Russia | KUOW News and Information

Russia

A massive US law enforcement investigation eventually gave a red card to FIFA's corruption.
Flickr Photo/Marco Verch (CC BY 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/26qkDCV

You probably remember the World Cup last month. But you might not remember the previous major FIFA event: a massive string of arrests for money laundering and bribery that took place in 2015.


Note to readers: this post uses profanity that may offend some.

Four years after Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine by a Russian-supplied surface-to-air missile, families of the 298 victims are still waiting for Russian President Vladimir Putin to explain what happened.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, a master of diplomatic verbosity and sardonic barbs, summed up the results of the Helsinki summit in just three exuberant words: "better than super."

After four years of getting short shrift by his American counterparts, Russian President Vladimir Putin was standing side by side with President Trump, who lavished him with the words of praise, respect and awe normally only heard on Russian state television.

President Donald Trump
Flickr Photo/Gage Skidmore (CC BY SA 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/9hKraP

The meeting between President Trump and President Vladimir Putin of Russia has drawn bipartisan criticism. Ross Reynolds talks to our panel about what Trump's refusal to condemn Russian actions means and the timing of the indictments of the 12 Russian military officers.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, who rushed into Syria three years ago in an effort to save his ally President Bashar Assad, now says he can work with the U.S. to bring peace and reconciliation to the war-torn country.

"As far as Syria is concerned," Putin said, standing next to President Trump at the Helsinki summit, "the task of establishing peace and reconciliation in this country could be the first showcase example of this successful joint work."

Russia's information attack against the United States during the 2016 election cycle sought to take advantage of the greater trust that Americans tend to place in local news.

The information operatives who worked out of the Internet Research Agency in St. Petersburg did not stop at posing as American social media users or spreading false information from purported news sources, according to new details.

They also created a number of Twitter accounts that posed as sources for Americans' hometown headlines.

U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen of Washington state's 2nd District.
U.S. government

Bill Radke talks to Congressman Rick Larsen, who serves on the House Armed Services Committee, about why the NATO alliance is still relevant. He says the Baltic states need the alliance as protection from Russia and they need the U.S. to lead NATO.

Two days after staging his death with the help of Ukrainian authorities, Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko is explaining how the plot unfolded and why he went along with it.

Updated at 8 a.m. ET Friday

The Netherlands and Australia are formally blaming Russia's government for the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in 2014, one day after international investigators said the missile that struck the jet originated from the Russian military.

The passenger jet crashed in July 2014 in eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 people aboard.

Updated at 10:27 p.m. ET

Donald Trump's personal attorney, Michael Cohen, may have received hundreds of thousands of dollars in payments from both corporate clients and potentially a Russian billionaire, according to new allegations from an attorney suing them.

Michael Avenatti, who represents adult film actress Stormy Daniels, described what he called Cohen's suspicious financial relationships in a document released on Tuesday evening.

Shielded by an identity-protecting tarp, a Seattle locksmith drills the locks on a Russian-owned consular building.
RT Twitter feed

Yesterday afternoon in Madison Park, you may have seen an unusual breaking and entering. U.S. State Department officials drilled through the locks on the gate of a Russian-owned home, while former consular employees filmed across the street.

The Russian government occupied this Madison Park home in Seattle until the U.S. ordered Russian diplomats to leave Washington state in April, 2018.
Google Maps

It was a big week on the job for one Seattle locksmith. The task: unlock the gate and front door of a mansion owned by the Russian government. The house, a Seattle landmark, is on East Madison Street in Seattle's Madison Park neighborhood.

Russian officials condemned the U.S.-led airstrikes on three sites in Syria early Saturday, calling the attacks "treacherous and insane" and a "clear and present danger to world peace."

The U.S., U.K. and France carried out the strikes in the early morning hours on targets that U.S. officials said were linked to a Syrian government chemical weapons program. The strikes were a response to an alleged chemical weapons attack carried out by Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime on April 7.

Updated at 12 p.m. ET

Amid international outcry over an alleged poison gas attack in Syria over the weekend, Damascus said one of its air bases had come under attack, first blaming the U.S., but later Israel.

Meanwhile, President Trump says the White House will be making a decision on Syria in the next day or two, saying the reported attack was "atrocious" and "can't be allowed to happen."

Photo Courtesy of FBI Records

In the early 2000s ten Russian nationals were living normal lives in the United States. They went to school, got jobs, and tried to infiltrate the inner circles of U.S. policymakers and businesses to send information back to Russia.

