Russian Director Vows To Quit Cinema After ‘Hysteria’ Over TV Spy Thriller

Stylized Artist's Depiction of Shadowy Figures in Dark Coats and Dark Hats, One Carrying a Briefcase

(Article ©2017 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Tom Balmforth – MOSCOW, October 17, 2017 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/russia-director-vows-to-quit-cinema-after-tv-spy-thriller/28800376.html) Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) agents battle fifth columnists and CIA “sleeper” cells bent on sowing chaos and torpedoing a gas deal with China. Americans seeking a “colored revolution” try to frame Russia for the assassination of an […]

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NEWSLINK: “If Russia can create fake ‘Black Lives Matter’ accounts, who will next?” – Washington Post/ Anne Applebaum

File Image of Laptop Computer, Tables and Mobile Device, adapted from image at energy.gov » Read more

Washington Post coverage of Russiagate

File Image of Laptop Computer, Tables and Mobile Device, adapted from image at energy.gov

October 8, 2017 The notorious Kremlin-linked ‘troll farm’ and the Russians trying to take it down https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/the-notorious-kremlin-linked-troll-farm-and-the-russians-trying-to-take-it-down/2017/10/06/c8c4b160-a919-11e7-9a98-07140d2eed02_story.html?utm_term=.d27065c3abb0 October 9, 2017 Google uncovers Russian-bought ads on YouTube, Gmail and other platforms https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2017/10/09/google-uncovers-russian-bought-ads-on-youtube-gmail-and-other-platforms/?utm_term=.1314cf8ad2f0 October 9, 2017 Russian operatives used Twitter and Facebook to target veterans and military personnel, study says https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2017/10/09/russian-operatives-used-twitter-and-facebook-to-target-veterans-and-military-personnel-study-says/?utm_term=.313a59a7b68d  

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NEWSLINK: “How to tame Putin. A transatlantic working group report” – Politico

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

“1. Keep Ukraine — at least most of it — out of Putin’s hands. … 2. Give Ukraine some kind of junior status in the European Union. … 3. Keep up economic pressure on Russia through sanctions. … 4. March 2018 is a key moment for Putin. … 5. Governments need to share more secrets with the private sector. … 6. […]

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NEWSLINK: “Facebook can’t protect elections on its own” – Washington Post editorial

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

“… Existing federal regulations place stricter requirements on political ads on radio and television than those on the Internet. There’s a reason for that: The use of online advertising in political campaigns has spiked in prominence in only the past few years, before most rules governing election spending were written. As a result, Facebook had no legal responsibility to let […]

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NEWSLINK: “From free info exchange to Kremlin tool; Russia’s homegrown Web; The Soviet Union had a working Internet surprisingly early, and its isolation and highly educated users have kept it separate even in a well-connected world.” – Le Monde Diplomatique/ Kevin Limonier

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

“The Ukrainian government blocked access to a number of Russian online services this May, including search engine Yandex and Facebook equivalent VKontakte. Kiev accuses these services, widely used in Ukraine, of sharing data with Russian intelligence, especially the personal data of soldiers fighting separatists in the Donbass region. This measure stopped millions from accessing their favourite sites, and showed the […]

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NEWSLINK: “How Russian trolls tried to organize anti-immigrant rallies, and more;   Are Russia’s ‘Friends’ Hiding in Your Facebook Feed?” – The Nation/ Bob Dreyfuss

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

“All of a sudden, Facebook—and perhaps Twitter and Google, too—find themselves at the center of the Russiagate investigation. You can’t say you didn’t see this coming. …”

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NEWSLINK: “Exclusive: Russians Impersonated Real American Muslims to Stir Chaos on Facebook and Instagram” – TheDailyBeast

File Image of Laptop Computer, Tables and Mobile Device, adapted from image at energy.gov

“Kremlin trolls stole the identity of an authentic U.S. Muslim organization-first to smear John McCain and Hillary Clinton, then to sing her praises. …”  

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American Focus on Russian Interference in Elections Working to Moscow’s Benefit, Alksnis Says

Stylized Artist's Depiction of Shadowy Figures in Dark Coats and Dark Hats, One Carrying a Briefcase

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, September 2017) Many assume that the exposure of Moscow’s intervention in the US elections represents a failure in that Kremlin operation, but in fact, Irina Alksnis points out, the continuing US focus on this works to Russia’s benefit in many ways – and, although she doesn’t say so, may even have been […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Understanding Russia’s War Stories; Putin’s foreign policy is rooted in an epic myth of betrayal and redemption” – The New Republic/ Sophie Pinkham

Vladirmir Putin and Donald Trump Sitting in Chairs with Flags Behind, adapted from image at whitehouse.gov

