Posts Tagged ‘Russia’

Russia Tried To Hurt Biden In the 2020 Election

March 17, 2021

Russia Tried To Hurt Biden In the 2020 Election

“The Office of the Director of National Intelligence on Tuesday released a declassified report on foreign actors’ attempts to influence and interfere in the 2020 election.

The U.S. intelligence community found that Russia and Iran conducted influence operations aimed at affecting the outcome of the election, but that China did not. The report found no indications that foreign actors attempted to alter any technical aspect of the voting process.

U.S. intelligence agencies assessed that Russian President Vladimir Putin authorized influence operations aimed at denigrating President Biden’s candidacy, supporting former President Trump, undermining public confidence in the election and sowing divisions.”

— “U.S. intelligence: Putin authorized influence operations to hurt Biden’s candidacy,” Zachary Basu, Axios

More:

“Intelligence Report: Russia Tried To Help Trump In 2020 Election,” Greg Myre, NPR News

“Putin likely directed 2020 U.S. election meddling, U.S. intelligence finds,” Christopher Bing, Joseph Menn, and Raphael Satter, Reuters

“Russia and Iran Tried to Influence 2020 Presidential Election, But China Did Not, Intelligence Report Says,” Julian Barnes, New York Times

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The KBG Groomed Trump for 40 Years: Former Russian Spy

January 29, 2021

Donald Trump was cultivated as a Russian asset over 40 years, says former KGB spy Yuri Shvets:

“For the KGB, it was a charm offensive. They had collected a lot of information on his personality so they knew who he was personally. The feeling was that he was extremely vulnerable intellectually, and psychologically, and he was prone to flattery.

This is what they exploited. They played the game as if they were immensely impressed by his personality and believed this is the guy who should be the president of the United States one day: it is people like him who could change the world. They fed him these so-called active measures soundbites and it happened. So it was a big achievement for the KGB active measures at the time.”

— “‘The perfect target’: Russia cultivated Trump as asset for 40 years – ex-KGB spy,” David Smith, The Guardian

More:

“Piling up incriminating information about Trump’s Russian connections,” John Sipher, Washington Post

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Russia: Vaccine or Vodka, Your Choice

December 15, 2020

Russia: Vaccine or Vodka, Your Choice

Last month, Russia’s Gamaleya Institute announced that its Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine is 92% effective, and Russia began mass vaccinations early this month. Many Russians have avoided getting innoculated, however. The rapid rollout of the vaccine leaves many Russians skeptical, but there may be another reason they’re staying away. Russia has one of the highest per capita rates of alcohol consumption in Europe, and Russian officials are saying the vaccinated should lay off the vodka for 42 days. A walk-back to 6 days followed, 3 days after each of the two injections, but that still may be too much for many hard-drinking Russians.

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Fictional Narratives

November 25, 2019

Fictional Narratives

“Based on questions and statements I have heard, some of you on this committee appear to believe that Russia and its security services did not conduct a campaign against our country — and that perhaps, somehow, for some reason, Ukraine did. This is a fictional narrative that has been perpetrated and propagated by the Russian security services themselves.”
Former National Security Council Russia adviser Fiona Hill, testifying before the House Intelligence Committee, November 21, 2019.

More:

“‘Some of You on this Committee Appear to Believe’ That Russia Didn’t Meddle in 2016,” Defense One

“Charges of Ukrainian Meddling? A Russian Operation, U.S. Intelligence Says,” Julian E. Barnes and Matthew Rosenberg, New York Times

“GOP congressmembers blamed Ukraine for election hacking. Russia’s been trying to make that happen for years.” Kathryn Krawczyk. The Week

“Sen. John Kennedy repeats Ukraine conspiracy theory about DNC server,” Jacob Knutson, Axios

“‘Everything becomes a conspiracy theory’: Trump leans into spurious claims for impeachment defense,” Nancy Cook, Politico

“’Are you sure?’ Trump’s Ukraine conspiracy theory was a bit much even for Fox & Friends,” Aaron Rupar, Vox

“Time to call out and remove Putin’s propagandists,” Jennifer Rubin, Washington Post

Update:

“GOP Sen. John Kennedy: ‘I Was Wrong’ to Say Ukraine May Have Hacked DNC Server,” Justin Baragona, Daily Beast

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AU Grad Student Lands Government Job

November 21, 2019

AU Grad Student Lands Government Job

Former American University graduate student Maria Butina, following a post-grad stint in U.S. federal prison and deported back to her native Siberia, may have a new job with the Russian government. The former NRA and GOP sweetheart has been offered a berth at the High Commissioner for Human Rights in the Russia Federation. Perhaps she will focus on Russians imprisoned abroad for gun crimes.

