RUSSIALINK: “Russia’s SVR: Allegations regarding concentration of forces in Russia for invading Ukraine ‘absolutely false'” – Interfax

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

MOSCOW. Nov 22 (Interfax) – The allegations that Russia has concentrated substantial forces to launch a military invasion of Ukraine are “absolutely false,” the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) said on Monday. “The press office of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service states that Washington-based officials have lately been actively scaring the international community with Russia’s alleged preparations for ‘aggression’ against […]

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Russian Analyst Involved In Salacious Trump Dossier Pleads Innocent To Lying To FBI

FBI Headquarters File Photo

A U.S.-based Russian analyst who gathered information for the so-called Steele Dossier alleging ties between Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and Russia pleaded innocent to charges of lying to FBI agents […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Analyst who aided Trump-Russia dossier charged with lying” – AP

FBI Headquarters File Photo

“… Russian analyst [Igor Danchenko,] who contributed to … Democratic-funded research into ties between Russia and Donald Trump[,] was arrested … on charges of lying to the FBI about his sources … among them a longtime supporter of Hillary Clinton. … [P]art of … [an] ongoing [special counsel] investigation[,] …. the indictment … endorse[s] a longstanding concern … that opposition […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “CIA director brings up Russian hackers at talks in Moscow – sources” – Reuters

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

Burns’ trip coincided with developments in both countries that highlighted their tensions over cybersecurity, where no progress has been reported […]

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Fake About Fakes: Russian Election Commission Airs Apparently Falsified Video Sullying Its Critics

Russian State Duma Building file photo

In a separate development, tens of thousands of pro-government bloggers participated in a coordinated campaign to spread positive reports about the course of the parliamentary elections […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Moscow To Check Electronic Votes for State Duma in Recount” – Moscow Times

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

Independent data scientists and analysts said that half of all the votes attributed to United Russia in the official results were probably fake — a level of falsification previously unseen in Russian parliamentary elections [. ..]

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Russia Says Ukraine Organized Gas Pipeline Attack In Crimea

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

(Oilprice.com – Charles Kennedy – Sept. 7, 2021) Russia accused on Tuesday Ukraine’s military intelligence of having organized an attack on a natural gas pipeline in Crimea at the end of last month, in another escalation of tensions between Moscow and Kyiv. Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine back in 2014, straining the bilateral relations between one of Europe’s key natural […]

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British Researchers Say Pro-Russian Influence Operation Targets Western News Websites

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

The websites of several prominent Western news outlets have been targeted by a pro-Russian influence operation that uses the websites’ comment sections to distort public opinion […]

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Free Russia Foundation: “New Report on the Kremlin’s Malign Influence Inside the U.S.”

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

Subject: New Report on the Kremlin’s Malign Influence Inside the US Date: Fri, 13 Aug 2021 From: Natalya Lunde <natalyaa@4freerussia.org> Free Russia Foundation releases a new report The Kremlin’s Malign Influence Inside the United States edited by Michael Weiss. 4freerussia.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/TheKremlinsMalignInfluenceInsidetheUS.pdf The report’s chapters take a close look at: The Kremlin’s Interference in the US Energy Sector Investments in Critical Infrastructure […]

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

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

(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

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

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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The Dzerzhinsky Discord: Who Will Fill the Vacancy in Lubyanka Square?

FSB Headquarters file photo

(PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo – Maria Lipman – March 19, 2021) Maria Lipman is an affiliate of the Institute for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies (IERES) and the Program on New Approaches to Research and Security in Eurasia (PONARS Eurasia) at George Washington University. For about a decade, negative, anti-Western, and anti-liberal ideological trends have been on the rise in […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia Recalls Its Ambassador to the U.S. for Consultations” – Wall Street Journal

Cropped File Photo of Anatoly Antonov with U.S. Flag, adapted from image at state.gov

“Moscow’s move follows a critical U.S. intelligence report about Russian efforts to interfere in the 2020 presidential election.” “… [Russian Ambassador to the United States] Anatoly Antonov[‘s] … summon[ing] to Moscow came … after a U.S. intelligence report … accus[ing] … Putin of … a wide-ranging influence operation to interfere in the 2020 U.S. election …. Antonov was … previously […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “About the Kremlin Propaganda — Our Democracy Needs To Be Protected” – Bild

Brandeburg Gate in Berlin, Germany, file photo adapted from image at state.gov

“As a dictator, … Putin has continued what he failed to do as a KGB agent in the GDR [East Germany] … his fight against a freedom-loving Germany and a united Europe. For years, Putin has been running riot with impunity in [Germany]. … buying off influential ex-politicians with lucrative oil projects, such as Nord Stream 2. … support[ing] the […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “CIA Nominee Burns Promises Spying Focus on China, Seeing ‘Adversarial, Predatory’ Regime” – Wall Street Journal/ Warren P. Strobel