“… From the hacking of DNC servers during the presidential campaign to links between Russian officials and Trump’s team, Democrats have leapt at the idea that Trump’s victory resulted from Russian machinations, even though there remains little evidence that the hacks decisively affected the election. Rather than revising their platform to appeal to today’s working class, Democrats have pointed their fingers […]

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NEWSWATCH: “The Kremlin creeps into Germany; The far-right AfD was buoyed by social-media campaigns of the kind Russia has used elsewhere” – Washington Post Editorial

Map of Germany

“The German party Alternative for Germany, or AfD, is anti-immigration, anti-Europe-bailout and very anti-Angela Merkel, the chancellor who was just reelected to a fourth term. Founded only four years ago in protest of European bailouts for Greece and riding the backlash to refugees flooding Germany, the AfD reaped 12.6 percent of the vote … and won a place for the first time […]

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New U.S. Ambassador Huntsman Says ‘No Question’ Russia Meddled in Elections

File Photo of John Huntsman, Men in Military Uniforms and Others, adapted from image at army.mil

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – September 19, 2017) In a nomination hearing before the U.S. Senate on Tuesday, U.S. Ambassador to Russia nominee Jon Huntsman said he was certain Moscow had interfered in the 2016 presidential elections. Earlier this year, U.S. intelligence unanimously concluded Moscow undermined the U.S. electoral system to sway the outcome of U.S. elections last November in […]

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At Forum, Experts Slam Russian ‘Disinformation’ Campaigns Aimed at West

File Image of Laptop Computer, Tables and Mobile Device, adapted from image at energy.gov

(Voice of America – voanews.com – Cindy Saine – WASHINGTON – September 15, 2017) The German Marshall Fund says it has documented Russian interference in the elections or political affairs of at least 27 countries since 2004, ranging from disinformation campaigns on Facebook, Twitter and other social media to cyber attacks. The Helsinki Commission held a hearing Thursday on Capitol […]

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The Kremlin’s Global Campaign Of Chaos

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

(Article ©2017 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Brian Whitmore – September 8, 2017 –  also appeared at rferl.org/a/putin-calls-us-senator-mccain-old-world-but-admires-his-patriotism/28537171.html) They’ve done it from the Baltics to the Caucasus. They’ve done it from the Balkans to North America. They’ve done it from Belarus to Scandinavia. According to a new report by the Alliance for Securing Democracy of the German […]

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NEWSWATCH: “‘Russia’s propaganda machine amplifies alt-right;’ Fred Weir: ‘I find this quite extraordinary. The suggestion that Russia is behind the pandemonium that currently reigns in Washington strikes me as beyond preposterous. …'”

File Image of Laptop Computer, Tables and Mobile Device, adapted from image at energy.gov

(Fred Weir – Facebook – August 28, 2017 – facebook.com/fred.weir/posts/10213101665152439) “[‘Russia’s propaganda machine amplifies alt-right’] I find this quite extraordinary. The suggestion that Russia is behind the pandemonium that currently reigns in Washington strikes me as beyond preposterous. That Russian media might exploit fissures and factional battles in US politics — maybe with a certain discernible tone of glee — […]

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NEWSLINK: “Russia’s surveillance state is giving us a false sense of security The Russian state’s mass expansion of surveillance online and offline is not making citizens any safer.” – OpenDemocracyNet – Damir Gainutdinov

File Photo of Kremlin Tower, St. Basil's, Red Square at Night

“… Human rights defenders moving around the country regularly encounter increased attention from law enforcement agencies — they are detained, searched and questioned about why they’re travelling ….”

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NEWSWATCH: “You’ve Lost Control Again; Black Lists and Total Monitoring: Agora’s New Report on the Surveillance of Russians; A person’s life is utterly transparent to the secret services” – The Russian Reader/ Republic.ru/ Damir Gainutdinov

Stylized Artist's Depiction of Shadowy Figures in Dark Coats and Dark Hats, One Carrying a Briefcase

“The Agora International Human Rights Group has released a report entitled ‘Russia under Surveillance 2017: How the Authorities Are Setting Up a Total System for Monitoring Citizens.’ …. The Russian state has been harvesting an unprecedented amount of information about its citizens …. It maintains a system of black lists … and has been engaged in a relentless assault on internet […]

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Big Data Convert Channels Big Brother to Take Russia’s Pulse

Central Bank of Russia file photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Anna Andrianova – August 22, 2017) Raw numbers no longer cut it for Russia’s central bank in its effort to keep up with the economy. Instead, the man running its research and forecasting wants to know how Russians really feel by mining “big data,” gathered from social media and online stores. The Bank of Russia has […]

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NEWSLINK: “Russia’s Attacks on Democracy Aren’t Only a Problem for America; And that’s a problem for skeptics of Russian meddling” – The Nation/ Joshua Holland

