A popular face-editing app developed in Russia is now catching the attention of the FBI. Senator Schumer is asking the FBI to investigate the app, as the app requires “full and irrevocable access to [users’] personal photos and data.”
Unsurprisingly, Julian Assange was never a journalist. New information details Assange’s central role in Russia’s 2016 election interference campaign. Assange is directly linked with working with Russian and other foreign hackers.
The fight for free and fair elections rages on in Russia. More than 1,000 people took to the streets of Moscow after several independent candidates for local office were removed from the ballot. Police arrested dozens of protesters.
Despite several warnings from the U.S., Turkey is moving forward with its purchase of the Russian S-400 missile system. Relations between Ankara and Washington are already poor, will the U.S. keep its word and sanction Turkey?
Senior U.S. and Russian diplomats met for talks in Helsinki. The talks centered on easing tensions between the countries, with a focus on Venezuela. Detained American Paul Whelan was also discussed. No progress has been made through the talks.
Tensions continue to rise between Russia and Georgia. Despite a parliamentary vote to impose sanctions, Putin will not sanction Georgia. Russia invaded Georgia in 2008 and still occupies two regions.
The Seth Rich conspiracy theory pushed so hard by Fox News hosts and Trump allies has Russian origins. New information reveals that Russia created the conspiracy theory to cover its tracks after hacking the DNC.
Donald Trump joked with Russian President Vladimir Putin that they should “get rid” of journalists as they met in public at the G-20 conference of world leaders in Osaka, Japan. Indicating toward the journalists in the room, Trump said, “Get rid of them. Fake news is a great term, isn’t it? You don’t have this problem in Russia but we do.”
Election officials in North Carolina and Maryland are probing whether top voting system vendors are foreign-owned and demanding more transparency after revelations in the Mueller report. Russian-backed hackers inserted malware into VR Systems’ voting registration system in Florida in 2016, and equipment from the same vendor caused Election Day glitches and slowdowns in North Carolina. Maryland officials learned last year that its election data host, ByteGrid LLC, was majority-owned by a private equity firm in which a Russian oligarch with close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin had an investment.
NATO urged Russia on Tuesday to destroy a new missile before an August deadline and save a treaty that keeps land-based nuclear warheads out of Europe or face a more determined alliance response in the region. NATO defense ministers will discuss on Wednesday their next steps if Moscow keeps the missile system that the United States says would allow short-notice nuclear attacks on Europe and break the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF).
Georgia’s president called Russia “an enemy and occupier” and suggested Moscow had helped trigger protests that rocked Tbilisi, but the Kremlin on Friday blamed radical Georgian politicians for what it called “an anti-Russian provocation.”
Just one day after a team of international investigators laid out clear and extensive evidence of Russia’s culpability in the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over Ukraine in 2014, the prime minister of Malaysia has insisted there’s no proof that Russia was behind the attack. He denied the stance was down to the country’s reliance on Russia as a major buyer of its palm oil as other countries are trying to outlaw it.
Andrea Thompson, the State Department official in charge of U.S. arms control negotiations with Moscow, and her husband had a years-long friendship with GOP operative Paul Erickson, the former boyfriend of convicted unregistered Russian agent Maria Butina — ties this official did not disclose to her superiors or to Congress during her confirmation process in the spring of 2018.
International investigators have charged four suspects including a Russian former security-service colonel in the downing of a passenger plane over Ukraine in 2014, which sparked global outrage and added momentum to the push for sanctions against Russia.
“Mueller has finished his work, and — save for foreign-policy bureaucrats keeping their actions secret from the president — there’s no obvious mechanism for identifying and limiting the threat of Russian leverage over him. For all we know, Trump is still being promised, or even receiving, payoffs from Russia. None of these actions would amount to crimes. They do, however, constitute a crisis — not just of national security but of national sovereignty.”
A probe from the European Union found evidence of a “continued and sustained” disinformation campaign by Russian sources to influence the outcome of the European parliamentary elections. Cases of Russian disinformation doubled from the same period last year, growing from 400 cases to nearly 1,000.
The Kremlin is nervously accompanying developments between the U.S. and Poland which would see the U.S. sending 1,000 more troops to Poland and possibly constructing a permanent U.S. base in the country. The Kremlin says that it will respond and improve its own defenses.
President Trump said the force would be taken from America’s 52,000-strong contingent in Germany, and include drones and other military hardware. The deployment will force lawmakers in Moscow to take retaliatory steps, with one saying it would make Poland a target in the event of a conflict.
In an interview published Thursday, the Russian president said relations between Moscow and Washington were rapidly deteriorating as the U.S. continues to impose dozens of sanctions on his country.
Wary of Russia, Poland is doing its best to woo President Trump into agreeing to building a U.S. base in Poland. Negotiations on the base are still ongoing, but the U.S. is expected to send another 1,000 troops to Poland within the next few months.
