Putin Says Russia Is Ready To Hand Over Cybercriminals, But Only If U.S. Does The Same

Gas Pump File Photo with Nozzle in Car

… a cybercriminal group that U.S. authorities said operates from Russia penetrated a pipeline operator on the U.S. East Coast, locking its systems and demanding a ransom. … caus[ing] a shutdown … [leading] to a spike in gas prices, panic buying, and localized fuel shortages […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia Raises Rates Amid Standoff With West, Signs of Covid-19 Economic Recovery; Central bank increases its main interest rate by 50 basis points to 5%” – Wall Street Journal

Cash, Calculator, Pen

“… The Bank of Russia raised its main rate to 5% from 4.5% …. [saying] it expected inflation to be higher than previously anticipated, citing a rebound in demand as Russia’s Covid-19 vaccination program progressed. … The central bank signaled concern about other developments …. follow[ing] [U.S. sanctions] bar[ring] U.S. banks and institutional investors from buying new Russian government ruble-denominated […]

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Punitive Response to SolarWinds Would Be Misplaced, But Cyber Deterrence Still Matters

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(Russia Matters – russiamatters.org – Erica D. Borghard – March 31, 2021) Erica D. Borghard is a senior fellow with the New American Engagement Initiative at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. She also serves as a senior director on the U.S. Cyberspace Solarium Commission. This op-ed is part of a new debate from Russia Matters and […]

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U.S. Response to SolarWinds Cyber Penetrations: A Good Defense Is the Best Offense

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According to U.S. officials, Russia is the likely perpetrator of the SolarWinds cyber compromise of federal agencies, private sector firms, NGOs and academic institutions […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Biden faces first foreign policy test with Russian balancing act; White House seeks arms control pact even as it warns of consequences for Navalny arrest” – Financial Times/ Katrina Manson, Henry Foy, Lauren Fedor

Russian Mobile ICBM Parade File Photo

“… the White House said … it wanted a straight extension of [New START for five years,] a nuclear arms control agreement … fac[ing] imminent expiry …. even as incoming officials have condemned … the Kremlin’s [reputedly] most aggressive anti-western actions in years. … U.S. security services [recently] uncovered a massive cyber-espionage attack on U.S. government computers … blamed on […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Putin explains why AI cannot yet run country” – Interfax

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While the role of artificial intelligence (AI) in public administration is bound to grow, a machine cannot yet be the leader of a state, … Putin […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Moscow Plans Expanded Social Credit-Style Tracking System – Open Media” – Moscow Times

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Moscow plans to track its residents’ “loyalty” with detailed digital profiles […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Call Putin’s Bluff on Election Interference; The United States Should Take Russia Up on Its Offer to Sign a Pledge” – Foreign Affairs/ Anna Arutunyan

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

“The Kremlin has … pushed proposals for the United States and Russia to work together to protect elections against hacking …. Putin expanded the proposal into a package deal: the two countries would pledge not to interfere in each other’s internal political processes, and they would also restore dialogue, devise a mechanism to prevent cyberattacks, and share information on cybersecurity. […]

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RUSSIALINK: Moscow Times: “U.S. Spams Russians With Texts Offering Rewards for Election Meddling Info”

File Image of Artist's Rendition of Cellphones, adapted from image at nih.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Aug. 7, 2020) Russians are receiving spam text messages offering huge rewards in exchange for information about their country’s efforts to interfere in the United States’ presidential election. News of the SMS messages came after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the $10 million reward in an attempt to prevent foreign interference in the […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “To Secure the Election: Tame the Russian Bear in Cyberspace” – Council on Foreign Relations/ Scott Jasper

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“As the U.S. presidential election approaches, U.S. Cyber Command will have to consider tougher measures to impose costs that change Russia’s behavior in cyberspace.” “… As it weighs its options, Cyber Command will undoubtedly conduct thorough planning and risk assessments that consider the possibility of Russian retaliation and discovery or reuse of exploits that the command uses against it. That […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russian Criminal Group Finds New Target: Americans Working at Home” – New York Times/ David E. Sanger, Nicole Perlroth

