NEWSWATCH: “Two explosive reports on Trump and Russia. Zero on-the-record sources.” – Washington Post/Callum Borchers

Satellite Dishes

“… Which is it? Is the media making up fake nonsense? Or is the intelligence community leaking real information? …. anonymity invariably promotes skepticism about sources’ motives. The Times wrote that ‘all of the current and former officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because the continuing investigation is classified.’ That makes sense; it also makes sense to wonder whether […]

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NEWSLINK: “Why Are the Trump Allegations Hanging Around When They Haven’t Been Substantiated?” – Lawfare/Susan Hennessey, Benjamin Wittes

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

“What is one to make of the apparent inability of press and government alike to verify the allegations in the Trump dossier combined with the cache of documents’ apparent staying power? The unverified allegations against Donald Trump are not just salacious, they are specific. These are facts which should be verifiable as either true or false. …”

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NEWSWATCH: “Russian Hackers and American Hacks; The CIA that misjudged Putin for years is now sure of his motives” – Wall Street Journal

File Photo of CIA Seal on Floor

Somewhere in the Kremlin … Putin must be laughing. The Russian strongman almost certainly sought to undermine public confidence in American democracy … and as the Obama Administration leaves town it is playing into his hands. … the real story behind … reports that U.S. intelligence services have concluded that Russia intervened to assist … Trump’s presidential campaign. … attributed […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Russia Updates Plan to Counter Cyberattacks and Foreign Influence” – New York Times

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

The Kremlin published a new plan … against what it described as stepped-up cyberattacks and ‘information-psychological’ methods by foreign intelligence agencies …. updat[ing] a similar information security doctrine put in place by … Putin in 2000. … American officials have mulled retaliating against Russia for … hacking before the presidential election …. The 16-page document sketches out … threats … […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Beware: The #Russian bear is getting bolder” – Washington Post

Europe Map

… In #NATO member #Hungary, #Russian agents have been fingered for training with a #neoNazi militia; in … #Monte­negro … on the verge of joining the transatlantic alliance, #Moscow is accused of plotting a violent #coup. … In Hungary … [there was] a gunfight … between police and the leader of the National Front movement …. Police … discovered large […]

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NEWSWATCH Fred Weir/facebook: “So, this is a ‘potential’ plot …” Re: Washington Post: “U.S. investigating potential covert Russian plan to disrupt November elections”

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

Fred Weir of the Christian Science Monitor comments on Russia and investigations into cyber incursions relating to the U.S. elections, while posting a link to an article from the Washington Post, “U.S. investigating potential covert Russian plan to disrupt November elections.” So, this is a ‘potential’ plot, even according to the headline, and the story requires the insertion — well […]

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NEWSWATCH: “While the world is distracted, Putin escalates his war in Ukraine” – Washington Post

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

… The … FSB, claimed … one of its officers was killed … near the de facto border between Crimea and Ukraine. Russia seized Crimea from Ukraine in early 2014, then backed a violent uprising in … Donetsk and Luhansk. … According to the FSB … a second attempt occurred … with support from Ukrainian artillery, killing a Russian … […]

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Don’t ignore the left! Connections between Europe’s radical left and Russia; Europe’s radical left is connected personally and politically to the Kremlin

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

(opendemocracy.net – Péter Krekó, Lóránt Győri – June 13, 2016) Péter Krekó is the Director of Political Capital Institute, a think-tank based in Budapest, Hungary. He is also an assistant professor at ELTE University, and a co-chair of the EU Radicalisation Awareness Network Prevention working group. Lóránt Győri is an analyst at the Political Capital Institute. The fact that many […]

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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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NEWSWATCH Deutsche Welle: “Activists or Kremlin agents – who protects Russian-speakers in the Baltics? Moscow has been financing Russian-language NGOs in the Baltic states for years. Security authorities there are suspicious of the organizations, but the NGOs deny there is any cause for concern.”

