Russia’s isolationist ‘sovereign internet’ bill worries experts and users alike

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

(GlobalVoices – Christopher Moldes – January 26, 2018 – globalvoices.org/2019/01/26/russias-isolationist-sovereign-internet-bill-worries-experts-and-users-alike/) After a bill was introduced in the Russian State Duma (the lower chamber of Russia’s bicameral legislative branch), the Russian government soon plans to discuss the feasibility of creating a so-called “sovereign internet” system. This system would purportedly safeguard networks within Russia from foreign information attacks, and calls for significant […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia drops two places on Bloomberg innovation ranking” – bne Intellinews

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“Despite … hype surrounding … state digitisation … Russia fell to … 27th … in … [Bloomberg] global innovative rankings …. but was still … third best in Emerging Europe …. now on a par with Malaysia and Luxembourg. Last year, Russia was two positions higher. The top slot was once again taken by South Korea, the six-time champion of […]

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World-Renowned Scientific University Quietly Untangles Itself From Russian Billionaire

Viktor Vekselberg file photo, adapted from image at state.gov

(Article ©2019 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Mike Eckel – Jan. 14, 2019 – article also appeared at rferl.org/a/mit-quietly-untangles-itself-from-russian-billionaire/29708417.html) Nine years ago, Russian tycoon Viktor Vekselberg was welcomed with open arms by U.S. companies, universities, and even the government. Washington’s relations with Moscow were being reset, and Vekselberg was heading a Kremlin-backed initiative called Skolkovo to […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s GMO debate looks a lot like America’s – with more geopolitics” – Christian Science Monitor/ Fred Weir

File Photo of Wheat Field in Kenya, adapted from image at usda.gov

“… faced with something new, Russian lawmakers have generally found it easier to ban it than … debate it, even if such prohibitions often prove dysfunctional …. case in point: Russia’s legislation banning … production of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) … nominally implemented … to keep Russia’s food supply ‘pure.’ The passage two years ago of the law … prohibit[ing] […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russia Is Ready to Publish Correspondence on Alleged U.S. Election ‘Interference,’ Official Says” – Moscow Times

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – December 11, 2018) Russia is ready to publish its correspondence with the U.S. on its alleged “interference” in the 2016 elections, a top official at the Federal Security Service’s (FSB) national cyber security center has said. U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded that Russia interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign with hacking and propaganda, in […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “Meeting of Council for Science and Education; Vladimir Putin held a meeting of the Presidential Council for Science and Education in the Kremlin” – KremlinRu

Kremlin and River

(Kremlin.ru – November 26, 2018) [en.kremlin.ru/events/president/transcripts/59203] The participants discussed policies in science and technology in the context of implementing the Strategy for the Scientific and Technological Development of the Russian Federation. Transcript on the meeting of the Council for Science and Education President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, colleagues, It is a pleasure to see everyone here. I believe […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “The Pentagon Has Prepared a Cyberattack Against Russia; U.S. military hackers have been given the go-ahead to gain access to Russian cybersystems as part of potential retaliation for any meddling in America’s elections.” – Center for Public Integrity/ Zachary Fryer-Biggs/ The Daily Beast

Aerial Photo of Pentagon and Environs

“The U.S. intelligence community and the Pentagon have quietly agreed on the outlines of an offensive cyberattack … if Russia electronically interferes with the 2018 midterm election [according to unnamed officials] …. U.S. military hackers have been given the go-ahead to gain access to Russian cybersystems … needed to let the plan unfold quickly …. one of the first major […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “The 7th Open Innovations Moscow international forum” – GovernmentRu

Dmitri Medvedev file photo

(Government.ru – October 16, 2018) The plenary session’s theme is Smart Country: National Strategy. The international innovation-driven development forum, Open Innovations, has been held in Moscow since 2012 and is co-hosted by the Ministry of Economic Development, the Moscow Government, the Rusnano Fund for Infrastructure and Educational Programmes, the Russian Venture Company, the Foundation for Promoting Innovation, the Skolkovo Foundation […]