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

A hacking group calling itself Evil Corp., indicted in December, has shown up in corporate networks with sophisticated ransomware. American officials worry election infrastructure could be next […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “What’s being done to stop Russia’s election interference?” – PBS

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

“Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election has been well documented, and evidence shows Russia is again trying to undermine the 2020 election. But what is the federal government doing to stop it? Richard Hasen, founder of the Election Law Blog and author of “Election Meltdown: Dirty Tricks, Distrust, and the Threat to American Democracy,” joins Hari Sreenivasan to […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Alexander Galitsky: From Soviet Engineer to Libertarian Investor; The father of the Russian internet tells The Moscow Times he wants to kill all borders and warns that society is falling behind technology.” – Moscow Times

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Jake Cordell – February 21, 2020) “If you ask me, I would say ‘kill borders’ – they don’t need to exist at all,” says Alexander Galitsky, pushing his closed notebook to the side as he warms to his topic. “All these borders and all these rules exist only for politicians. We don’t have borders with […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Cold War in Cyberspace; Western military hackers have penetrated Russian targets, from tech giants to the nationwide power grid, reports say” – Transitions Online/ Ky Krauthamer

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“… a U.S. Senate report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election … relayed intelligence assessments that Russian government hackers scanned electoral systems in all 50 states, looking for weaknesses …. Russian meddling reportedly continued as the 2018 midterm elections neared … [DHS indicated that there were] ‘numerous actors … regularly targeting election infrastructure, likely for different purposes, including […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “NSA Forms Cybersecurity Directorate Under More Assertive U.S. Effort; Anne Neuberger, tapped as head, warns against ‘not engaging in the fight'” – Wall Street Journal/ Dustin Volz

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“[NSA] will create a cybersecurity directorate later this year as part of a wider effort to more closely align the agency’s offensive and defensive operations, U.S. officials said. Anne Neuberger has been tapped to lead the new directorate, slated to become operational Oct. 1. The creation of the directorate and selection of … Neuberger coincide with a broader fusion of […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia and China; Partnership is much better for China than it is for Russia; Just how much better might not become clear for a few years yet” – The Economist

Asia Map

“[Compared to Russia,] … China[‘s] economy is six times larger (at purchasing-power parity) … its power is growing … as Russia’s fades. … Russia is evolving into a Chinese tributary. … Russia is still a nuclear-weapons state with a permanent seat on the [UNSC]…. It has modernised its armed forces and, as in Syria, is not afraid to use them. […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “‘Accountability’? The Mueller Hearing Is How Trump Escapes” – The New Yorker/ Susan B. Glasser

“After so much waiting – a hundred and twenty-four days, to be precise, since Robert Mueller’s report was delivered – perhaps it was bound to be a disappointment. Still, three hours after the former special counsel took the witness stand on Wednesday to testify about his investigation of President Trump and Russian interference in the 2016 election … MSNBC anchor […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Mueller gave a warning on Russian meddling. Congress – and America – should listen” – Washington Post

“… Mueller said Russia’s interference is continuing and will be repeated in the 2020 presidential election. ‘Over the course of my career, I have seen a number of challenges to our democracy,’ … Mueller said. ‘The Russian government’s effort to interfere in our election is among the most serious.’ He added: ‘They’re doing it as we sit here, and they […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia in the Gray Zone” – Aspen Institute/ Kathleen Hicks

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

“… Russia is waging campaigns … [to influence world affairs with a] significant number of … tactics … [falling] between routine statecraft and direct and open warfare …. Americans … familiar with Russia’s disinformation efforts in the United States and its use of ‘little green men’ in Ukraine … may be less attuned to stepped-up Russian political and economic coercion […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russian internet giant Yandex takes rare stand against state snooping” – Christian Science Monitor/ Fred Weir