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Cabbage and the Russian Economy

October 30, 2019

Finalcial Times Moscow bureau chief Henry Foy explains the Russians’ cabbage obsession and how the staple’s price affects Russians.

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GOP-Boosting NRA Member Maria Butina Deported to Siberia

October 28, 2019

GOP-Boosting NRA Member Maria Butina Deported to Siberia

After spending 15 months at Florida’a least-luxurious resort, Trump Doral Tallahassee Federal Correctional Institution, the NRA Lifetime Member, unregistered Russian foreign agent, AU grad student, and GOP sexy-time associate Maria Butina was deported to Russia, landing at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport en route to her hometown, Siberia’s Barnaul. At this time we cannot confirm the deportation and Siberian exile of Butina’s US pals, who include GOP operative Paul Erickson, Trump campaign aide J.D. Gordon, NRA officials David Keene and Peter Brownell, and Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne.

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Top image (“Maria ‘Natasha Fatale’ Butina, after Jay Ward and Alex Anderson“) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Deep State Damage: Maria Butina Brings Down Overstock CEO

August 23, 2019

Deep State Damage: Maria Butina Brings Down Overstock CEO

After babbling about the “Deep State” and “Men In Black” last week, Overstock. com CEO Patrick Byrne admitted to a 3-year affair with jailed Russian agent Maria Butina and resigned. The company’s depressed stock price rose 15 percent in response.

More:

“Patrick Byrne’s Overstock Exit Came After Admission He Romanced Russian,” Jeran Wittenstein, Bloomberg

“Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne resigns after saying he aided in ‘deep state’ Russia investigation,” Abha Bhattarai, Washington Post

“Overstock investors cheer after ‘too controversial’ CEO Patrick Byrne resigns,” Tomi Kilgore, MarketWatch

“Overstock CEO Resigns to Focus on Career as Deep State Intelligence Asset, One Assumes,”
Bryan Menegus, Gizmodo

“Overstock Ex-CEO’s Bonkers Rant to Fox Business: I’m Part of ‘Deep State,’” Justin Baragona, Daily Beast

Update:

“Former Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne Claims Maria Butina Offered to Arrange One-on-One for Him With Putin,” Audrey McNamara, Daily Beast

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Top image (“Maria ‘Natasha Fatale’ Butina, Overstocked, after Jay Ward and Alex Anderson“) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Bitcoin mining in Siberia

May 14, 2019

For centuries, Siberia has been known for its coal, iron, diamond, and gold mines, but its new industry is cryptocurrency mining. BBC Moscow correspondent Sarah Rainsford reports.

Related:

“Bitcoin Miners Flock to New York’s Remote Corners, but Get Chilly Reception,” Patrick McGeehan, New York Times

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Maria Butina Sentenced to Prison

April 26, 2019

Maria Butina Sentenced to Prison

On  Friday, Federal Judge Tanya Chutkan sentenced admitted Russian spy Maria Butina to 18 months in prison. “I am deeply embarrassed,” said Ms. Butina.

The former American University grad student pleaded guilty in December to conspiracy against the United States, acting as an unregistered agent of the Russian Federation, and seeking to influence U.S. conservative politicians through the National Rifle Association.It’s a salacious spy story of sex, guns, money, and the National Prayer Breakfast, and it’s packed with oligarchsRepublicanslobbyistsTreasury officials and Kremlin connections, a saga spanning the globe from Siberia to South Dakota. Her older American lover, Paul Erickson, a GOP fundraiser and NRA supporter, is charged with fraud and money laundering in a separate case.

Ms. Butina, deemed a flight risk, has been imprisoned since her indictment in July. We hope she will be able to continue with her Tai Chi in prison.

More:

“Maria Butina, Russian who conspired to infiltrate conservative U.S. political groups, sentenced to 18 months,” Spencer S. Hsu and Rosalind S. Helderman, Washington Post

“Russian Agent Maria Butina Sentenced to 18 Months in Prison: ‘I Destroyed My Own Life,’” Betsy Woodruff, Daily Beast

“Maria Butina is not a Russian spy, but a ‘spotter’: DOJ revives intrigue over gun rights activist,” Kristine Phillips, USA Today

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Top image (“Maria ‘Natasha Fatale’ Butina, after Jay Ward and Alex Anderson“) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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