting, we resolved to develop a long-term strategy for Russia’s research and development. It has to be ready by autumn. I […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Meeting on the Advanced Research Fund’s development

Vladimir Putin file photo with VOA logo; screen shot from video still

(Kremlin.ru – January 19, 2016) The President held a meeting on the development of the Advanced Research Fund. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, colleagues. Today we will discuss the development of the Advanced Research Fund. We will consider the implementation of its main projects and how they are assisting the development of applied research. We will look into […]

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NEWSWATCH: “EU, Russia may nuke asteroids. Blowing up comets and asteroids with nuclear bombs is just one way to save the planet from an Armageddon-style impact, say scientists.” – The Daily Telegraph (UK)

File Image of Earth Orbit and Asteroids

The Daily Telegraph covers the prospect of the EU and Russia launching nuclear missiles against asteroids or comets that threaten the earth. The European Commission funded Russian scientists to develop plans to save the world from rogue asteroids by blowing them up with nuclear weapons.  … Russia’s top space research institute teamed up with missile and rocket engineers to look […]

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10 facts about the Russian Internet

File Photo of Little Girl at Computer Next to Globe

Desktops are beginning to become a thing of the past: In the past year the number of Russian users going on-line from mobile devices has increased by 90 percent. RBTH has sifted some more curious facts about the Internet. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – YEKATERINA SINELSCHIKOVA, RBTH – January 11, 2016) 1. 11.8 million Russian users (14%) go […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] First Russian Internet Economy Forum

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

(Kremlin.ru – December 22, 2015) Vladimir Putin attended the First Russian Internet Economy Forum. The First Russian Internet Economy Forum is taking place in Moscow on December 21-22. The plenary session, attended by representatives of the national IT industry and relevant ministries and agencies, is dedicated to initiatives for the long-term development programme of the Russian Internet segment and branches […]

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Foreign IT Companies Threaten to Quit Russia Over Restrictive Legislation

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anastasia Bazenkova – November 3, 2015) Major foreign IT companies could suspend their investment in Russia or withdraw from the country altogether over restrictions in the Russian market, the Kommersant newspaper reported Monday. These restrictions include a Russian law that obliges state agencies to justify the purchases of foreign software from Jan. 1, 2016, as […]

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Russian Academia Divided Over FSB Vetting of Research Papers

FSB Building file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Daria Litvinova – October 22, 2015) A report this week of research papers and scientific articles becoming subject to vetting by the Federal Security Service (FSB) before publication rattled Russian academics, coming on the heels of several cases in which people have been accused of espionage and treason in connection with their professional activities. The […]

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RBTH: Instant messaging apps: Social resource or security threat?

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

Is tighter government regulation of instant messaging apps using encryption really needed? Where is the line between user friendliness and national security threat? Internet expert Anton Merkurov reflects upon the matters for RBTH. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Anton Merkurov is an internet expert and representative of Open Garden, the developer behind FireChat – October 15, 2015) While […]

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Innovators bring the startup revolution to Russia, but business development lags behind

File Photo of Test Tubes with Algae Displaying Different Colors, Part of U.S. Energy-Related Research; from nrel.gov

Russian hi-tech startups are growing rapidly in number, but to implement their inventions a revolution in the big business sector is also needed. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Victoria Zavyalova, RBTH – October 14, 2015) Russia is pursuing its innovation dream. Over the past eight years, 12 new science parks housing 775 startups were established in the country. […]

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Russia admits lack of technologies for offshore oil production

Offshore Oil Rig file photo

The Russian government has announced that it is seeking to source equipment for offshore oil production from new countries due to the impact of sanctions by the European Union and the United States. However, as experts note, the development of Arctic fields is being hindered by low oil prices. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Alexei Lossan, RBTH – […]

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American Head of Russia’s Silicon Valley University Quits

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Matthew Bodner – September 16, 2015) After four years at the helm of one of Russia’s most high-profile applied research universities, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) professor Edward Crawley will step down and return to the United States, according to a letter obtained by The Moscow Times on Tuesday. Crawley, a member of several senior […]

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Skoltech Strives to Repatriate Russia’s Lost Scientific Talent

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Matthew Bodner – September 11, 2015) Four years after the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology (Skoltech) was founded, the startup university has finally moved into its own purpose-built campus, and has succeeded in luring accomplished Russian diaspora scientists back to Russia after periods of up to 20 years abroad. Some of them say they […]

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Beleaguered Russian Science Foundation Dynasty Delays Decision on Closure

File Photo of Test Tubes with Algae Displaying Different Colors, Part of U.S. Energy-Related Research; from nrel.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – June 9, 2015) Beleaguered science organization the Dynasty Foundation, which has been grappling in recent days with whether or not to shut its doors, announced that a decision on the matter will be delayed to provide time to wrap up ongoing projects, the Kommersant newspaper reported on Monday. Following its inclusion on […]

