Notpetya: the incredible story of an escaped US cyberweapon, Russian state hackers, and Ukraine's cyberwar

Andy Greenberg (previously) is Wired's senior security reporter; he did amazing work covering Russian cyberwarfare in Ukraine, which he has expanded into a forthcoming book: Sandworm: A New Era of Cyberwar and the Hunt for the Kremlin's Most Dangerous Hackers (I read it for a blurb and a review; it's excellent). Read the rest

Eastern Blocks: photographs of the brutalist towers of the former USSR

Zupagrafika's new book Eastern Blocks (subtitle: "Concrete Landscapes of the Former Eastern Bloc") collects more than 100 beautiful photos of the brutalist towers of ex-Soviet nations, "‘Sleeping districts’ of Moscow, Plattenbauten of East Berlin, modernist estates of Warsaw, Kyiv`s Brezhnevki." Read the rest

Teenaged girl becomes a resistance symbol for her peaceful reading of the Russian constitution to a Putin goon-squad (they beat her up later)

Article 31 of the Russian constitution guarantees the right to peaceful political assembly, which is why Russian opposition protesters like to wave copies of the constitution around as Putin's goon-squads descend on them to dole out savage beatings and mass arrests. Read the rest

Massive trove of Russian spy-agency docs hacked from private sector contractor and passed onto media

Sytech is a private sector contractor to FSB, the Russian spy-agency that is the successor to the KGB; on July 13th, hacking group 0v1ru$ defaced Sytech's site and claimed to have hacked their internal network and stolen their files -- this week, the Russian hacking group Digitalrevolution began to pass these files on to Russian media, claiming to have 7.5TB of data in all, making it the largest breach of any Russian spy agency in history. Read the rest

CNN: WikiLeaks' Julian Assange got 'new computing & network hardware,' maybe hacked 2016 election data, in weird Ecuador embassy meetings

CNN reports that the founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, personally received deliveries, potentially including hacked materials related to the 2016 U.S. elections, during a series of odd meetings at Ecuador's Embassy in London. Read the rest

Inaugural Heavy Metal Knitting World Championship title goes to Japan's Giga Body Metal

The inaugural Heavy Metal Knitting World Championship were an unqualified success, with competitors from the US, Russia, Japan and beyond converging on Joensuu, Finland to thrash and knit: competitors such as Woolfumes, Bunny Bandit and 9" Needles thrashed to heavy metal music while knitting, for an audience of about 200. The winners were the five-person Japanese team Giga Body Metal. Scottish competitor Heather McLaren (a Ph.D candidate in engineering) told the AP, "When I saw there was a combination of heavy metal and knitting, I thought 'that’s my niche.'" Read the rest

Mueller testimony may be delayed, or not: Conflicting reports

Two U.S. House of Representatives panels plan to hear testimony from Special Counsel Robert Mueller on July 17, but there are reports today, Friday July 12, of a possible one-week delay that would push that date to July 24 or thereabouts. Read the rest

The flags of Russia's regional governments are amazing

From Zheleznogorsk's flag depicting a bear splitting an atom (the city started as a plutonium mining-town) (yours for $60!) to Domnovskoye's stark eagle claw to Syaskelevskoe's drunken bull to Khoroshyovo-Mnyovniki's crudely drawn MS-Paint-style proud beaver, the flags of Russia's states, cities, towns and districts are pretty fabulous; Weird Russia has a giant trawl through them. (Thanks, Ilya!) Read the rest

Seth Rich conspiracy was a Russian military operation: Yahoo News

The Seth Rich conspiracy traces back to an SVR operation, reports Yahoo News today. Huge if true, and possibly the Russian military's biggest coup yet, not counting the one that landed Trump in the White House. Read the rest

A Russian spy's story of fear, blackmail and betrayal

Deniss Metsavas was a well-known military officer who frequently appeared on TV on behalf of his country's armed forces. He was also, thanks to a event of passion, blackmail and a constant fear of incarceration, a Russian intelligence asset. In this emotional video from The Atlantic, Metsavas talks about the consequences of his being blackmailed into becoming a witting Russian asset and the quick, dark path that led him to betraying his uniform and the country that he served.

Image vis Klickr, courtesy of Thomas Depenbusch (Depi) Read the rest

NRA kicks out second in command, Christopher W. Cox accused of complicity in failed coup against Wayne LaPierre

Despite all they've achieved for Trump and Putin, it really does seem like The End is beginning for the National Russian Association. Read the rest

At re-election rally, Trump calls Mueller report “an illegal attempt to overturn the election”

'Lock Her Up' and 'acid washed' also made a comeback in Trump's rally-rant.

Unmarked road repairs at night lead to flying cars in Russia

This is nightmarish. On a dark freeway in Russia workers have left concrete repair materials in the middle of a freeway with no warning signs. Two cars hit them and go flying.

Image: YouTube Read the rest

Trump finally admits Russia was "helping me get elected", then denies it

This morning, Trump went on a rant about special counsel Bob Mueller, who reiterated yesterday that his investigation did not clear the President. He then tweeted that Russia helped him get elected—a first admission that the Putin regime's interference in the 2016 campaign helped put him in the White House.

"I had nothing to do with Russia helping me to get elected."

Then he denied it. The New York Times:

“No, Russia did not help me get elected,” Mr. Trump told reporters as he departed the White House for Colorado Springs. “I got me elected.” He spoke less than an hour after his Twitter post.

The original comment, a clause in one of several Twitter posts this morning, is an extraordinary admission from Mr. Trump, who has avoided saying publicly that Russia helped him win the presidency in 2016 through its election interference. American intelligence agencies and federal prosecutors have long concluded that Russia tried to influence voters.

Read the rest

Watch Russian rocket struck by lightning at launch

Lightning hit a Russian Soyuz rocket right after liftoff today. The direct hit resulted in nothing more (and nothing less) than this thrilling video. From Space.com:

The lightning strike occurred during the launch of a Glonass-M navigation satellite from Russia's Plesetsk Cosmodrome about 500 miles (800 kilometers) north of Moscow at 9:23 a.m. Moscow time (0623 GMT). In a statement, officials with Russia's space agency Roscosmos announced that the rocket successfully reached orbit.

"Lightning is not an obstacle for you!" Roscosmos Director General Dmitry Rogozin wrote on Twitter while congratulating the Glonass-M launch team and military Space Forces.

Read the rest

U.S. intercepts Russian bombers and fighter jets off Alaska coast

Russian nuclear capable long-range bombers flew within 200 miles of Alaska's coast

Maria Butina wants your money

Russian agent's Instagram video from Oklahoma jail asks for funds from internet supporters

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