Russia

March 19, 2017
Vladimir Putin is smiling because he thrives on chaos, particularly in the camp of the “Main Enemy,” a term the Soviet and Russian intelligence services have long used to refer to the United States.  He is surely happy as he sees any indication of American uncertainty, irresolution, or confusion
March 19, 2017
European countries are becoming increasingly wary of foreign disinformation and subversion operations in their own internal politics following Russian interference in last year’s U.S. elections.
March 19, 2017
Where will Russian President Vladimir Putin strike next? With the 2018 Russian election around the corner, former Soviet states are nervous. Foreign adventures are the quickest way for a politician to get a bump in the polls.
March 19, 2017
Russian offensive cyber capabilities are as sophisticated as those of other major cyber powers, such as the United States and China, and they likely exceed Baltic states’ ability to defend critical infrastructures.
March 15, 2017
When Syrian government forces retook the ancient city of Palmyra from ISIS for the second time in early March, they had the assistance of one of the world’s elite special operations forces: Russia’s Special Operations Command (SSO).
March 15, 2017
As part of military reforms begun in 2008, Russia has overhauled its special purpose forces, or Spetsnaz to expand its capabilities and professionalization. It also created a new Special Operations Command known as the KSSO.
March 14, 2017
Pressure is growing for development of a new, U.S., low-yield, land-based or air-launched, tactical nuclear weapon as a response to Russia’s recent deployment of a nuclear-capable, intermediate-range, land-based cruise missile.
March 7, 2017
I’ve covered many political scandals over the past 50 years, including Watergate, Iran-contra, and the Clinton impeachment, but the past few weeks have convinced me this country may be on the verge of one that may top them all.
February 24, 2017
What if network defenders knew that a cyber operation occurred during Moscow business hours, that it involved a Russian IP address, and that the cyber actors used a Cyrillic keyboard? Would those indicators by themselves be enough for attribution?
February 24, 2017
Understanding the Russian criminal underground is essential when discussing Russian proxies in cyberspace. How do cybercriminal entities interact with each other and what is their relationship with the Russian government?
February 24, 2017
Cyber operations remain at the forefront of confrontations between the West and Moscow as relations continue to deteriorate. Russia asserted itself in 2007 with “patriotic hackers” launching a volley of distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks on Estonian systems.
February 23, 2017
The U.S. this year deployed 330 Marines to Norway. The concept is nothing new; it dates back to the 2005 Oslo-Washington agreement called Marine Corps Prepositioning Program-Norway (MCPP-N).
February 21, 2017
White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, during three Sunday television interview programs, gave different and sometimes confusing stories about what activities led to President Trump’s firing of his National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn, and what still may be going on about that situation.
February 15, 2017
The White House sought to present the resignation of President Donald Trump’s National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn, as a closed chapter tied to his deceiving Vice President Mike Pence on the nature of his discussions with the Russian ambassador to the United States.
February 15, 2017
The resignation of National Security Advisor Michael Flynn came only three weeks into a whirlwind beginning for the Trump Administration.
February 9, 2017
President Donald Trump has never shown much interest in foreign policy issues.  The few consistent themes he has supported are to defeat ISIS, restructure trade deals, and radically improve relations with Vladimir Putin’s Russia. 
January 25, 2017
Even before the release of the unclassified version of the U.S. intelligence community’s conclusions regarding Russian hacking and involvement in the U.S. presidential elections, before President-elect Donald Trump got his classified briefing on the report from the heads of the U.S.
January 22, 2017
In 2000, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, then a relative unknown outside of Russia, visited Japan.  Part of his trip included a visit to the Kodokan, the historic Judo school founded by Jigoro Kano.
January 17, 2017
In his first news conference since July, President-elect Donald Trump revealed he now agrees with the unanimous verdict of the U.S.
January 17, 2017
As Donald Trump prepares to take office, one of his earliest—and most important— foreign policy decisions will be how to move forward with the United States’ bilateral relationship with Russia. Will he pursue something along the lines of Obama’s reset or take a firmer stance?
January 17, 2017
“The great thing about being around Donald Trump is, you never have any confusion about who is driving the bus,” Vice President-elect Mike Pence said Sunday on CBS’ Face the Nation.
January 17, 2017
Donald Trump will take office at the lowest point in Washington’s relations with Moscow since the end of the Cold War.  He has consistently talked about the need to establish a better relationship with Mr. Putin.  Can he do that in a way that serves American interests?
January 15, 2017
Noon on January 20th provides an excellent opportunity for Russian President Vladimir Putin to give President-Elect Donald Trump the perfect inauguration gift - Edward Snowden.
January 11, 2017
President Barack Obama’s decision to impose a range of sanctions against Russia for its successful network strike and information operation against the U.S. electoral process was an excellent first step towards an improved cyber deterrent capacity.