File Photo of Beijing Temple, adapted from image at lbl.gov

“Veteran diplomat pledges to deliver bad news to policy makers, after senators note tumult of Trump years.” “[The nominee] pick[ed] to … lead the Central Intelligence Agency told lawmakers he would intensify the spy agency’s focus on China, calling ‘an adversarial, predatory Chinese leadership’ the U.S.’s ‘biggest geopolitical test.’ … William J. Burns said …. ‘For CIA, that will mean […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: NEW BOOK: “Striking Back: Overt and Covert Options to Combat Russian Disinformation” – Jamestown Foundation/ Thomas Kent

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

Disinformation by Russia and its allies has increased sharply … Western responses have been weak and uncoordinated … Striking Back presents concrete recommendations for aggressive messaging to combat Russian disinformation […]

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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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JRL NEWSWATCH: “It’s Trump’s Last Chance to Declassify These Secrets of the Russia Collusion Dud” – Real Clear Investigations/Aaron Maté

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

“… [V]oluminous public records – including investigative reports from … Mueller, Congress and … [DOJ’s] inspector general – have established that Trump and his associates were targeted with a baseless Russian collusion allegation. … fraudulent claim[s] originat[ing] with the Hillary Clinton campaign … fueled by … false or deceptive intelligence leaks … improperly investigated by the FBI, potentially to the […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Political appointees, career analysts clashed over assessments of Russian, Chinese interference in 2020 election” – Washington Post/ Ellen Nakashima

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

“… [P]olitical appointees clashed with career intelligence analysts over the extent to which Russia and China interfered or sought to interfere in the 2020 election, … each side accusing the other of politicization, according to a report by … Barry A. Zulauf, … [ODNI] ‘analytic ombudsman’ …, describ[ing] an intelligence community afflicted by a ‘widespread perception in the workforce about […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Navalny Extracts Poisoning Confession From Alleged FSB Agent on Trick Call” – Moscow Times

File Photo of Alexei Navalny Marching on Street with Others in Background; adapted from image at commons.wikimedia.org with credit to Evgeny Feldman, subject to Creative Commons license; original image at commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:FEV_1795_(cropped1).jpg, with license information at creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.en and creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/legalcode

Leading Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny said … he tricked one of the several security officers linked to his poisoning into outlining the details of the operation […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Aleksei Navalny, Ready to Run Again in Russia” – The New York Review of Books/ Amy Knight

File Photo of Alexei Navalny Marching on Street with Others in Background; adapted from image at commons.wikimedia.org with credit to Evgeny Feldman, subject to Creative Commons license; original image at commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:FEV_1795_(cropped1).jpg, with license information at creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.en and creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/legalcode

“The Russian opposition politician, who narrowly escaped death by nerve agent poisoning, remains undeterred from challenging Putin’s hegemony.” “Though not yet restored to full health, … Navalny is recovering in Germany from the poisoning that almost killed him … preparing to return to Russia to continue his fight for democracy. … Not surprisingly, the Kremlin has refused to initiate a […]

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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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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Navalny Says He is Breathing on His Own in a Message From His Hospital Bed; The poisoned Russian opposition leader plans to return to Russia, his spokeswoman says.” – New York Times/ Katrin Bennhold, Michael Schwirtz

File Photo of Alexei Navalny Marching on Street with Others in Background; adapted from image at commons.wikimedia.org with credit to Evgeny Feldman, subject to Creative Commons license; original image at commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:FEV_1795_(cropped1).jpg, with license information at creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.en and creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/legalcode

“… The message came hours after a senior German security official … [said] Navalny was awake, alert and had told German prosecutors that he was refusing to cooperate with a Russian inquiry into his case. He also vowed … to return to Russia as soon as possible to continue his work. … German officials now say they have almost no […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “U.S. commander says evidence hasn’t corroborated intelligence of Russian bounties on U.S. troops” – The Hill/ John Bowden

Afghanistan Map of Ethnicities

“The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan says … he has not seen evidence to corroborate claims that Russian officials placed bounties on U.S. troops … in the Middle East. … Gen. Frank McKenzie said … reports in The New York Times and other media … indicating that U.S. intelligence officials were investigating reports that Russia was offering bounties to Taliban […]

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Russian Interior Ministry Wants To Question Navalny In Germany

File Photo of Alexei Navalny Marching on Street with Others in Background; adapted from image at commons.wikimedia.org with credit to Evgeny Feldman, subject to Creative Commons license; original image at commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:FEV_1795_(cropped1).jpg, with license information at creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.en and creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/legalcode

Russia’s Interior Ministry wants to question … Navalny in Berlin, where he is being treated after German doctors reported “unequivocal evidence” … he was poisoned with … military-grade nerve agent Novichok, contradicting … Russian counterparts who said they … found no trace of poison […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Navalny Recovering From ‘Deadlier, Slower-Acting’ Novichok Variant – Report” – Moscow Timess