The Kremlin is still feeling the effects of its decision to invade Ukrainian sovereign territory and annex Crimea. The EU has voted and agreed to extend sanctions on Russia for the illegal annexation of Crimea for at least another year.
More than 400 people were arrested in Moscow for their participation in a protest calling for the punishment of the authorities involved with framing journalist Ivan Golunov on drug charges. Among those arrested is opposition leader Alexei Navalny.
Yep, it’s a thing. Hacking and influence campaigns may get the headlines, but loopholes in federal law have allowed foreign entities with various agendas—economic, political, cultural—to inject cash into U.S. elections for years. More than a billion untraceable dollars have been spent in U.S. elections since 2006, and it’s unknowable how much of that came from foreign sources, legally or illegally.
A Russian Su-27 intercepted two reconnaissance planes flying in international airspace over the Baltic Sea. The planes belonged to the U.S. and Sweden. The intercept was considered safe by both sides.
After intense public and media backlash, Russian authorities have released anti-corruption journalist Ivan Golunov from prison and have dropped his phony drug charges. The Kremlin fears public instability and for that reason, released Golunov.
Russia is making it clear that it intends to complete its sale of its S-400 missile system to Turkey. If Turkey receives the missile system, they are hit with U.S. sanctions, lose access to the F-35 jet, and have their membership in NATO reevaluated.
While the issue of Russian collusion is very clearly politically charged, concerns about election security and foreign interference have historically been more bipartisan. As Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has made clear, however, that’s no longer the case.
Jon Huntsman Jr., who is currently serving as the U.S. ambassador to Russia, is considering leaving sometime in 2019 to return to his home state of Utah and run for governor. Huntsman previously served as governor of Utah from 2005-2009.
Foresman’s high-level Kremlin contacts are mentioned in Mueller’s 400-page report, which described the banker’s unsuccessful efforts to meet with Trump during the U.S. presidential campaign. Foresman was looking to pass along an invitation from Kremlin officials for Trump to speak at Putin’s flagship International Economic Forum. In an effort to get a meeting, Foresman sent emails to Trump’s personal assistant describing how he had once helped set up a “private channel” between Putin and former President George W. Bush.
U.S. retaliation for Russia’s interference efforts around the world and Trump’s trade war with China have left both Russia and China quite upset with the U.S. While in Russia, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping, both reaffirmed their commitment to each other’s countries and called out the United States’ practice of “economic raiding”.
Fighting in eastern Ukraine continues to heat up as Ukraine is now reporting that it lost six soldiers in recent clashes with Russian-backed separatists. 13,000 people have died in the conflict since the fighting began in April 2014.
26 YouTube channels sharing fake or conspiratorial information backed and funded by the Russian government are estimated to have made $7M to $32M in ad revenue and had more than 9 billion views. Previously on these channels, YouTube had not placed a disclaimer in the description of the video noting that the channel is funded by Russian entities. YouTube has since placed the disclaimer.
The Lima Group, a supranational organization made up of Latin American states, called on Russia, China, Cuba, and Turkey to stop supporting Nicolas Maduro’s regime. Maduro has been in a tenuous position for months as nearly all of his regional neighbors would like to see him ousted and have democracy return to Venezuela.
Russian state TV channel NTV is soon to air its own drama version about the deadly 1986 Chernobyl disaster. Unlike the hit HBO series, this more obviously pro-Russian Chernobyl will claim that a CIA spy was present for the catastrophic nuclear accident.
The United States and Russian navies are at odds over an apparent near collision in the Pacific Friday with each side blaming the other. The US and Russian warships came somewhere between 50 feet and 165 feet of each other, according to the two opposing reports, with both sides alleging their ships were forced to perform emergency maneuvers to avoid a collision.
While speaking on the New START treaty, which sought to reduce the nuclear arms of the U.S. and Russia, Vladimir Putin said that he would not seek to renew the treaty if the U.S. is not interested in renewing it. The treaty is set to expire in 2021.
As Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin meet in Russia, Huawei and Russia’s mobile phone operator MTS have come to an agreement for Huawei to build Russia’s 5G network.
The Russian government is likely to try to influence the 2020 presidential election, not through the release of stolen emails and other documents but through faked videos, according to Rep. Adam Schiff, chair of the House Intelligence Committee. A carefully crafted, controversial fake video, known as a deepfake, would be “hugely disruptive and hugely influential,” Schiff said.
The Department of Homeland Security has agreed to conduct a thorough inspection of election equipment used in North Carolina that was supplied by a vendor, Florida-based VR Systems, who was targeted by Russian hackers in 2016. It has been three years since the machines — laptops used to check in voters in Durham County — malfunctioned on Election Day, telling voters that they had already voted, even though they had not.