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Russian Power Under Putin: Up and Down and Flatline

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

(Russia Matters – russiamatters.org – Andrew Kuchins – August 22, 2018 – russiamatters.org/analysis/russian-power-under-putin-and-down-and-flatline) Andrew Kuchins is a Senior Fellow at the Center for Eurasian, Russian, and East European Studies, Georgetown University. This op-ed is part of a new debate from Russia Matters and is written in response to “Measuring National Power: Is Vladimir Putin’s Russia in Decline?” by Simon Saradzhyan and Nabi Abdullaev. […]

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RUSSIALINK: “All RAS institutes to be subordinated to Science Ministry – Golikova” – Interfax

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

MOSCOW. June 5 (Interfax) – All institutes of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) formerly subordinated to the Federal Agency for Scientific Organizations (FASO) will now fall under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova said at a meeting of the Academy Presidium on Tuesday. “I’d like to assure you that […]

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RUSSIALINK: “U.S. launches Ukrainian-made Antares rocket with cargo resupply ship to ISS” – Interfax

International Space Station file photo

KYIV. May 21 (Interfax) – A medium-size Antares rocket developed and built in Ukraine has been successfully launched to the International Space Station (ISS) from a space center in the United States under a NASA contract. “The Orbital ATK Antares rocket with Cygnus spacecraft lifted off Monday, May 21, at 4:44 a.m. EDT on a contracted cargo resupply mission to […]

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NEWSLINK: “Meet The Russians Behind Your Blockchain (And Cryptocurrency, Too)” – Forbes/Kenneth Rapoza

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

“… Russian tech companies are not sanctioned. So far there is no Iron Curtain. Russians are behind some of the most successful blockchain platforms in the world. The Russians also dominate the cryptocurrency mining space. Go to a blockchain conference, and there are sure to be Russian miners dominating the exhibition hall. …”

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NEWSWATCH: “Where STEM girls at: Russian women in STEM” – Bear Market Brief/Kasey Stricklin

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

“Women in Russia are entering STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields at a higher rate than many of their Western counterparts, but there are still far less Russian women that men in the majority of these fields. … While interest in STEM drops precipitously at an early age in most other countries, often due to gender stereotypes, Russian girls […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “[Putin at] Meeting of the Council for Science and Education” – KremlinRu

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

(Kremlin.ru – February 8, 2018) The President held a meeting of the Council for Science and Education in Novosibirsk. The agenda focused on the sector’s main tasks and prospects, as well as the key areas of international research and technical cooperation. Transcript of meeting of the Council for Science and Education President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, colleagues, I […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Russian Hackers Hunt Hi-Tech Secrets, Exploiting US Weakness” [excerpt] – AP

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“Russian cyberspies pursuing the secrets of military drones and other sensitive U.S. defense technology tricked key contract workers into exposing their email to theft …. What ultimately may have been stolen is uncertain, but the hackers clearly exploited a national vulnerability in cybersecurity: poorly protected email and barely any direct notification to victims. The hackers known as Fancy Bear, who […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Russia hackers had targets worldwide, beyond U.S. election” – Washington Post/AP

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“… [H]ackers who disrupted the U.S. presidential election …[also] target[ed] the emails of Ukrainian officers, Russian opposition figures, U.S. defense contractors and thousands of others of interest to the Kremlin, according to a previously unpublished digital hit list …. the most detailed forensic evidence yet of the close alignment between the hackers and the Russian government … an operation that stretched back years […]

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Russian Science in Crisis, Says New Academy of Sciences Chief

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – October 9, 2017) Russian science is in a crisis state, according to the new head of the country’s Academy of Sciences. The physicist Alexander Sergeyev was approved by President Vladimir Putin as the academy’s new president after his election late last month. In an interview published Monday by the Rossiyskaya Gazeta newspaper, Sergeyev said that […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin] Meeting with Government members