File Photo of Alexei Navalny Marching on Street with Others in Background; adapted from image at commons.wikimedia.org with credit to Evgeny Feldman, subject to Creative Commons license; original image at commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:FEV_1795_(cropped1).jpg, with license information at creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.en and creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/legalcode

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Sept. 10, 2020) Leading Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny was poisoned with a new, deadlier variant of military-grade nerve agent Novichok, the German weekly Die Zeit reported Wednesday. Hours after the Die Zeit report, The Insider news website reported, citing anonymous sources, that Navalny, 44, has almost completely recovered after falling violently ill on a flight […]

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The Role of Russian Espionage in Re-Shaping the West

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

… This brings me to the most critical point about the book. Instead of referencing sources for various claims and assertions, the author provides notes … at the end …. Despite the fallacy of the incomplete evidence, Harding’s hypothesis is embraced enthusiastically by many […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Security strongmen take on key role in Russian Arctic policy” – The Barents Observer (Norway)/ Atle Staalesen

Arctic Map

“The Russian Security Council is given an expanded position in the management of national interests in the Arctic.” “According to a[n] [Aug. 25] decree signed by … Putin … the [Russian] Security Council is to establish a special commission … promot[ing] Russian national interests in the far northern region[,] [a]mong its responsibilities … ‘analysis of the international and social-economic situation […]

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With Navalny Poisoning Confirmed, Focus Turns To With What And By Whom

File Photo of Alexei Navalny Marching on Street with Others in Background; adapted from image at commons.wikimedia.org with credit to Evgeny Feldman, subject to Creative Commons license; original image at commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:FEV_1795_(cropped1).jpg, with license information at creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.en and creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/legalcode

For five days now, Russian anti-corruption activist Aleksei Navalny has been comatose, medically induced into unconsciousness in an effort to keep his body from shutting down […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH:”FSB admits to ‘close’ surveillance of Russian opposition activist Navalny, who was medivaced to Berlin after suspected poison attack” – bne Intellinews/ Ben Aris

File Photo of Alexei Navalny Marching on Street with Others in Background; adapted from image at commons.wikimedia.org with credit to Evgeny Feldman, subject to Creative Commons license; original image at commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:FEV_1795_(cropped1).jpg, with license information at creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.en and creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/legalcode

“… Navalny arrived at Berlin’s Charité hospital … in a police convoy from Tegel Airport and remains under heavy guard with three cordons of police …. [after] nearly two days in [the] [Omsk] hospital …. The [FSB] statement … surprising in … [its] level of detail … throw[s] … light on just how heavily Navalny’s movements are monitored …. admitt[ing] […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Don’t Drink the Tea: Poison Is a Favored Weapon in Russia” – New York Times/ Andrew E. Kramer

Artist Rendition of Barrel with Poison Symbol on It, Oozing Green Material

“Poison has been a preferred tool of the Russian security service for more than a century, and critics of the Kremlin say it remains in the arsenal today.” “… [O]ther countries … have targeted killing programs … limited to counterterrorism …. [yet] Russia … has been accused of targeting a wide variety of opponents both at home and abroad. The […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Why Would Vladimir Putin Want to Get Rid of Aleksei Navalny Now? The unchanging leader of the regime is Mr. Putin; the unchanging leader of the opposition is Mr. Navalny. But everything changes.” – New York Times/ Oleg Kashin

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

“… [In] [a] heart-rending video … one of the [plane’s] passengers … capture[d] … Navalny’s groans and cries of pain. They sounded like the screams of a dying man. … If the Russian government has now decided to get rid of … Navalny, that suggests … some new political configuration in which there is no longer a need for any […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “The Suspected Poisoning of Alexey Navalny, Putin’s Most Prominent Adversary” – The New Yorker/ Masha Gessen

File Photo of Alexei Navalny Marching on Street with Others in Background; adapted from image at commons.wikimedia.org with credit to Evgeny Feldman, subject to Creative Commons license; original image at commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:FEV_1795_(cropped1).jpg, with license information at creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.en and creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/legalcode

“Alexey Navalny … creator of Russia’s leading alternative-media outlet and its only real political organization, is now in a coma in the Siberian city of Omsk. [An] anti-corruption blogger[,] … for years [Navalny] has been … Putin’s only formidable opponent[,] … [i.e., Putin’s] only adversary who has remained in Russia, stayed active, and maintained prominence despite repeated attacks from the […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Unwanted Truths: Inside Trump’s Battles With U.S. Intelligence Agencies” – New York Times Magazine/ Robert Draper