Map of Baltics and Environs, Including Kaliningrad

Deutsche Welle covers Russian government financing of NGO activity in the Baltics. Authorities have long had these NGOs in their sights. In its annual report, Latvian police stated that the Russia-backed organizations are tasked with the distribution of “biased and distorted information” on domestic procedures in Latvia. According to Estonian and Latvian authorities, the violation of the rights of Russian […]

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RBTH: Cable wars: Can Russia really cut the jugular?

Both the U.S. and Russia have the means to clip undersea cables but don’t worry, unless there’s a full on war, your internet surfing won’t be interrupted. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – RAKESH KRISHNAN SIMHA, SPECIAL TO RBTH – December 9, 2015) There are more than 285 cables crossing the world’s oceans, with the entire network spanning over […]

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Russia’s secret treason investigations; In Russia, the number of state treason cases is rising. Secret service tactics mean we know less and less about who is under investigation

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

(opendemocracy.net – Gleb Belichenko – October 22, 2015) Gleb Belichenko is a journalist and former member of the activist group Team 29, which works to further freedom of information in Russia. Statistics for the past few years show that, in Russia, four to six people a year are put on trial for state treason. In 2014, this number rose sharply: […]

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NEWSLINK Washington Post: Russia’s summer of intrigue: Political trials take center stage.

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NEWSLINK: Putin Accuses U.S. of Supporting Separatists in Russia’s North Caucasus

Caucasus Map of Chechnya and Caucasus Environs

Intercepted calls showed that the United States helped separatists in Russia’s North Caucasus in the 2000s, President Vladimir Putin claimed in a new documentary in which he underscored his suspicions of the West.

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SBU head insists Surkov was in Kyiv on Feb 20-21, 2014

Maidan Square in Kiev, Ukraine

KYIV. April 15 (Interfax) – Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) chief Valentyn Nalyvaichenko claims that Russian presidential aide Vladislav Surkov was in Kyiv on February 20-21, 2014. “We are convinced that there is a need to investigate both crimes committed by Ukrainian officials and the role of Russian high-ranking officials in the events in Kyiv’s Maidan. I can confirm that we […]

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Swedish Admiral Admits ‘Russian Submarine’ Was Actually Civilian Boat

Map of Sweden and Environs

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Peter Spinella – April 14, 2015) A photo that a retired Swedish naval officer said showed a Russian submarine in Swedish waters last autumn was actually of a much smaller civilian boat, a Swedish admiral told his country’s media Monday. “Analysis revealed that the photograph taken in Stockholm’s inner archipelago was of a smaller boat,” […]

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Charges dropped against Russian woman accused of treason

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Interfax – March 13, 2015) Russian prosecutors have dropped their charges against Svetlana Davydova, a mother of seven from the town of Vyazma accused of treason after calling the Ukrainian embassy about Russian troop movements in April 2014, due to the absence of any crime, the woman’s lawyer Ivan Pavlov told Interfax on Friday. “Davydova was cleared of all high […]

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Experts See Dark Plot in Spate of Mystery Bombings in Ukraine

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Allison Quinn – February 26, 2015) As the latest blast in a recent string of mysterious bombings in eastern Ukraine claimed another victim Wednesday, experts warned that there would be more to come – and they could spread the conflict further from the front lines. A Donetsk grocery store became the latest scene of carnage […]

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Historian on Spies and ‘Sosedki’ in Soviet 1960s

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Aliide Naylor – December 2, 2014) Historian Sheila Fitzpatrick first arrived in Russia as an Oxford student at the end of the 1960s. Before she and other students went, they had a meeting. “We were all summoned to the [British] Foreign Office to have a briefing. … We were taken down into a basement, with […]

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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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NEWSLINK: Alleged Russian intelligence agent caught outside Kyiv claiming to be FSB general

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

[“Alleged Russian intelligence agent caught outside Kyiv claiming to be FSB general (PHOTOS)” – Kyiv Post – October 24, 2014] The Kiev Post covers reports that Ukraine captured a Russian operative connected with Ukrainian separatists, posing as a journalist: Ukraine’s State Security Service (SBU) says on Oct. 23 it apprehended a high-level Russian intelligence agent and a commissioned military officer […]

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Ukraine Looks To Stalin Era To Root Out Spies

