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This Week’s Dead Drop: February 23

VLAD THE AVENGER:  We didn’t need the death of Alexei Navalny from “sudden death syndrome” (the Russians really called it that) that those who cross Vladimir Putin meet untimely deaths. Not only is that the world’s worst kept secret – but Putin and pals seem anxious for everyone to know it. Russian streets are literally littered with Putin critics who suddenly fall out of windows and planes carrying troublesome folks like Yevgeny Prigozhin. Newsweek published what they called a “Full List of Putin Critics Who Have Died In Mysterious Circumstances” – but the list was anything but “full.” They just scratched the surface. Here is another noteworthy item. Back in September, The Dead Drop told you about Maxim Kuzminov, a 28-year-old Russian helicopter pilot who [...]

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The Fight: Life and War in Ukraine: A Conversation with Nataliya Bugayova

There are few who understand this war better than Nataliya Bugayova. She lived and worked in Ukraine for years. Her present focus – as a non-resident fellow and the former Russia team lead at The Institute for the Study of War, is on the analysis of the Kremlin’s operations and on what’s happening in Ukraine today. She also serves as Director of Strategic Intelligence at a company called Vertical Knowledge.

Bugayova was part of a visiting delegation with The Cipher Brief that was led by General David Petraeus last fall. We sat down shortly afterward, to get her perspective on how this war is ‘really’ going and how she sees it ending.

State Secrets: Villains, Victims and Vendors in Cyberspace

Former Director of CIA’s Center for Cyber Intelligence (and Cipher Brief Expert) Andrew Boyd talks to State Secrets about the dynamic relationship between villains, victims and vendors operating in cyberspace. The CIA, he says, has been paying close attention to cyberspace “since the dawn of IP”, so what lessons can he share about how spies, thieves and nation states are using the domain to find and exploit victims and how the private sector and government are partnering to track them down.

Cover Stories: Tons of Chaos

Best-selling NYT author Mark Greaney returns for his third appearance on a Cipher Brief podcast – this time to mark the publication of his latest novel “The Chaos Agent” which is the latest in his “Gray Man” series. In the new novel Greaney mines the headlines about artificial intelligence. The book connects a car accident in Japan, a drowning in Seoul, a home invasion in Boston, and someone killing the world’s leading experts on AI. We’ll talk to Mark about the challenge of producing a series of engaging thrillers – staying ahead of the news and satisfying his most discerning readers.

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