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

“The primacy of Russia’s security state is beginning to crimp the global growth of the country’s information technology sector. That could foretell hard choices for the government over what it will prioritize.” “Russia has always been some version of a national security state, in which individuals, companies, and other group interests are expected to unquestioningly submit to the needs and […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russian technology: can the Kremlin control the internet? Moscow is developing a ‘sovereign’ web that critics say will enhance official power to silence dissent” – Financial Times/ Max Seddon, Henry Foy

File Image of Artist's Conception of Globe with Curved Connecting Lines of Light Passing Through Space, adapted from image at fincen.gov

“… Activists fear Ingushetia’s blackouts could be repeated across Russia thanks to a law signed by … Putin in May. * * * … Half of Russia’s internet traffic passes through an unassuming 19-storey high rise in southwestern Moscow … hous[ing] MSK-IX [data center], the largest of the country’s internet exchange points. … the physical point of contact for over […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Trump Suggests He Authorized Cyber Attack on Russia: ‘It Happened During My Administration'” – Mediaite/ Connor Mannion

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“[In an interview to air Sunday,] … Trump hinted to Fox[] … that he authorized a cyber attack against Russia …. ‘It’s been reported this year that you personally authorized a cyber attack on Russia around the time of the midterms last year in order to stop them meddling in the midterm election,’ [Steve] Hilton asked referring to a report […]

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A Cyber Treaty With Russia

File Image of Artist's Conception of Globe with Curved Connecting Lines of Light Passing Through Space, adapted from image at fincen.gov

“… Opening a discussion about setting boundaries for cyber activity going forward … need not be seen as weakness or folly. It is precisely when bilateral relations are plumbing new depths, and there seems to be no hope for improvement, that our professional national security establishments must engage. …”

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JRL NEWSWATCH VIDEO: “When the Mueller report shows Trump didn’t collude with Russia, will anyone be punished?” – Fox News/ Tucker Carlson 3.21.19

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

“… Once the Mueller report appears, and it becomes incontrovertible that whatever his faults, Donald Trump did not collude with the Russians, the many people who have persistently claimed on the basis of no evidence that he did collude with the Russians, ought to be punished. …”

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NEWSLINK: “Is Mueller taking orders from Russia?” – American Thinker/ Taylor Day

Robert Mueller file photo, adapted from image at fbi.gov

“… Though he was an integral part of the sketchy deal that delivered a considerable amount of uranium to Russia, and as I’m forever the silver-lining kind of girl, it would be charming if Democrats came full circle and investigated Mueller for his own involvement with Russia. …”

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Russian Bill On ‘Autonomous Operation’ Of Internet Advances In Duma

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(Article text ©2019 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – February 12, 2019 – article text also appeared at rferl.org/a/russian-bill-on-autonomous-operation-of-internet-advances-in-duma/29765882.html) Russia’s lower house of parliament has given preliminary approval to a bill that backers say is designed to ensure the operation of the Internet in Russia if access to servers located abroad is cut off. The legislation, which critics […]

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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: “Behind Russia’s cyberwarfare lies a serious case of cyber-phobia” – Washington Post/ Lincoln Pigman

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

“… Russia grapples with its own deep cyber insecurity. Notwithstanding their bold moves in cyberspace, Russia’s leaders have spent much of the last decade panicking about cyber tools and the prospect of falling victim to their use by foreign adversaries. To be sure, the Kremlin isn’t worried that U.S. spies are hacking its voter systems. Rather, as my new study […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “The Steele dossier was planned as Hillary’s insurance policy” – Washington Times/ Larry O’Connor

FBI Headquarters File Photo

“… highly damaging text messages between FBI agent Peter Strzok and his paramour, FBI lawyer Lisa Page … [revealed] petty, vitriolic political diatribes while making decisions on the most sensitive investigations of the 2016 political season. Their hatred toward then-candidate … Trump … [and] contempt for his supporters gave reasonable observers every reason to question whether the Hillary Clinton email […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “America’s exposure to Russian information warfare; U.S. democracy remains inexcusably vulnerable to hijack” – Financial Times (UK) Editorial