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

(RFE/RL – rferl.org –  Luke Johnson – September 03, 2014) Kyiv appears to have taken a page from Stalin’s book in a bid to root out pro-Russian spies looking to weaken Ukraine’s defenses from within. Ukrainian Defense Minister Valeriy Heletey has announced the creation of a Special Service, similar to a counterintelligence organization that existed during Josef Stalin’s rule, to deal with subversive […]

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Moscow Times: Putin Says CIA Created the Internet, Cites Foreign Influence at Yandex

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Sitting at Desk

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Christopher Brennan – April 25, 2014) President Vladimir Putin said Thursday that the Internet was a CIA project and that Russia’s most popular search engine Yandex had been subject to Western influence when it started out. The president told a media forum that the Internet “emerged as a special project of the U.S. CIA and […]

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Foreign funding alone not enough to define NGO as foreign agent – judge

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Interfax – April 8, 2014) The mere fact that a nonprofit organization receives foreign funding cannot provide grounds for identifying this organization as a foreign agent, Constitutional Court Judge Sergei Knyazev told reporters on Tuesday. Such an organization will however find itself in the group of foreign agents if it engages in political activities, he said. “The status of foreign […]

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TRANSCRIPT: Press Conference with President Obama and Prime Minister Rutte of the Netherlands [excerpts re Russia]

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(The White House – Office of the Press Secretary – For Immediate Release – March 25, 2014) Gemeentemuseum Den Haag The Hague, The Netherlands Q    Thank you, Mr. President.  You’ve been criticized during this dispute with Russia as not understanding President Putin’s motivations.  As recently as last month, you and others in your administration said you thought Putin was reflecting […]

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Interfax: Head of Ukraine’s SBU provided Ukrainian special service officials’ personal files to CIA – Yakimenko

Map of Ukraine and Ukrainian Flag

MOSCOW. March 13 (Interfax) – Valentyn Nalyvaichenko, the head of the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU), provided the personal files of Ukrainian special service officials to the CIA during his tenure as head of the Ukrainian Security Service in 2006-2010, Oleksandr Yakimenko, who has recently left the post of head of the Ukrainian Security Service, said. “CIA officials worked in the […]

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Obama Bid for Russia Reset Slips Amid Cold War Iciness

File Photo of Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama Seated Before Russian and U.S. Flags

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Nicole Gaouette – February 14, 2014) If mounting U.S. frustration with Russia wasn’t clear enough after President Barack Obama blamed Moscow on Feb. 11 for the starvation of Syrian civilians, this week offered plenty of other signals. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told Congress that “an assertive Russia” poses a risk to the U.S. and […]

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Black Volgas and the NSA

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – George Feifer, special to RBTH – February 10, 2014) George Feifer is the author of many acclaimed books, including “Moscow Farewell” and “The Girl from Petrovka.” Thank you, Edward Snowden, for telling us how badly reform is needed. It would have been impossible without the knowledge you gave us. If Edward Snowden ever […]

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RIA Novosti: No Evidence Snowden Spied for Russia – U.S. Senator

Edward Snowden file photo

WASHINGTON, January 28 (RIA Novosti) – A senior U.S. lawmaker said Tuesday that she has seen no evidence that intelligence leaker Edward Snowden was working with Russia when he disclosed troves of documents on classified US spying programs. “I have no information to that effect. I have never seen anything to that effect,” Senator Dianne Feinstein, chairwoman of the Senate […]

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Proposed reforms will not stop pervasive NSA snooping

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Gevorg Mirzayan, special to RBTH – January 23, 2014) Russian experts say Obama’s initiatives to reform the U.S. surveillance do not go far enough. President Barack Obama has announced reforms at the National Security Agency. He unveiled several changes, which he believes will redress the balance between civil liberties and the need to […]

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Interfax: Lavrov believes most world leaders knew they were tapped by U.S. special services

Sergei Lavrov file photo

ATHENS. Oct 30 (Interfax) – Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov believes most of the key world political leaders were aware of being tapped by U.S. special services. “I even feel somewhat bored to comment on this. In fact, I am sure that everyone knew everything or at least had such suspicions. And all this fuss is being made now just […]