Medical Symbol with Pole, Serpents, Wings, adapted from image at lanl.gov

(Kremlin.ru – July 19, 2017) Vladimir Putin held a meeting with Government members. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon colleagues. Today, we will discuss an issue of great importance for practically every Russian family – how we can use information technology to improve access to medical care and medicines. But first, I would like to ask Mr Manturov to […]

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Russia Leading ‘Assault’ on Freedom of Expression – HRW

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(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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VIDEOS & ARTICLE: Russian Cyber Hacks on U.S. Electoral System Far Wider Than Previously Known

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(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Michael Riley, Jordan Robertson – June 13, 2017) [See video “How to See If Russia Meddled With Your Vote”: bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2017-06-13/russian-breach-of-39-states-threatens-future-u-s-elections] Russia’s cyberattack on the U.S. electoral system before Donald Trump’s election was far more widespread than has been publicly revealed, including incursions into voter databases and software systems in almost twice as many states as previously […]

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Response by prominent Washington expert on Russia to JRL 2017-#95, 18 May 2017 [Re: U.S. #Intelligence, #Russia, #Hacking, U.S. Election]:

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Response by prominent Washington expert on Russia to JRL 2017-#95, 18 May 2017: “I was surprised to read Prof. Robinson’s analysis on your Russia List. His analysis misses one rather central point, without mention of which everything else that he says instantly loses credibility. It is not leaks — what would the in-party do without leaks to blame? —  that […]

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NEWSLINK: “FBI’s Comey: Russia is ‘greatest threat of any nation on Earth’ to U.S. democratic process” – CNBC/ Jacob Pramuk

FBI Headquarters File Photo

“#FBI Director James #Comey told senators Wednesday that #Russia remains involved in American politics, saying he thinks the country poses the ‘greatest threat’ to the U.S. political process of any in the world. During a Senate Judiciary Committee oversight hearing, Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham – a foreign policy hawk – asked Comey ‘what kind of threat’ Russia presents ‘to the […]

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NEWSWATCH: “A shortage of women in technology? Not in Russia” – Washington Post/ Gene Marks

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If you’re part of the #technology industry in the United States, then you’ll no doubt agree it’s a man’s world. TechCrunch reported … on the ‘pipeline problem’ … 18 percent of undergraduate computer science degrees and 26 percent of computing jobs are … held by #women. … [and] five percent of leadership positions in the technology industry …. the share of women in […]

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NEWSWATCH: Transcript of AP interview with Trump (excerpt re: CrowdStrike)

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

[In an interview with AP, dated April 24, 2017, with an indication that it apparently took place Friday, April 21, 2017, President Donald Trump commented on Democratic National Committee cybersecurity problems and computer contractor CrowdStrike.] TRUMP: They [Democratic National Committee] shouldn’t have allowed it to get out. If they had the proper defensive devices on their internet, you know, equipment, they wouldn’t […]

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Election of Russian Academy of Sciences president set tentatively for Sept 27 – acting RAS President Kozlov

Kremlin and River

MOSCOW. March 28 (Interfax) – The election of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) president will most likely be held on September 27, 2017, acting RAS President Valery Kozlov said on Tuesday. “We are preparing and we will be preparing a general assembly, it will most apparently be held at the end of September of this year. Moreover, the [RAS] […]

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RUSSIALINK TASS: “Russian-US experiment to simulate outer space mission named SIRIUS”

Space in Low Earth Orbit with Partial Sun

“A series of joint experiments by NASA and the Moscow-based Institute of Medical and Biological Problems (IMBP) to simulate a flight to the outer space was named SIRIUS, an acronym for Scientific International Research In Unique Terrestrial Station. …”