January 10, 2017
Let’s agree on one thing, when it comes to Russia’s recent interference with the U.S. presidential election, no one yet has found a way to deter President Vladimir Putin from doing it again – here in this country or elsewhere.
January 6, 2017
As 2016 comes to a close, Russia and Turkey have cobbled together a ceasefire in Syria, paving the way for peace talks to end the more than five-year long war that has destroyed the country and torn asunder its social fabric.
January 6, 2017
The agreement between Turkey and Russia stipulates a halt to the fighting throughout Syrian territory from midnight on December 29, with the exception of areas with a Fatah al-Sham (formerly the al-Nusra Front) or Islamic State presence.
January 6, 2017
The December 30 ceasefire in Syria, brokered by Russia and Turkey, has for the most held throughout the country, despite violence undermining the pact.  This ceasefire is the third of its kind attempted within the space of a year.
January 4, 2017
The Russian hacking of the U.S.
January 3, 2017
Will Congress reassert itself by passing new economic sanctions against Russia for using hacked emails to disrupt the U.S. presidential election if President-elect Donald Trump objects?
December 29, 2016
Russian President Vladimir Putin, a leader known for his unpredictability, may have met his match: the new President of the United States, Donald Trump.
December 29, 2016
New presidents often think they can redefine relations with Russia. But will Washington ever get along with Moscow if the Kremlin does not share Western internationalist values?
December 29, 2016
After the fall of Aleppo, few would deny the influence that Russian President Vladimir Putin now wields in Syria and the Middle East - but this was not always the case.
December 29, 2016
Editor’s Note: Over the coming days, The Cipher Brief presents some of our most incisive coverage on key issues of 2016 and a look ahead at what is yet to come in 2017.
December 25, 2016
Back in August, The Cipher Brief sat down with Leo Taddeo, Chief Security Officer for Cryptzone, to discuss the cyber threats posed by Russia and China.
December 25, 2016
In July, Rob Dannenberg, the former head of security at Goldman Sachs and a 24-year veteran of the CIA, discussed Russia’s cyber strategy of information warfare and the role of proxies in undermining attribution efforts, consequentially stemming victims' political will to respond to provocati
December 25, 2016
Hacktivism has been a fact of life even before the rise of Anonymous. In 2016, we saw a tidal wave of global hacktivism and cyber spying, and this trend will continue in 2017.
December 23, 2016
After the assassination of Russian Ambassador to Turkey, Andrey Karlov, by an off-duty Turkish police officer, relations between Ankara and Moscow have remained surprisingly resilient.
December 22, 2016
The “complete meltdown of humanity” in Aleppo, as recently described by the United Nations, is an indictment of Russian/Syrian/Iranian barbarism, Arab indifference, and American dereliction and policy failure in the Levant.  The horrendous human tragedy, which is barely causing a yawn in the West
December 20, 2016
Sometime in the next 30 days, President Barack Obama should add to the economic sanctions now applied to Russia as a response to Moscow’s hacking and other cyber operations that attempted to disrupt and perhaps influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.
December 18, 2016
As the United States prepares for a new administration, The Cipher Brief's Leone Lakhani sits down with Ambassador Dennis Ross, Counselor at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and a former senior Middle East Adviser to three U.S. Presidents.
December 16, 2016
All week, The Cipher Brief has been covering the news that Russia not only interfered in the U.S. presidential election, but according to CIA analysts, apparently did so with the intent of influencing the outcome in support of Donald Trump. The Cipher Brief wanted to know what U.S.
December 16, 2016
When asked by The Cipher Brief about how both allies and adversaries might view President-elect Donald Trump’s early, contentious relationship with the CIA, former Acting Director of the CIA John McLaughlin remarked, “They are already scratching their heads bald about what is going on here, so I
December 14, 2016
In the recent past, every new U.S. administration has attempted to improve relations with Russia to address mutual security threats such as combating terrorism. Both President George W.
December 13, 2016
A Congressional inquiry next year into Russian involvement in the U.S. presidential election will be only one of several Legislative Branch initiatives that may interrupt President-elect Donald Trump’s stated goal of easing relations with Moscow.
December 11, 2016
As the United States and the international community absorbed the news that the CIA believed Russia had interfered in the recent Presidential election to help Donald Trump’s candidacy, President-elect Trump dismissed the assessment out of hand, describing it as a result of partisan politics.
December 7, 2016
Naiveté is never a good way to approach foreign policy challenges.  However, it seems that every new Presidential Administration has a tendency to place hope over experience in dealing with Russia.  President George W.
December 6, 2016
Russia undeniably wields some degree of influence over Central and Eastern Europe due to the high volume of energy exports it sends their way. However, that leverage may be overplayed.
December 6, 2016
Russia can influence politics in Central and Eastern Europe via the energy sector. Most of the Visegrad Group countries in Central Europe, for example, are dependent on Russia for natural gas.

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