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Moscow Denies U.S.-Based Diplomat Sought Young Spies

Russian Embassy in Washington, D.C., file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Andrew McChesney – October 24, 2013) Moscow has angrily denied that one of its diplomats in Washington tried to recruit young Americans to spy for Russian intelligence agencies, calling the allegations a “horror story” reminiscent of the Cold War. The spy flap centering around the 59-year-old head of a Kremlin-funded cultural exchange program raises the […]

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Decision to be made on Snowden within three months – migration service

Edward Snowden file photo

(Interfax – MOSCOW, July 16, 2013) A decision on granting asylum to ex-CIA employee Edward Snowden will be made within three months, a highly-placed official with the Federal Migration Service told Interfax on Tuesday. “A decision will be made in compliance with the legal timeframe, within three months,” he said. Federal Migration Service spokeswoman Zalina Kornilova has confirmed to Interfax […]

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Putin Says Snowden Must Pick Country and Leave

Edward Snowden file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – July 2, 2013) President Vladimir Putin on Monday reiterated his stance that former U.S. intelligence analyst Edward Snowden needs to choose a country to seek asylum in and leave, amid reports that the American fugitive had officially applied for safe haven in Russia and more than a dozen other countries. In only […]

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Snowden’s presence in Russia provoked by somebody – Russia’s Human Rights ombudsman

Vladimir Lukin file photo

(Interfax – June 28, 2013) Russian Human Rights Commissioner Vladimir Lukin does not think Russia should grant political refuge to CIS intelligence leaker Edward Snowden, and he sees his emergence at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport as not accidental. “Should we grant him political refuge? I can’t answer this question by saying ‘Yes’ or ‘No.’ I have doubts,” Lukin told Interfax on […]

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‘Russian-born Disinformation’ Breeds Terror, Slanders US – New Book

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

(RIA Novosti – Karin Zeitvogel – WASHINGTON, June 26, 2013) ­ The Kremlin has practiced a homegrown technique called disinformation for centuries, including using it to slander the United States, fan the flames of anti-Semitism and convince “much of the world” that US government was behind the assassination of President John F. Kennedy 50 years ago, a new book by […]

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Federation Council commission to probe U.S. surveillance of Russians’ private life – Matviyenko

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

(Interfax – ST. PETERSBURG. June 26, 2013) An ad hoc commission of the Federation Council commission will investigate whether foreign security services have been really monitoring the private life of citizens in social networks, Federation Council Chairperson Valentina Matviyenko said. “We have set up a working group, a commission entrusted with holding parliamentary inquiries. It will find out whether human […]

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Snowden Not Being ‘Debriefed’ by FSB – WikiLeaks

File Photo of Partial FSB Headquarters Building Facade

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, June 26, 2013) ­ Fugitive former CIA employee Edward Snowden, who is wanted by the United States for leaking state secrets, is not collaborating with Russia’s Federal Security Service, the FSB, anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks said on its Twitter feed Wednesday. “Mr. Snowden is not being ‘debriefed’ by the FSB. He is well, and WikiLeaks’ Harrison is […]

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Snowden and Moscow: the real debate is elsewhere

Edward Snowden file photo

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Natalia Antonova, Acting Editor-in-Chief – June 24, 2013) Whatever you think about whistleblower Edward Snowden’s future plans (or, indeed, his whereabouts) – you may be falling for a neat trick all of the same. While all of us have been busy discussing Snowden – why he did what he did, his personality, whether or not […]

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RIA Novosti: Russia Not Obliged to Expel Snowden – Border Guards

Truck at Russian Border Crossing

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, June 26, 2013) ­ US whistleblower Edward Snowden, stuck in a Russian airport since Sunday, appeared to have a transit visa ­ but even if he does not, he may get away with just a small fine, a Russian border guards spokesman told RIA Novosti on Wednesday. “Looks like he’s got a visa, that’s why he’s […]

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Interfax: Assange, Manning, Snowden are new dissidents – Pushkov