American Flag and Partial View of U.S. Capitol Dome, adapted from image at aoc.gov

“Some now call it an ‘information world war.’ Whether Russia tipped the 2016 election to Donald Trump is unknowable. But it is no longer possible to deny that the Kremlin is waging a multi-pronged form of information warfare on western democracies. The problem is by no means confined to the U.S. Other democracies, including the UK, the Netherlands and Italy, […]

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NEWSLINK: “The ‘Global Cybercrime Problem’ Is Actually the ‘Russia Problem’; Convincing Putin that further attacks will trigger automatic, severe responses is the best path to deterrence.” – The Atlantic/ John P. Carlin

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

“John P. Carlin is the author of Dawn of the Code War: America’s Battle Against Russia, China, and the Rising Global Cyber Threat. He served as the assistant attorney general for national security at the Department of Justice and currently chairs the Aspen Institute’s Cyber & Technology Program.”  

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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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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Fred Weir on New York Times’ ‘Operation Infection'” – facebook.com/fred.weir

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

(Fred Weir (Christian Science Monitor) – Facebook – facebook.com/fred.weir – November 13, 2018) “This is pretty lurid stuff, very much a prime specimen of the information genre it is denouncing. Odd to find it in the New York Times; even during the Cold War it was left to less reputable platforms to hawk this kind of hyperventilating, conspiracy-laden polemic. For […]

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NEWSLINK: “Russia Seen Adopting New Tactics in U.S. Election Interference Efforts” – Reuters

Montage of Instagram, Twitter and Facebook Logos, adapted from image at nps.gov

“Russian agents believed to be connected to the government have been active in spreading divisive content and promoting extreme themes ahead of Tuesday’s U.S. mid-term elections, but they are working hard to cover their tracks, according to government investigators, academics and security firms. Researchers studying the spread of disinformation on Facebook, Twitter, Reddit and other platforms say the new, subtler […]

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NEWSLINK: “No Significant Foreign Interference Seen on Midterm Vote” – Wall Street Journal

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

“U.S. security officials and social media firms said Tuesday they spotted a limited amount of deliberate disinformation targeting the midterm election, but that they hadn’t observed any significant efforts to directly breach election infrastructure with cyberattacks. …”

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NEWSLINK: “Russia and the 2018 Midterms: Laying Out the Publicly Available Evidence” – RussiaMatters/ Mari Dugas, Natasha Yefimova-Trilling

U.S. Capitol in Bright Sunlight

“This week’s midterms offer a good opportunity for a status update on the latest evidence of Russian meddling in U.S. elections. Over the past six months, there has been no shortage of alarming warnings. In August, five of the country’s top national security officials spoke to reporters at the White House about the threat posed by Moscow and efforts to […]

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NEWSLINK: “Mystery of the Midterm Elections: Where Are the Russians?” – New York Times/ David E. Sanger

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“… From the cyberwar room that the Department of Homeland Security runs round the clock in a bland office building in Arlington, Va., to Microsoft’s threat-assessment center at the other end of the country, in Redmond, Wash., every form of digital radar is being focused on America’s election infrastructure — and particularly on the Russian military intelligence agency once known […]

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NEWSLINK: “Why It’s Still in Russia’s Interest to Mess With US Politics” – AP

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

PARIS – Sweeping accusations that the Kremlin tried to sway the 2016 U.S. election haven’t chastened Russian trolls, hackers and spies – and might even have emboldened them. U.S. officials and tech companies say Russians have continued online activity targeted at American voters during the campaign for Tuesday’s election, masquerading as U.S. institutions and creating faux-American social media posts to […]

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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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NEWSLINK: “Here Are The Issues Russian Trolls Are Using To Divide Americans Ahead Of The Midterm Elections; Russian-run social media accounts are still attempting to sow discord in the US, according to federal prosecutors, and they’re spending millions a year on the effort” – Buzzfeednews/Salvador Hernandez