Europe Map

“… the Kremlin’s attempts to influence other countries’ electoral processes have been a problem across Europe for over a decade, and … our intelligence agencies weren’t alone in sounding the alarm. And that’s a serious problem for those who are dismissive of the evidence of Russian intervention. …  * * * While Russian interference in last year’s election was all about […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Report of Ukraine Witness to DNC Hacking Stirs Confusion” – AP

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

“A report that a cooperating witness has emerged out of Ukraine to help the FBI’s inquiry … is drawing confusion and denials in Ukraine. … The New York Times says a malware author linked to the hacking of the DNC’s servers had turned himself in … But Ukraine’s Cyberpolice said … the unnamed individual had no established links to hacking The Times’ story has […]

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A Lesson for Today: August 1991 Coup Failed because KGB Didn’t Support It, Gennady Gudkov Says

File Photo of Gennady Gudkov

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, August 20, 2017) Force structures have invariably played a key role in all revolutions, revolts, or palace coups, either by supporting the incumbent regime or supporting its challengers, Gennady Gudkov says; and August 1991 was no exception because in his view, the attempted coup failed because it did not have the backing […]

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Five years of Russia’s Foreign Agent Law; Russia’s Foreign Agent Law has made the existence of many NGOs practically impossible. But solidarity is rising among organisations that are working against these restrictions.

File Photo of Kremlin Tower, St. Basil's, Red Square at Night

(opendemocracy.net – Daria Skibo – August 14, 2017) Daria Skibo is a sociologist and researcher at the Centre for Independent Sociological Research, St Petersburg. Russian civil society received July’s news happily: the case against Valentina Cherevatenko, the first person to face criminal charges under Russia’s Foreign Agent law, was dropped. In June 2017, Cherevatenko, head of the Women of the […]

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Why Some U.S. Ex-Spies Don’t Buy the Russia Story; Evidence that undermines the “election hack” narrative should get more attention.

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Leonid Bershidsky – August 10, 2017) Leonid Bershidsky is a Bloomberg View columnist. He was the founding editor of the Russian business daily Vedomosti and founded the opinion website Slon.ru. In 2003, when a number of former intelligence professionals formed a group to protest the way intelligence was bent to accuse Iraq of producing weapons of […]

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NEWSLINK: “Factbox: What Do the New U.S. Sanctions on Russia Target?” – Reuters

U.S. Capitol in Bright Sunlight

“… * The law establishes a review process that allows #Congress to block any effort by #Trump to ease or lift sanctions on #Russia. Lawmakers passed the bill to punish Russia over its alleged interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, its annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region and its involvement in Syria’s civil war. * Trump, or any U.S. president, […]

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New U.S. Website Aims To Track Russian ‘Disinformation’ On Twitter

File Image of Laptop Computer, Tables and Mobile Device, adapted from image at energy.gov

(Article ©2017 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Aug. 3, 2017 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/us-pro-democracy-group-german-marshall-fund-launches-website-tracking-russian-disinformation-twitter/28656024.html) WASHINGTON — A pro-democracy group has launched a new website to monitor and highlight what it says is Russian-backed disinformation on Twitter. The site, called Hamilton 68, which was launched on August 2, is a project of the Alliance for Securing Democracy, […]

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NEWSLINK: “The Russians Were Involved. But It Wasn’t About Collusion” – New York Times/ DANIEL HOFFMAN

File Photo of Kremlin Tower, St. Basil's, Red Square at Night

“… Having long considered the United States its main enemy, the Kremlin deploys a full quiver of intelligence weapons against America and its national security agencies, political parties and defense contractors. Its intelligence services, though best known for clandestine operations to recruit spies, also run covert ‘influence operations’ that often use disinformation to try to affect decisions or events in […]

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NEWSWATCH: “DID RUSSIA KILL A U.S. PRESIDENT? NEW CIA DOCUMENTS REVEAL SPY’S THEORY ABOUT JFK’S DEATH” – Newsweek/ TOM O’CONNOR

John F. Kennedy, Jacqueline Kennedy and Other Parties in Open-Air Limousine On Street Just Before Assassination, With Crowd in Background, adapted from image at archives.gov

“The U.S. government released Monday a large trove of documents pertaining to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, including previously top-secret audio files and transcripts of the CIA interrogating a former Soviet spy who claimed to have intimate knowledge about the killer’s connection to Moscow.  In accordance with the JFK Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992, which mandates that […]

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For the Chekists, Navalny is the Yeltsin of 1987, Portnikov says

Boris Yeltsin and Vladimir Putin

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – July 22, 2017) Many have forgotten that in May 1987, Boris Yeltsin, then head of the Moscow city committee of the CPSU, received representatives of the chauvinist and anti-Semitic Pamyat organization, thus sending a signal that he was someone the KGB and its allies could count on to defend their interests, Vitaly Portnikov […]