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NEWSWATCH: “Russia cannot live with the west – or without it; Technological backwardness increases its dependence on liberal democracies” – Financial Times/Lilia Shevtsova

File Photo of G7 Leaders and other Officials Around Round Table at the Hague, with Flags

“Great power status and the desire for external domination have long been central components of the Russian system of personalised power. … With diminishing resources, the Kremlin has increasingly resorted to intimidating … liberal democracies into accepting Russia’s grand ambitions. At the same time, the country has to wrestle with … how to preserve its role as a global power without […]

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Interfax: Lifting of some restrictions from FSB confirms Trump’s intention to normalize relations with Russia – former FSB Director Kovalyov

Portion of U.S. Treasury Department Building Facade, North Side, with Sculpture of Alexander Hamilton

MOSCOW. Feb 9 (Interfax) – The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s decision to drop some restrictions imposed earlier on the issuance of licenses and permits to export computer technologies to Russia shows that the Donald Trump administration is consistent in its efforts to normalize cooperation with Russia, Nikolai Kovalyov, a State Duma deputy and former head of the Federal Security […]

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Catching up on the Russian interference in the election story

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Read Masha Gessen in the New York Review of Books: https://www.nybooks.com/daily/2017/01/09/russia-trump-election-flawed-intelligence/ Also the work of cyber security expert Jeffery Carr at Medium: https://medium.com/@jeffreycarr The work of Glenn Greenwald at The Intercept: https://theintercept.com/staff/glenn-greenwald/ A few interesting facts. NSA had only “moderate confidence” rather than “high confidence.” And NSA is the only group that could have hard evidence of a Russian connection. […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Moscow State University Board of Trustees meeting

Moscow State University file photo

(Kremlin.ru – January 25, 2017) Vladimir Putin chaired a meeting of the Moscow State University (MGU) Board of Trustees. On the agenda were the interim results of the programme for developing MGU through to 2020 and progress in developing the Vorobyovy Gory science and technology cluster. Other items on the agenda included developing fundamental science and the higher education system […]

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Leonid Bershidsky: U.S. Intelligence Got the Wrong Cyber Bear

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(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Leonid Bershidsky – January 2, 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. [Text with links here bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-01-02/u-s-intelligence-got-the-wrong-cyber-bear] The “Russian hacking” story in the U.S. has gone too far. That it’s not based on any solid public evidence, and […]

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RUSSIALINK Sputnik News: “Siberian Physicists Ready for Next Step Toward Free Nuclear Energy”

Radioactivity Symbol

“Scientists of the Siberia-based Institute of nuclear physics (INP) are planning to complete the first stage of their work on the development of an alternative fusion reactor, a project which is considerably more commercially attractive than the international thermonuclear experimental reactor (ITER).”  

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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

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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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Kremlin announces new personnel decisions in connection with election of officials to Russian Academy of Sciences

Dmitry Peskov file photo adapted from image at kremlin.ru/wikimedia commons

MOSCOW. Nov 28 (Interfax) – More personnel decisions will be made in connection with the election of officials as corresponding members and academicians of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Russian presidential press officer Dmitry Peskov said. “Some more personnel decisions are sure to be made,” Peskov told reporters, responding to a question as to why not all officials who were […]

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NEWSLINK DailyBeast: “Sorry, Hillary Clinton Fans. There’s ‘Zero Evidence’ of Election Hacking.”

Multilingual Polling Place Sign from U.S. Election Polling Place

“Democrats cried hallelujah when computer scientists reportedly pressed Hillary Clinton ask for recounts. But even those experts say an election hack is beyond unlikely.”