KUOW PHOTO/KARA MCDERMOTT

This week, Seattle lost its Russian consulate, lost its “first in time” rental law, lost the Battery Street Park, lost everything... except the season opener. The Seattle Mariners won that, 2-1.

The Russian Consulate in Seattle was shuttered on Monday.
KUOW photo/John Ryan

Except for the rock-star parking space reserved for consul-licensed vehicles, you’d never know the Russian consulate in Seattle is inside the One Union Square building, on the 25th floor.

Bill Radke talks to Don Hellmann, professor emeritus at the University of Washington's Jackson School of International Studies about the U.S. State Department's decision to close the Russian consulate in Seattle and expel 60 Russian diplomats in response to an attack on an ex-spy for Russia in England. 

When President Trump phoned Russian President Vladimir Putin to congratulate him on his re-election Wednesday, Trump made no mention of one of the latest irritants between Russia and the West — his administration's announcement that Russia successfully hacked the U.S. power grid.

King County Elections employee Josephine Ruff unloads a  full ballot drop box outside of the Seattle Public Library on Tuesday, November 7, 2017, in Ballard.
KUOW photo/Megan Farmer

Kim Malcolm talks with Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman about the safeguards in place to prevent cyber attacks on Washington's election systems. In 2016, Russian hackers targeted Washington's voter registration system, but were unsuccessful.

This interview was inspired by a listener question. If you want to know something about the news in this region, use the form below.

Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, and Manafort's business associate Rick Gates have pleaded not guilty to felony charges of conspiracy against the U.S. and other counts.
AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Tech giants testify before a Senate Judiciary subcommittee on Tuesday about Russian efforts to spread disinformation in the U.S.

Representatives of Facebook, Twitter and Google, along with two national security analysts, will speak with lawmakers about ways that Russia has used the social media platforms.

Updated at 4:20 p.m. ET

Apparent Russian agents began reaching out to Donald Trump's presidential campaign as early as March 2016, the Justice Department established in documents released Monday, with appeals for partnership and offers of help including "dirt" on Trump's opponent, Hillary Clinton.

That case is made in charging documents in the case of then-Trump foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos, who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI.

Last week in the Russia investigations: Washington, D.C., gears up for the big show; Trump campaign data firm's guru tried to link up with WikiLeaks; and Clinton, DNC helped pay for infamous dossier on Trump.

Get Ready For The Big Show

After weeks of buildups, letdowns, surprises, scoops and headlines, this is it: Three central players in the world of Big Tech are set to face off across the witness table this week from members of Congress.

Updated at 2:17 p.m. ET, Oct. 3

Facebook said on Monday it has given Congress thousands of ads linked with Russian influence operations in the United States and is tightening its policies to make such interference more difficult.

"Many [of the ads] appear to amplify racial and social divisions," it said.

The social media giant confirmed that it discovered the ad sales earlier this year and gave copies to Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election.

For more than nine months, Twitter and Facebook have tried to dodge the intense public scrutiny involved with the investigation into Russian interference in last year's presidential election.

Now they're in the spotlight.

Congressional investigators are digging in on Russia's use of Facebook, Twitter and other social media companies to try to influence the 2016 campaign.

Updated: 7:26 p.m.

The House overwhelmingly passed a sanctions bill on Tuesday that would punish Russia for interfering in the 2016 election and tie President Trump's hands in terms of lifting economic restrictions on Moscow.

Updated at 2:00 p.m. ET

"I did not collude, nor know of anyone else in the campaign who colluded, with any foreign government," President Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner said in a statement prior to his closed-door meeting Monday before the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Speaking to reporters at the White House after the appearance, he said that documents and records that he provided the committee "show that all of my actions are proper, and occurred in the normal course of events of a very unique campaign."

The author (left) with her mother, Maria Espinoza, at the Womxn's March on Seattle in January 2017.
COURTESY OF MILLA ESPINOZA

When my mom, Maria Espinoza, came to the United States from Russia at age 13, it was toward the end of the Cold War, and some Americans were openly hostile to Russians. 


Updated 2 p.m.

A day late, the Justice Department complied this morning with a federal court order and released part of a security clearance form dealing with Attorney General Jeff Sessions' contacts with foreign governments.

On June 12, a judge had ordered the agency to provide the information within 30 days, a deadline that passed on Wednesday.

In a filing Thursday morning with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, the Justice Department released that part of Sessions' form which poses the question:

When Donald Trump Jr. met with a Russian lawyer last June, did he break any U.S. laws?

Pages