DNI Seal and Smaller Seals of Agencies Related to DNI

“Last year, intelligence officials gathered to write a classified report on Russia’s interest in the 2020 election. An investigation from the magazine uncovered what happened next.” “… the O.D.N.I. at last acknowledged publicly that Russia ‘is using a range of measures to primarily denigrate … Biden and what it sees as an anti-Russia “establishment.”‘ … also assert[ing] for the first […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Chat Group Becomes Target of Moscow’s Wrath as Security Crackdown Widens” – New York Times/ Andrew Higgins

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

“The group started out as an online discussion of hobbies, schoolwork and sometimes politics. But then it was infiltrated by an informer for Russia’s all-powerful security services.” “… [T]he chat group … was joined by a new member who promoted unusually strident views … and pushed to turn the online chatter into a political movement …. [He] gave his name […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “There Is No Russian Plot Against America; The Kremlin’s Electoral Interference Is All Madness and No Method” – Foreign Affairs/ Anna Arutunyan

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

“… Researchers and investigators have revealed … activities of [Kremlin-connected] Russian actors … during the 2016 election. … [yet with] comparatively little information about the real impact[,] … still less about … precise objectives. … Russian officials say and write a great deal about the United States …. What emerges is not a cunning, systematic scheme to corrode American democracy […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “New FBI Notes Re-Debunk Major NYT Story, Highlight Media Collusion To Produce Russia Hoax” – The Federalist/ Mollie Hemingway

FBI Headquarters File Photo

“The New York Times in 2017 falsely reported that the Trump campaign had ‘repeated’ contacts with Russian intelligence officials during the 2016 campaign, and instead of being held accountable for publishing lies, the story’s authors received Pulitzer prizes.” “The FBI official who ran the investigation into whether the … Trump campaign colluded with Russia to steal the 2016 presidential election […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Drew Holden: Remember the Steele dossier? ….” – twitter post

U.S. Capitol in Bright Sunlight

Remember the Steele dossier?  … Now that its been thoroughly discredited, anyone care for a trip down memory lane about how folks in the media hyped it up because it made Trump look bad? […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “The Unasked FBI Question: Why? G-men rightly debunked the Steele dossier. And then peddled it anyway.” – Wall Street Journal/ Holman W. Jenkins, Jr.

FBI Headquarters File Photo

“New revelations … more emphatically underline a question nobody seems willing to ask: Why did the FBI fan a Russia collusion confabulation that it knew was unfounded, false and baseless? The obvious answer is not so much rejected as turned away from: because the FBI, and specifically … Comey, had a powerful interest in changing the subject from … Comey’s […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “What does the Russia report mean for British people and politics? Luke Harding considers the implications of the report on Moscow’s meddling” – The Guardian

File Photo of British Parliament Building, Big Ben, Thames, adapted from image at loc.gov

“… The Russia report accuses the government of failing to investigate Russian interference in British politics, in particular during the 2016 EU referendum. The Commons intelligence and security committee[] … says Downing Street showed a ‘lack of curiosity’ over Kremlin meddling. … [not] say[ing] whether this complacency was deliberate or an omission[,] [e]ither way … a stunning rebuke of Boris […]

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Russian Opposition Must Talk with Siloviki and Attract Them to Its Side, Gallyamov Says

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, July 15, 2020) Up to now, Russian protests have focused all their attention on Vladimir Putin as if he were the only person who matters; and in the regions, where they have on occasion focused on governors, they have done so because they view the governors as a kind of stand in […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russian Authorities Are Targeting Journalists, Historians and Activists. The Rest of Us Could Be Next” – Moscow Times/ Ilya Klishin

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

What’s going on? Nobody knows, but this time it really is scary […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “British court rules against Christopher Steele, orders damages paid to businessmen named in dossier” – JustTheNews/ John Solomon

File Photos of Law Books and Gavel, adapted from image at fjc.gov

“Court rules Steele’s firm violated Britain’s data privacy law by failing to aggressively check allegations in his dossier.” “A British judge ruled … that Christopher Steele violated a data privacy law by failing to check the accuracy of information in his infamous dossier, ordering the former spy’s firm[,] … Orbis Business Intelligence, to pay … [the equivalent of] about $22,596 […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Famous ex-defence reporter arrested, accused of treason” – bne Intellinews

FSB Building file photo

“In what appears to be an escalating crackdown on Russian journalists by the Federal Security Service (FSB), famous defence reporter Ivan Safronov was arrested … and charged with treason. He faces up to 20 years in jail if convicted. The arrest is only the latest of a series of arrests and cases brought against leading Russian journalists who have simply […]

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What Does Russia Want In Afghanistan?

Afghanistan Map of Ethnicities

… Trump tweeted that the intelligence reports were not deemed credible and the Kremlin and the Taliban have rejected reports alleging that officers of the GRU – Russia’s foreign military intelligence — either paid or offered money for killing American soldiers […]

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