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Interfax: Russia to verify reports on closure of CIA program backing Syrian opposition – Foreign Ministry

Artist's Rendition of U.S. Embassy, Moscow, with the Russian Foreign Ministry in the Background

MOSCOW. July 20 (Interfax) – Russia intends to verify reports by U.S. media outlets on President Donald Trump’s decision to phase out a covert CIA program of providing aid to the Syrian opposition, a Foreign Ministry spokesperson said. “We welcome all steps aimed at defusing the situation and strengthening security in the Middle Eastern region. If this is being done […]

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NEWSLINK: “Moscow’s cyber-defense. How the Russian government plans to protect the country from the coming cyberwar” – Meduza

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

“Allegations that Russian hackers stole emails from top Democrats in the United States, in an effort to influence the results of America’s presidential election, are now more than a year old. Last November, Meduza published a detailed look at the operations of Russia’s cyber-soldiers. But a country’s cybersecurity is only as good as its cyber-defense, which is why Meduza’s special correspondent Daniil Turovsky returned to the subject, […]

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NEWSLINK: “The Russian spies living next door” – CNN/ Thom Patterson

Stylized Artist's Depiction of Shadowy Figures in Dark Coats and Dark Hats, One Carrying a Briefcase

“… U.S. authorities secretly surveilled all the spies for years, bugging the Guryevs’ house and even secretly searching it when they weren’t around. The FBI told CNN’s original series “Declassifed” that the Guryevs tried so hard to blend into American society that they didn’t even speak Russian inside their own home. Eventually, the United States cracked a secret code the […]

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NEWSLINK: “The ex-spy who casts a light on the Trump-Russia saga; Moscow’s operation of influence in Washington is a long-term affair” – Financial Times/ Courtney Weaver

File Photo of Kremlin Tower, St. Basil's, Red Square at Night

“… Like a stack of Russian nesting dolls, the number of people attending has increased from five to eight, while new characters have emerged – including Rinat Akhmetshin, a Russian-American DC lobbyist with a penchant for opera, fine wine and imported orange bicycles. …”

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Russia Leading ‘Assault’ on Freedom of Expression – HRW

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – July 18, 2017) Russian authorities have clamped down on Internet freedoms and introduced “invasive” surveillance” online, under the pretext of fighting extremism, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a report published today. The report criticizes Russia for unjustly imprisoning dozens based on their activity online and for introducing new laws that give the government tools […]

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Interfax: Russia’s Lavrov “flattered” by election meddling claims

Map of Germany

(Interfax – July 13, 2017) Moscow denies that it is meddling in German elections, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said. “We are, of course, flattered that we are being portrayed as a country which decides the fate of the world, both in the US and Germany,” he said, responding to a question about alleged Russian interference in German elections. […]

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How Trump Got Putin Wrong on Cybersecurity; The idea that Russia and the U.S. work out the rules of engagement in cyberspace isn’t crazy.

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Leonid Bershidsky – July 10, 2017) Leonid Bershidsky is a Bloomberg View columnist. He was the founding editor of the Russian business daily Vedomosti and founded the opinion website Slon.ru. One of the many challenges of dealing with Donald Trump is that he sometimes misunderstands things. The fallout from Trump’s meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin […]

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NEWSLINK: “Mending the Gap? Why the DNC mistrusts the FBI” – Economic Principals/ David Warsh

FBI Headquarters File Photo

“… The DNC’s reluctance to share its server probably stems from an awareness of lingering antagonisms within the FBI – the natural inference is that there’s presumably something on it that they don’t trust some FBI agents to keep to themselves once seen. Still, the failure to turn over the evidence is just the sort of lever on public opinion […]

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NEWSLINK: “Donald Trump Meets Vladimir Putin: Time For U.S. To Normalize Relations With Russia” – Forbes/ Doug Bandow

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

“… The meeting between Presidents Trump and Putin was overdue. The two apparently agreed that neither state would interfere in the other nation’s election. President Trump should make clear that respecting American elections is a red line for bilateral relations. Negotiations over a cyber-accord, in line with that reached with China, would be a logical next step. …”

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NEWSLINK: “Media Contempt for Facts Grows Along With the Dangers of War With Russia; “Russiagate” has become a grave threat to US national security-but its discredited foundational allegations persist.” – The Nation/ Stephen F. Cohen

Stylized Artist's Depiction of Shadowy Figures in Dark Coats and Dark Hats, One Carrying a Briefcase

“Nation Contributing Editor Stephen F. Cohen and John Batchelor continue their weekly discussions of the new US-Russian Cold War. (Previous installments, now in their fourth year, are at TheNation.com.) Cohen is increasingly alarmed that as Washington and Moscow drift toward military conflict, the US political-media establishment remains obsessed with “Russiagate”-allegations that Russian President Putin ordered the hacking of the Democratic […]

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