Russian doctor who met Putin last week has coronavirus, state TV reports

“Everything is okay,” the RIA news agency reports. Seems legit. Read the rest

Trump and Putin to talk of ending sanctions, 'whole [Russia] thing turned out to be a hoax.”

During a call-in to 'Fox & Friends' that lasted an hour, Trump says next call is with Putin.

Putin just demonstrated how a leader can constitutionally lock himself into power forever

Donald Trump loves to test the waters about abolishing Presidential term limits. As much as he might fantasize about becoming dictator-in-chief, it would take a lot to actually make it happen, so I wouldn't hold my breath worrying about it.

That being said, Vladimir Putin just found a sneaky way to lock himself into power until at least 2036: tacking a rider onto another, humongous bill, just hours before the Parliament votes on it.

In the past, Mr. Putin proceeded cautiously, seeking to preserve a veneer of legitimacy. Confronting term limits in 2008, Mr. Putin opted for a four-year hiatus as prime minister while his protégé, Dmitri A. Medvedev, became the caretaker president.

In January he proposed some nebulous constitutional changes that analysts said pointed to his intention to stay beyond the end of his current term.

But with his proposal on Tuesday, Mr. Putin seemed to prefer something bolder, saying he supported the legislation for the good of the country. The president is the guarantor “of the security of our state, of its internal stability — its internal, evolutionary stability,” Mr. Putin said. “And I mean evolutionary. We’ve had enough revolutions.”

[…]

“No one is saying” Mr. Putin will run again in 2024, one lawmaker, Aleksandr Khinshtein, said in a televised interview. “But the possibility of doing so must exist for the head of state in order to maintain stability in society.”

I guess bad faith arguments for implausible deniability are totally fine when your country is run for decades by a famously guileful spymaster. Read the rest

'Are you real?' Putin swears he doesn't have a body double

Sure, Jan.

Trump mad that U.S. intel briefed lawmakers on Russian military attack on 2020 elections

• U.S. intelligence briefed House on Russia to ensure Trump's re-election. • Classified briefing to lawmakers made Trump angry • Trump said Democrats would “weaponize” news of Russian military campaign • Trump was mad DNI Joseph Maguire would let staff appear • That's why Maguire's out, Richard Grenell's in as 'acting' DNI.

In Washington last week, U.S. intelligence officials told lawmakers that Russia is carrying out a military-grade attack on the 2020 elections, with the goal of making Americans doubt the integrity of the vote and ensure re-election for impeached, manifestly unfit and corrupt President Donald Trump, Reuters reported Thursday. Read the rest

Trump tweets he'll sue 'everyone all over the place' for 'total SCAM' Mueller Russia probe

On his batshit Twitter account, impeached and manifestly bonkers U.S. President Donald Trump is calling for all cases that came out of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election to be "thrown out."

Trump implied that he could bring a lawsuit over the matter. Read the rest

Ireland suspects Russia is trying to crack transatlantic fiber-optic ocean bed cables

“Russia has sent intelligence agents to Ireland to map the precise location of the fibre-optic, ocean-bed cables that connect Europe to America,” Ireland's security agency suspects, according to this report in The Times of London.

“This has raised concerns that Russian agents are checking the cables for weak points, with a view to tapping or even damaging them in the future.”

Irish security officials believe Russia may be targeting Ireland as a regional base for military intelligence operations because the country's counterintelligence abilities are limited, and Moscow presumably views Ireland as a vulnerable spot.

Additionally, various tech giants that have placed their offices in Dublin to evade U.S. taxes might be juicy targets for Vladimir Putin's corporate espionage programs.

Excerpt:

Ireland is the landing point for undersea cables which carry internet traffic between America, Britain and Europe. The cables enable millions of people to communicate and allow financial transactions to take place seamlessly.

Garda and military sources believe the agents were sent by the GRU, the military intelligence branch of the Russian armed forces which was blamed for the nerve agent attack in Britain on Sergei Skripal, a former Russian intelligence officer.

Read more: Russian agents plunge to new ocean depths in Ireland to crack transatlantic cables

[thetimes.co.uk] Read the rest

Moscow: Twitter and Facebook fined 4 million rubles each for refusing to store data on Russian citizens in Russia

A court in Moscow today issued fines of 4 million rubles each against Twitter and Facebook for the social media companies' refusal to store data about Russian citizens inside Russia. Read the rest

Trump wants 25% cut in US military fund to deter Russian aggression

Impeached American president Donald John Trump wants a 25% reduction in the military fund designed to deter Russian aggression against the U.S., no reason, why are you asking, no really, why, you seem kind of obsessed. Read the rest

Disinformation 2020: FBI warns of ongoing Russian 'information warfare'

“They identify an issue that they know that the American people feel passionately about on both sides and then they take both sides and spin them up so they pit us against each other. And then they combine that with an effort to weaken our confidence in our elections and our democratic institutions which has been a pernicious and asymmetric way of engaging in affect information warfare.”

— FBI Director Chris Wray, Feb. 5, 2020

On Wednesday, FBI Director Chris Wray said Russia is targeting Americans with an ongoing “information warfare” campaign that is likely to intensify as the nation heads into the 2020 presidential election. Read the rest

Russian comedian who dissed Putin flees country

"I didn't plan to be persecuted simply for joking," he said.

The 'Ukraine meddling' thing is a Russian operation, say U.S. intel experts

“Intelligence officials believe that one of the people the Kremlin relied on to spread disinformation about Ukrainian interference was Oleg V. Deripaska, a Russian oligarch who had ties to Mr. Manafort.”

Putin: Russia hopes Trump will visit Moscow for Victory Day ('May Day')

“It would be the right (thing). But it’s not up to us to decide,” Putin said.

GOP-led Senate panel agrees Russia infowar campaign helped Trump

In the U.S. Senate on Tuesday, a bipartisan panel of lawmakers presented evidence that Russia conducted information warfare against the U.S. in 2016 and demanded urgent action from Congress, the trump White House, and Silicon Valley to prevent the same thing from happening in 2020. 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

G-20: 'Get rid of them,' Trump says of journalists. Putin: Russia also has 'problem' of 'fake news.' They chuckle

Today is the one year anniversary of the 2018 Capitol Gazette mass shooting, in which a gunman shot and killed 5 people, and injured more.

At the G20 summit today on the other side of the world, illegitimate United States president Donald Trump shared a chuckle with his boss, Russian president Vladimir Putin, over their shared wish to “get rid of” of journalists. Read the rest

Maria Butina wants your money

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

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