Alexei Pushkov file photo

(Interfax -MOSCOW. June 26, 2013) Alexei Pushkov, the head of the State Duma committee on international affairs, considers former CIA official Edward Snowden, who is wanted by the U.S. authorities, a dissident. “Assange, Manning and Snowden were not spies and released secret information because of their convictions, not for money. They are new dissidents, fighters against the system,” Pushkov said […]

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Snowden Didn’t Cross Russian Border – Foreign Minister

Truck at Russian Border Crossing

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, June 25, 2013) ­ Russia said on Tuesday that Edward Snowden, the former CIA employee wanted by the US for leaking state secrets, had not crossed the Russian border. Snowden, who leaked details of a US surveillance program to newspapers in the US and UK earlier this month, was widely reported to have flown from Hong […]

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Snowden Flight Spotlights Politics of U.S.-Russia Crime-Fighting

Edward Snowden file photo

(RIA Novosti – Carl Schreck, WASHINGTON, June 24, 2013) ­ Former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden’s reported sojourn in Moscow this week is the latest in a series of cases in recent years to rattle U.S.-Russia ties over cooperation in politically tinged criminal investigations. “Both sides have tended to regard as a purely criminal investigation [what] the other side thinks […]

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Can granting political refuge to Snowden be Cold War act?

Edward Snowden file photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines/Interfax – rbth.ru – Interfax, Combined report – June 23, 2013) Russian officials are puzzled in what country former CIA officer Edward Snowden is going to apply for political asylum. Amid media reports about former CIA officer Edward Snowden’s arrival to Moscow, some Russian officials comment on the consequences of granting political asylum to him. Chairman of […]

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Will the Snowden [affair] impact the U.S.-Russia reset?

Edward Snowden file photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Igor Rozin, based on Interfax – June 24, 2013) Russian experts ask how U.S.-Russia relations will be affected by the Snowden case. While the U.S. demands that Russia detain former C.I.A. agent Edward Snowden, Russian experts ask how U.S.-Russia relations will be affected by the case. Russian human rights ombudsman Vladimir Lukin argues […]

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Russia has no reasons to detain Snowden – source

Edward Snowden file photo

(Interfax – June 24, 2013) Russian law enforcers have no reasons so far to detain and subsequently extradite former CIA employee Edward Snowden who disclosed information about the operations of U.S. special services, a well-informed Moscow source told Interfax on Monday. “Snowden has not committed any crimes in the territory of Russia. Neither have Russian law enforcement bodies received any […]

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Moscow has questions about personal data leak in U.S. – Foreign Ministry

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

(Interfax – MOSCOW, June 19, 2013) The leak of personal data requested by U.S. security services will be discussed at bilateral meetings of Russia and the United States, Russian Foreign Ministry Representative for Human Rights Konstantin Dolgov said. “We have questions to ask the United States and these issues will not be overlooked in bilateral contacts with the U.S. This […]

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Russian Politicians Show Varying Degrees Of Concern About G20 Snooping Story

G20 Logo

(RIA Novosti – June 17, 2013) The revelations about eavesdropping on foreign delegations during a G20 summit in the UK in 2009 could seriously affect international relations, a Russian senator said on 17 June, although another believes they will have only a limited impact. “The Russia-US reset was called in 2009, while at the same time US intelligence was listening […]

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Monitoring Medvedev’s Calls Easy for US Spies – Ex-FSB Head

File Photo of Barack Hussein Obama and Dmitry Medvedev with Flags, Shaking Hands

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, June 17, 2013) ­ There would have been few technical difficulties for US spies wanting to listen to the secret communications of then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev during the 2009 G20 summit in London, a former head of Russia’s security services said Monday. A report detailing the surveillance of Medvedev by British and US intelligence organizations was […]

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Moscow expresses indignation on alleged U.S. phone tapping at G20 summit

Edward Snowden file photo

(Interfax, combined report – June 17, 2013) The Russian Federal Protective Service is taking necessary measures to ensure confidentiality of communication between state leaders, the service told Interfax. “The Federal Protective Service is taking every necessary measure to provide the appropriate level of confidentiality of information for top-ranking officials of the country,” service spokesman Sergei Devyatov said on Monday. “Protection […]

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