The Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed a bill which seeks to limit Russia’s control and influence in Europe by sanctioning Russia’s Nord Stream 2 project. The bill now moves to the Senate to be voted on.
Alexei Navalny, one of Putin’s biggest critics, was arrested last week in Moscow. After his arrest, he was taken to the hospital for a “severe allergic reaction”. His doctor says it looked like he was poisoned with a “toxic agent.”
Up to 20,000 people took to the streets of Moscow protesting government and the removal of opposition candidates from an upcoming election. Nearly 1,400 were arrested during the demonstrations.
Russia’s foreign propaganda network, RT, was fined by Britain’s media regulator for violating broadcasting impartiality rules. The violations in question come from RT’s coverage of the Skripal poisoning, Ukraine, and Syria.
Putin and his cronies continue to disqualify and harass opposition candidates running for Moscow’s city council. Protests against the government over its anti-democratic action continue to grow.
The Senate Intelligence Committee released its report of Russian interference in the 2016 election. The report, which comes out one day after Robert Mueller’s testimony, also makes several policy recommendations.
Ukraine seized a Russian tanker that was involved in last year’s incident which saw Russia take 24 Ukrainian sailors hostage. Russia has now promised a “harsh response” for the seizure.
It is unclear if GOP Senators take election security seriously as they blocked two election security bills mere hours after Mueller warned that the Russians are trying to interfere “as we sit here.”
Russian state media was very content with the Mueller hearings yesterday. One pundit was very pleased when she said, “We’re officially laughing at their allegations of election interference.”
During his testimony, Robert Mueller reminded all Americans of the threat that Russia poses to our elections. He said, “It wasn’t a single attempt. They’re [interfering] as we sit here.”
“When power cannot be changed at the ballot box, it will, sooner or later, be changed on the streets.”
To better align the NSA’s offensive and defensive cyber operations, a new cybersecurity directorate has been formed. This is the latest improvement to U.S. cybersecurity following the Russian-led 2016 election interference campaign.
Russian surveillance planes and Chinese bombers flew through Japanese and South Korea airspace prompting both countries to scramble their jets in response. South Korea fired 360 warning shots at the intruding planes.
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.