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NEWSLINK: “Only You Can Defeat Vladimir Putin; Russian Interference With America Is Profound and Systematic, So the Best Self-Defense Is We, the People” – ZocaloPublicSquare/ Reed Johnson

Montage of Instagram, Twitter and Facebook Logos, adapted from image at nps.gov

“… By tampering with elections, hijacking social media platforms, and cranking out reams of bogus conspiracy theories and divisive propaganda, the Russian president and his intelligence operatives have been working overtime to destabilize rival governments and rile up their citizens against one another. With the midterm elections fast approaching, and the American public seething with partisan anger, a Zócalo/Japanese American […]

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NEWSLINK: “A Timeline Showing the Full Scale of Russia’s Unprecedented Interference in the 2016 Election, and Its Aftermath” – New York Times/KAREN YOURISH, LARRY BUCHANAN, DEREK WATKINS

New York Times Masthead from 1913 adapted from image at loc.gov

“It’s easy to lose the larger narrative of the Trump-Russia story …”

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NEWSLINK: “The Plot to Subvert an Election; Unraveling the Russia Story So Far” – New York Times/SCOTT SHANE, MARK MAZZETTI

New York Times Masthead from 1913 adapted from image at loc.gov

“For two years, Americans have tried to absorb the details of the 2016 attack -hacked emails, social media fraud, suspected spies – and President Trump’s claims that it’s all a hoax. The Times explores what we know and what it means.”

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Andrei Liakhov: “Short comment on Weir/Galeotti (Re: 2018-#157–Johnson’s Russia List item #1)” [Re: re New York Times: “Kremlin Sources Go Quiet, Leaving C.I.A. in the Dark About Putin’s Plans for Midterms”]

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

Subject: Short comment on Weir/Galeotti (Re: 2018-#157–Johnson’s Russia List item #1) Date: Wed, 29 Aug 2018 From: Andrei Liakhov <gaffriloff@yahoo.co.uk> Short comment on Weir/Galeotti What these two gentlemen miss in their assessment of the NYT totally improbable story is this: NYT was asked to publish this totally as a diversion for the Russian counter intelligence in an attempt to divert […]

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NEWSLINK: “Election security can’t wait. Someone should convince the White House.” – Washington Post Editorial

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

“… The bill might be more palatable to state elections officials wary of federal interference if it came with money for states to institute its mandates. But congressional Republicans have so far balked at the idea of ponying up any cash beyond the $380 million Congress already set aside for state election systems. …”

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TRANSCRIPT: “U.S. Strategy Toward the Russian Federation [Senate Testimony by Assistant Secretary of State A. Wess Mitchell” – State Department

Fille Photo of A. Wess Mitchell and Marshall Billingslea Sitting at Hearing Table, adapted from ee.usembassy.gov by Steve Welsh www.stevencwelsh.com :: www.stevencwelsh.info

US Department of State U.S. Strategy Toward the Russian Federation [https://www.state.gov/p/eur/rls/rm/2018/285247.htm] Remarks A. Wess Mitchell Assistant Secretary, Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs Senate Foreign Relations Committee Washington, DC August 21, 2018 As delivered Chairman Corker, Ranking Member Menendez, thank you for inviting me to testify today. If you’ll indulge me, I want to start with a piece of welcome […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “The U.S. needs to think about the unthinkable on cybersecurity” – Washington Post/Stewart Baker

Electrical Yard file photo

“The United States may have pioneered the idea of fighting wars in cyberspace, but it’s our adversaries who are using cyberattacks most effectively. To deter them, the country needs creative new ways to punish nations if they launch the devastating attacks that are within their grasp …. Russia has allegedly loaded U.S. electrical control systems with tools that could shut […]

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Moscow has Made ‘Unforgivable Mistake’ of Setting West against Russia for the Long Term, Shevtsova Says

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, August 15, 2018) The Russian regime has made “the unforgivable mistake” of acting against the West in ways that have made Russia a key part of the domestic politics of the U.S. and European countries and guaranteed that the West will continue its sanctions regime against Moscow for a long time to […]

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