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NEWSLINK Bostinno: What Now for MIT and Moscow’s ‘Innovation City’? [Skolkovo]

Skolkovo File Photo

In 2011, MIT and Russian institutions including the Skolkovo Foundation launched a multi-year collaboration to facilitate the conception of the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology—dubbed Skoltech— a private graduate research university in a suburb of Moscow that was designed to stimulate the Russian entrepreneurial ecosystem and address a number of pressing global issues.   http://bostinno.streetwise.co/2015/05/16/mits-skolkovo-tech-incubator-skoltech-struggles-in-russia/  

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McCain Nixes Pentagon Plan to Use More Russian Rocket Engines

John McCain at hearing; adapted from defense.gov image

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – May 15, 2015) The United States will not allow domestic space companies to use more Russian rocket engines despite requests from the Pentagon, news agency Reuters reported, citing a letter written by U.S. Senator and Chairman of the Armed Services Committee John McCain. In a response to a letter from U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter […]

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Currency Crisis Leaves Russian Scientists With No Funds for Foreign Journal Subscriptions

Artist's Conception of Nanotechnology Components

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber – May 13, 2015) After scientists across Russia lost access to thousands of academic journals on Tuesday due to the ruble’s sharp devaluation, Education Minister Dmitry Livanov vowed to restore access to academic publishing giant Springer, Russian media reported. Universities and research institutions across the country lost access to Springer due to a […]

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NEWSLINK Carnegie Moscow: Left Behind? Russia in the New Industrial Revolution.

Artist's Conception of Nanotechnology Components

… Russia will not be able to keep pace with the outside world. If Russia does not possess sufficient economic strength (I do not mean simply hard currency—I mean the capacity to create wealth by real production), surrounding countries will not willingly ally with it. …     http://carnegie.ru/eurasiaoutlook/?fa=59335

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Putin’s Attacks on Science, Rooted in His Fear of the Educated, Destroying Russia’s Future, Koch Says

File Photo of Test Tubes with Algae Displaying Different Colors, Part of U.S. Energy-Related Research; from nrel.gov

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – January 20, 2014) Vladimir Putin “understands that the threat to his regime is to be found among the thinking and educated” and thus has been taking steps to “destroy higher education” in Russia and cut the financing of science, according to Moscow commentator Alfred Koch. Such actions may buy Putin some short term protection, […]

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Business New Europe: Russia’s tech sector defies downturn

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Ben Aris in Moscow – January 16, 2015) Most of Russia’s economy will be in the proverbial dustbin in 2015, except for the technology sector. The gadget-loving Russians have been driving the explosion of e-commerce in recent years, which is now starting to spill over into technological innovation and software development. Instead of the […]

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Moscow Times: Life After Putin: Teaching Future Russia

Skolkovo File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexey Eremenko – December 11, 2014) The professional future is bright in Russia, where space geologists and airship constructors will be among the most in-demand professionals by the 2020s, according to an atlas of Russia’s future job market recently published by Skolkovo’s Moscow School of Management. But whether Russia will be churning out droves of […]

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Spy Malware Deployed Against Russia by Unknown Nation, Report Says

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Allison Quinn – November 25, 2014) Russian and Saudi Arabian telecommunications and Internet firms are being targeted by highly advanced cyber espionage malware that is likely being controlled by a Western intelligence agency, The Financial Times reported Monday. Leading computer security company Symantec issued a statement Sunday warning about a new piece of malware known […]

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Russia signs raft of deals with China

China Map

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – October 14, 2014) Russia and China signed a raft of 40 agreements encompassing trade, energy, finance and technology, following a meeting between Russian prime minister Dmitry Medvedev and his Chinese counterpart, Li Keqiang, on October 14 in Moscow. The agreements demonstrate how Russia is looking for other options, after sanctions imposed on Russia in […]

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In Russia, ‘Lots of Scientists, Little Science’

File Photo of Test Tubes with Algae Displaying Different Colors, Part of U.S. Energy-Related Research; from nrel.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – October 8, 2014) Since the fall of the Soviet Union, five Russian scientists have been awarded the Nobel Prize in physics. All five received their educations and launched their careers during the Soviet era, when science – particularly in connection with the military-industrial complex – ranked among the state’s top priorities. Today […]

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Facebook, Google and Twitter hit by new Russian internet law

File Photo of Little Girl at Computer Next to Globe

(Business New Europe – bne.ru – September 30, 2014) Russia’s official communications regulator Roskomnadzor says it will enforce a recently passed law that could force foreign-owned internet companies to store the data of Russian users on Russia data centres, as part of a Kremlin drive towards what it calls ‘information sovereignty’. Major US-based internet companies such as Facebook, Google, and […]