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NEWSWATCH: “Warning Russia on Hacking Isn’t Enough” – New York Times Editorial

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… A stronger White House response would begin with … Obama revealing more information about how the hacking was done and by whom. He could also … disclose Russian computer codes, embarrass wealthy Kremlin officials by exposing their overseas bank accounts and even disable Russian networks. … impose sanctions on Russians … responsible for the hacking or on military leaders […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Meeting of the 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 – November 23, 2016) Vladimir Putin chaired a meeting of the Presidential Council for Science and Education. The draft National Science and Technology Development Strategy was the main item on the agenda. The President gave the instruction to draft the strategy in June 2015. The Education and Science Ministry was responsible for drafting the document and the Centre for […]

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Russian Communications Expert Says Kremlin Is Hacker-Proof

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – November 21, 2016) The Kremlin’s vital information systems are impervious to hacking, according to Sergei Plugotarenko, director of the Russian Association for Electronic Communications. In an interview with the state-run TASS news agency, Plugotarenko explained that the Kremlin’s systems are divided into separate tiers, external and internal, with the latter housing critical information which might […]

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Kudrin’s 13 Points about What Russia Must Do to Overcome Its Backwardness

Alexei Kudrin file photo

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, November 21, 2016) At the conclusion of the All-Russian Civic Forum, Aleksey Kudrin, the head of the Civic Initiatives Committee, outlined his ideas about what Russia needs to do over the next 20 years to avoid disaster and return to modernization and democracy. Znak’s Dmitry Kolesev has organized them as 13 theses. […]

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RUSSIALINK TASS: “Putin: Russia to embark on new technological trends for transition to new economy”

Artist's Conception of Nanotechnology Components

“Russian President Vladimir Putin is certain that Russia must sense and embark on the newest trends in science and engineering to make transition to a new economy.”  

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NEWSLINK Newsweek: “U.S. MULLING RETALIATORY CYBER ATTACK AGAINST RUSSIA: REPORT”

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

The Obama administration has asked the CIA to deliver options on possible retaliatory cyber attacks on Russia designed to “embarrass” the country’s leadership, NBC News reports. Unnamed sources who NBC says have direct knowledge of the conversations say no decisions have been made on the style and scope of any attack, but the CIA has “reams of documents that could […]

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NEWSLINK New York Times: “Biden Hints at U.S. Response to Russia for Cyberattacks (excerpt) [Putin and Lavrov confess?]”

File Photo of Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin in front of U.S. Flag and Russian Flag

“… Biden was asked whether the United States was preparing to send a message to … Russian president … Putin. Days before, the American intelligence agencies and the Department of Homeland Security declared that the Russian leadership was responsible for attacks on the Democratic National Committee and the leaking of stolen emails. ‘We’re sending a message,’ Mr. Biden told Chuck […]

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NEWSLINK War on the Rocks/Joshua Foust: “CAN FANCY BEAR BE STOPPED? THE CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER OF RUSSIAN INFO OPS”

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“Russia is engaged in an unprecedented, sophisticated attack on the American political system. Defeating it won’t be easy.”

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NEWSLINK Demokratizatsiya: The Journal of Post-Soviet Democratization/Simon Saradzhyan: “Is #Russia Declining?”

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

Abstract: This article measures changes in #Russia’s performance in economic, technological, military, and human capital domains and compares this performance to those of five of the West’s leading powers, the United States, Great Britain, France, Germany, and Italy, as well as to the world as a whole (wherever possible), to test the hypothesis that Russia has declined versus its Western […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Russian scientists bracing for massive job losses” – Science/ Vladimir Pokrovsky

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

Russia’s scientific community is reeling from news that the government plans to fire about 10,000 researchers over the next 3 years. Most layoffs would be from Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) institutes …. The staff cuts, representing about 17% of RAS’s 49,000-strong workforce, are the latest move in a controversial and painful effort to overhaul the academy. The Federal Agency […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Meeting with students taking part in International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC)

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(Kremlin.ru – June 20, 2016) Vladimir Putin met with students participating in the International Collegiate Programming Contest. The President congratulated the contest participants. One Russian team won the competition and four others were among the top ten. Mr Putin thanked the students and their teachers for their work and wished them success in future competitions and in their future work. […]

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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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