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Interfax: Sanctions against Russia already affecting production of tight reserves, could impact shelf

Oil Worker file photo

KHANTY-MANSIISK. Sept 10 (Interfax) – The sanctions imposed by the EU and U.S. against Russia are already affecting the production of tight reserves, Russian Natural Resources Minister Sergei Donskoi said at a briefing in Khanty-Mansiisk. “The sanctions, first due to technology, have not yet impacted [the country’s economy], but are already affecting the production of tight reserves. As a rule, […]

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Justice Ministry Adds Nuclear Research Center to ‘Foreign Agents’ List

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – September 4, 2014) Russia’s Justice Ministry added a Moscow-based think tank that specializes in nuclear arms research to its controversial list of “foreign agents” on Wednesday. The designation means that the PIR Center, founded in 1994, has been found to receive funding from abroad and to conduct political activities, thus meeting two criteria that require […]

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Million-Man Army of Programmers Won’t Free Russia From Western Software

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Delphine d’Amora – August 20, 2014) Foreign software has become the latest target of Russian officials’ clamorous calls for self-sufficiency, with plans to swiftly replace all foreign imports and triple the number of Russian programmers heralding a crusade that analysts consider misguided and hopelessly optimistic. “We stand for complete sovereignty of information,” Communications and Mass […]

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Why Russia is falling behind in the science race

File Photo of Test Tubes with Algae Displaying Different Colors, Part of U.S. Energy-Related Research; from nrel.gov

(opendemocracy.net – Andrey Sobolevsky – August 6, 2014) The reform of the Russian Academy of Sciences is not popular with scientists. Especially in Siberia. The Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences was founded in May 1957. The new scientific centre in the east of the country was intended as a counterweight to Moscow and Leningrad (St Petersburg). Fundamental and […]

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Sanctions on Technology Imports Leave Russia Playing Catch Up

Truck at Russian Border Crossing

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexander Panin – August 4, 2014) The impact of the EU’s latest and harshest sanctions on Russia will be felt most keenly in the country’s economic sectors that are largely dependent on state-of-the-art Western technology, ranging from the extraction of hydrocarbons to civil aircraft production, analysts said. The European Union late last week officially approved […]

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RIA Novosti: Russian Scientists Hope Western Sanctions Will Not Impede Space Projects

International Space Station file photo

MOSCOW, August 4 (RIA Novosti) – Russian scientists hope that the western sanctions, imposed on Russia over the crisis in Ukraine, will not impede the implementation of space projects, according to the director of the Lebedev Physical Institute Astro Space Center, Nikolai Kardashev. The scientist specifically hopes the sanctions will not affect the Millimetron space observatory mission – a high-sensitivity […]

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Interfax: Political situation should not affect contacts among Russian, U.S. scientists – Academy of Sciences

Adaptions of Image from Livermore.gov of Element 118 Atoms

(Interfax – July 2, 2014) The president of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS), Vladimir Fortov, is set to develop the Academy’s cooperation with American scientists regardless of the political situation. “I will do whatever I can to develop our contacts, despite the winds blowing in one direction or another,” Fortov told a press conference on Wednesday. The RAS chief […]

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Only Eight Russians Among Most Cited Researchers Worldwide

File Photo of Test Tubes with Algae Displaying Different Colors, Part of U.S. Energy-Related Research; from nrel.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – June 20, 2014) Eight of the world’s 3,215 most highly-cited researchers are scholars affiliated with Russian research organizations, according to a new ranking released by Thomson Reuters. Thomson Reuters’ list was compiled based on “highly cited papers” among journal articles and reviews indexed in its Web of Science Core Collection between 2002 and 2012. Three […]

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Physicists Complain of Interference From State-Appointed Officials

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anna Dolgov – April 21, 2014) Four physicists have announced their resignation from the academic council of one of Russia’s top research institutes, accusing it of failing to defend a prominent colleague who was fired for “truancy” after attending a workshop at Stony Brook University in the U.S. The dismissal of Alexander Gorsky from the […]

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Housing and High Wages Will Stop Russian ‘Brain Drain’ – Russian Official

Artist's Conception of Nanotechnology Components

MOSCOW, April 2 (RIA Novosti) – New housing incentives and high wages will help prevent young Russian scientists from leaving the country, a Russian official said Wednesday during a meeting of young scientists in Siberia. “I think that we should create better conditions so that our young scientists are motivated to build their career here in the country. And by […]

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Minister Sees End to U.S. IT Purchases

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – March 27, 2014) U.S. spying could cost software companies said Communications and Mass Media Minister Nikolai Nikiforov, in a message attached to an Instagram shot of a recent Wall Street Journal article detailing renewed U.S interest in spying on Russia. “U.S. security services have put an end to the further use of U.S. computer software […]

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